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Aleksandra Bzdzikot

PAINTING & ILLUSTRATION

 

31.05.2018

How to find time to make art when you work full time

If you're holding down a full-time job or raising a family, the mere thought of making time for art seems like a luxury or a dream, that could never happen. Does it need to be like this? Can you somehow balance your day job with being an artist?

 

 

My answer is short: yes, you can! All in your life depends on you. In fact, if you look around, everybody's busy. 

The daily routine of most of us is: get up-go to work- go home-cook/clean/make sport/meet friends/spend time with your family-go to sleep. Repeat. 

Yes, it's not easy to cut some time off to do what you love. To make art. But it's not impossible. 

 

My philosophy is that waiting for a large chunk of time to make art is a disaster. You sit and wonder: "If I will have time next Tuesday after the gym, I will take 1 hour to make a drawing". I can tell you that it won't happen. "I have no time" is one of the biggest excuses for not taking the time to make art or something you like. 

 

How to overcome "I have no time" statement?

 

1. MAKE ART WHENEVER YOU TRAVEL

 

How often do you travel on business or go for holidays? Sometimes, we do it a lot. If I count  how many places I have visited from the beginning of this year it would amount to six. Six different trips. At least six days out of the ordinary routine.

 

Wherever you go on a business trip or for holidays take your art supplies and create there. Sometimes, a piece of paper with a pencil, rubber and ink pen is sufficient. 

Draw the landscape or the things you see for the first time.  Immerse in the full sensory experience. 

When I was in Paris last March I carried with me a small paper notebook and pencil. During sightseeing and strolling through Parisian streets I made some sketches. 

I must say it was really cold and I felt my fingers were going to freeze. Nevertheless, I made a 10-15 minutes sketch of "The Thinker" sculpture by August Rodin. 

 

 

 

Myth number 1: you don't need one hour or more to make art. You can spend 10-15 minutes to practise drawing. It's even faster when the weather conditions are more extreme ;)

 

 

Are you often relaxing on the beach, lying down on the blanket and doing nothing? Take up a pen and draw something! Make small sketches throughout the day. 

You don't need to search for a specific inspiration. Look around and draw what you see. Live sketching is always a perfect practise. You learn to:

 

a) transfer what you see on paper

b) work on spatial aspect of drawing and the perspective

 

2. MAKE ART DURING A COFFEE BREAK AT WORK 

 

We usually spend 8-9 hours per day at our work. It's a lot and it consumes the biggest part of our days. Quite often we feel tired going home with no power to focus on art and to make a drawing. Then, I have a perfect solution for you: draw during the coffee break. At least two times in a workday we make short 10-15 minutes breaks. 

The majority of people surf the internet. Why don't you do something more creative than looking at your computer screen and scrolling the news?

 

You don't need to have any special materials, as you can draw on a paper coffee cup or a piece of paper with a simple pen :-) 

 

 

Actually, I have made a small ritual out of drawing on the cup of my morning coffee. It's a great activity that unleashes your creativity before you move to your duties at the workplace :-)

 

 

 

What to do when you lack colorful paints or crayons at your workplace? Use your lipstick. Stay even more creative. 

 

 

 

3. INCORPORATE ART INTO YOUR SOCIAL ACTIVITIES

 

Make art during quality time spent with your kids, partner or friends. If you go to spend Saturnday at the lake, take your sketchbook with you. If you planned to stay in with your kids - show them how to make collages. Great fun and quality time guaranteed!

 

More?

 - Meet friends who have similar interests and draw together. 

 - While making shopping on a Saturday morning, stop at a nearby cafe, pull out your sketchbook and do some live sketching 

 - Sketch the food that you ordered in a restaurant. So often we just make a photo. What if you draw what you eat?

 

If you love to do art, for sure you will find the time to make it. Start with small chunks, 10-15 minutes cut out from your working day or a business trip.

Yes, you can do it! None of the above ideas is a rocket science.  All you need to do is to start and focus on the here and now. 

 

 

 

Hope you found this article inspiring. Do you have any tips on how to balance being an artist while working full time?

Tell us in the comments!

 

See you soon!

Aleksandra 

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23.05.2018

How to draw a face on example of Sophie Marceau

Are you sometimes wondering what makes a good portrait?

Would you like to learn how to draw faces at a slightly different angle than just faces looking forward? 

 

If yes, then I have good news for you. I have made for you a short tutorial on how you can effectively sketch a face at a 3/4 angle. 

I know that it sounds a bit difficult, but it is not. As soon as you acquaint yourself with the underlying structure of the face (proportions), you will be able to draw a nice portrait. 

 

So, let's start!

 

For my model I took a beautiful French actress - Sophie Marceau. For sure, some of you know her from James Bond movies.

I will start off by saying that drawing portraits is not a piece of cake, but with a bit of practise and knowledge about proportions, it then somehow becomes automatic. 

