Musical skill

I’ve never played a musical instrument as I don’t have musical talent. I can’t even recognize a song by music, my only guide are words – if I catch them.

Since childhood, my singing has been more chanting. So I was told to just pretend singing and not spoil the fun of others. I was successful in all so call important school subjects and I couldn’t do something as simple as singing!

I ran from music to the books and remained loyal to them. They have their own rhythm and can also evoke strong emotions and stimulate imagination. When I am inside a book, I often realize a lot of things that the author didn’t write, but it still pops up from the pages. As if it was meant right for me, right for the moment. That’s why I consider reading books more intimate than an intellectual matter.

And do I miss music in my life? I wouldn’t say so. From my point of view it’s impossible to miss what you are not capable appreciate. What do you think?

So far I’m happy with the substitution the little smart girl came with.

Love and hugs,

Ivana

Landscape again

Trying to meet the goals of my art challenge, I grabbed the topic of a mill today. I chose a windmill – sorry for the strange perspective – with tulips in front, because both evoke me summer in the Netherlands. For my painting I took inspiration from the same topic tutorial by Ellen Crimi-Trent.

Love and hugs,

Ivana

Hope you will enjoy colorful bubbles in the grass as well.

Seeking shadow

As soon as the tropical weather arrives, I deal with the same every year – where to hide from the sun and overheating.

In walking distance, nature is getting drier and drier, in summer it looks like a savannah. Trees are becoming rarer, the forest is slowly dying. My heart cries for each of them.

Although we had a beautifully cold and rainy spring this year, the heat and drought have already clenched their claws. The tropical season has definitely started.

Yesterday I had to travel a lot of hours in high temperatures, so today I ordered a rest in the old park nearby. In fact, this park was founded in the late 18th century, and some trees are really huge. Which I love more than romantic pavilions and bridges, or the chateau, around which this amazing park is located.

You can walk many hours in this park and find your own wild retreat. And that’s exactly what I needed today. I was resting in a beautiful place and having fun painting with watercolors.

Hope you enjoyed your day as well!

With love and hugs,

Ivana

In case you like to know or see more, I found some info in English, see below. No, it is not an advertisement!

https://www.zamek-veltrusy.cz/en

Painting fruits

Fruit is a great topic for a beginner, don’t you think? There are beautiful shapes, lots of work with light and shadow, and it may or may not be realistic. Loosely painted fruit can still look recognizable and yummy.

But I decided to paint realistic apple – whole and cut in half. Or as much realistic as I can. I spent several hours layering various reds and then lifting them back before I got a pretty good whole red apple. But it was so lonely, even though the sketch of the half already existed next to it.

So I decided to add more fruit to make company to the apples and let them feel happier. Plus no paper waste! 🙂

I would probably change the composition a bit, if I thought about the other fruits right away. But pretty good on the first try, what do you think?

I have to admit that without pandemic, I probably wouldn’t started with watercolors. Today I know it would be a shame. Painting gives me great pleasure (more than drawing) and I cannot wait for further improvements.

Watercolor is an exciting adventure!

Love and hugs,

Ivana

Painting landscape

I have never wished to paint landscapes and I probably can’t even appreciate a well-painted landscape. I love being in the landscape and perceiving it with all my senses. Smell its scent, feel the sun’s rays or raindrops on my skin, hear the birds singing, touch the bark of the trees, taste the herbs or berries along the way. Eyes are only a part of the whole experience.

But then there is my artistic challenge and one of its topics is painting landscape.

When I tried to paint what I know from my surroundings – like the surface of a pond with several trees in background, it became a disaster. Perhaps because I painted at night under artificial light, without any reference picture. And it was the first time I tried to paint water surface. You really don’t want to see it 🙂

I felt much better after painting the ocean on the shore, even though I live hundreds of miles from the sea. But youtube knows everything! One of my favorite artist teacher Jenna Rainey just posted appropriate tutorial there, so I did what I watched. And you know what? I spent about a quarter of the time with a better result. It is worth to learn from someone who knows what he or she is doing.

According to the tutorial of Jenna.

Yesterday’s attempt to paint the landscape was a compromise between the two approaches. I used a reference picture of the landscape and did it my way. I am quite satisfied, so I can jump to the next topic of my artistic challenge. Hope you like it too 🙂

Love and hugs,

Ivana

In the middle of lockdown

Since the covid pandemic invaded our lives, we have all experienced a number of restrictions and strange situations, as well as suffering or even death of our loved ones. We learned how to wear masks and read facial expressions only from eye wrinkles, when we are lucky enough to meet in person.

Staying at home, we are overwhelmed by the endless flow of catastrophic news and / or senseless political quarrels about things they cannot understand. Sometimes I feel that this is worse than the pandemic itself. Mentally and emotionally, I am tired of it.

Then, it is completely out of my comprehension how health professionals can handle such situation for more than a year. On a daily basis, they keep dressing up in protective spacesuits and fighting for lives. Unlike the rest of us, they don’t have time to complain.

Whenever I remember their work, I am ashamed of my petty complaints about how I cannot breathe through the mask, and I do my best to be obedient to all the restrictions. Although the current lockdown is very strict and many people are trying to get around it.

The pandemic also brought me something good or I should say great. It’s been exactly a year since I decided to buy a brush and paints and start watercolor painting. All the pandemic limitations gave me freedom to learn and try. And I believe that once the horror of covid-19 is over, I will remember the times of the pandemic in connection with my watercolor beginnings.

I would like to think that we keep the better memories if we can choose.

Recently, I learned how to draw and paint droplets. The first example doesn’t need a comment, the second one should be a tribute to the upcoming St. Patrick’s Day. I hope the shamrock is clear but who would recognize that beer foam is covering the top? I still have some work to do. And I will be happy to do it, especially in the middle of lockdown.

Love and hugs,

Ivana

Being a winner

Most people like to feel like a winner, at least from time to time. For some, a small victory on a daily basic is sufficient, others need to accumulate wealth or climb the highest mountains in the world. The greater the risk, the greater victory and often also pride.

Folk psychology says “Feel like a winner and you will get it”.

But is it that easy for everyone? Being a winner means leaving a number of losers behind. And many people are not willing to give the loser’s label to the others, because they used to get them too often earlier. They may have a traumatic experience with a so-called winner, who climbed on the backs of others, often by humiliating them.

Being a winner in a healthy way means to remain humble and supportive to all who have allowed him to win. And always take into account feelings of the losers behind.

So I painted a fake winner, who is blinded by his own glow. One could see a winner whose glory extends to heaven or a gilded dummy in the backyard in front of a poorly painted wall. It’s up to you 🙂

I would like to meet just a few fake winners and a lot of sensitive ones. Then it would be nice to join them.

Love and hugs to both, winners and losers!

Ivana

Dreaming

We’ve been living with pandemic for a year and it doesn’t seem to be better. Hospitals are about to collapse, even young people are dying, only the virus happily survives in new mutations.

From many reasons our little country is having a hard time just now. We are probably facing a strict lockdown in a few days. Listening to the bad news made me dream about the coming spring and my walks among flowers.

Until politicians find agreement on the lockdown’s terms, I will keep my dreaming. I need walks outside, even if I have to wear a top-class respirator on my face. Which became a reality since today.

Anyway, I hope to use my boots for walking not for gardening.

Stay healthy!

Love and hugs,

Ivana

Cacti

My really first memory of cacti belongs to a little girl, who watched her father, taking care of small prickly plants and was terribly jealous. Dad made himself a special heating box and watered by exact number of drops each of his baby plant. That’s why I thought for a long time, that cacti are pampered princesses who steal love and attention.

Of course, I learned at school that cacti grow in dry deserts and are a small miracle of survival. But the child’s emotional experience was somehow stronger, so I avoided to meet cacti. Which is quite easy in Central Europe 🙂

What dramatically changed my attitude, was a holiday in the United States, especially traveling through Arizona and New Mexico. Suddenly I met real cacti. Huge, admirable, independent. No sign of pampered princess. I was amazed and speechless.

At that time I realized that the desert can be inhospitable, but it’s definitely not dead. There is a lot of life, just keep your eyes wide open and look beneath the surface. In terms of emotions, desert was one of the most powerful experiences in my life.

I am curious about your personal experience with this very special plant, or desert.

Love and hugs,

Ivana