Quite often we see a portrait and we feel that something is off, that something is not correct. I'm not saying here about the variety of the shapes of noses or lips or even eyes. To avoid this 'off' feeling we need to acquant ourselves with proportions. 

 

STEP 1 

IT'S ALL ABOUT GOOD PROPORTIONS

 

Today we're going to take a look on how to draw a face at an angle, like below. First, we need to draw the head. Then we proceed with drawing 5 lines:

 

1. Hair line

2. Eyebrows line

3. Eyes line

4. Lips line 

5. Nose line (the only vertical line)

 

 

Placing simple shapes, like the lines and the circle will make it easier for drawing the more detailed elements of the face. 

 

 

When viewing a face at a 3/4 angle, we are able to see much more of one side of the face than the other. We can see one eye completely, but the second one is a bit hidden or is smaller and a bit further away from us. We see the full nose and lips. When drawing, you need to remember that you need to show believable facial elements. That's why the key here is proportion. 

 

STEP 2 

START PLACING DETAILED FACIAL ELEMENTS 

 

As soon as you have finished with your circle and basic lines you can proceed to drawing the face elements such as eyes, eyebrows, nose and lips.

My portrait of Sophie has also a hairline - I wanted to draw a fringe. Sometimes, you can leave the forehead clear of any lines. In case you prefer your model to be without a fringe.

 

 

Make sure you have an eraser with you and don't worry if the eyes are not perfect. Erase  them and start fresh. Only practise makes perfect :-)

If you are still not sure how to draw the facial elements, you can always give yourself a little help and google out some photos of the people. Then observe. Compare. Even print the photos out and draw on them the 5 lines .

 

Then, you should become more confident in drawing. 

 

 

STEP 3 

CREATE THE TONAL RANGE OF YOUR DRAWING

 

Time for shadowing! Now, you can play with your pencil, colored pencils or even paints. This is my favourite part. It's a bit like putting a make up on a woman's face.

Make sure you don't exaggerate with the shadowing. Do it delicately. Don't press the pencil too hard. For shadowing I recommend using B pencils and for drawing the 'face map' - HB pencils. In my drawing of Sophie Marceau I used blue ink, pencil, bronzing powder and crayons. 

 

You are free to use any materials you like. Just remember that acrylic or oil paint can be 'too harsh' for the drawing and the effect can be disbalanced. 

Your personal style is very important and don't just copy other artists. Be yourself. Have fun with drawing and smile!

 

 

I hope you enjoyed this short drawing tutorial.  Don't hesitate to ask me any questions and let me know how your drawing practice goes!

 

See you next time,

Aleksandra 

 

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08.05.2018

Weekend in Ticino. What to see and do?

Have you ever considered going for a weekend get-away to lovely Ticino in Switzerland?

 

Two weeks ago I decided to make a small trip to Ticino, which is the Italian-speaking area of Switzerland. For most of Swiss people, it's like little Italy, with palm trees, very warm temperatures, more relaxed atmosphere and a very good pizza :-) 

The most beautiful and fun part of my stay in Ticino were breathtaking views, just like the below one, taken while I was hiking. 

 

 

I'd like to share with you some of the hints, which might come in handy for you while planning a trip to visit spectacular Ticino.

 

1.  LOCARNO. WHERE TO STAY?

Here, you have many options depending on your budget.You can choose either Locarno or Ascona. I decided to go for Locarno and then make short travels to Ascona, which is only 15 minutes away by public transport.  

I would recommend you to stay out of an ordinary hotel and choose a place higher up on a mountain. This is what I did and I was very satisfied. I booked a cute Bed&Breakfast on the top of the Orselina mountain. It's worth to pay a little more to have a room with a view on Lago Maggiore. 

Orselina hill is quite a particular place to visit. Almost on its top there is a sanctuary called 'Madonna del Sasso'. It is one of the most religious and historical sites in Locarno.  The sanctuary is a place of worship as it is believed that the Virgin Mary appeared there in the XV century. I was passing by this sanctuary every day on my way to the B8B and back to town. 

 

It is pearched on a rock (that's why it's called 'Madonna del Sasso, sasso = rock) with fantastic views over the lake and snowy peaks of the mountains. 

 

 

 

I recommend to visit the sanctuary either in the morning (to catch the sunrise there) or in the evening (to memorize the sunset). During the day, there are many tourists there, especially on a warm day.

 

I just told you that it's nice to book a place on top of the hill. But the inevitable question is: how to get there? How to come up and down the mountain?

This may seem as the tricky part, especially if you don't want to do some sport on your holidays ;-)  No worries. there's a small train, which goes up the mountain and it runs every 15-20 minutes. It's called 'Funicolare Orselina'. 6 minutes ride take you up the hill. Be ready to take out your camera to shoot some scenic photos of the panorama. 

I have to say I walked down the mountain and it was lovely. The path down begins behind the sanctuary and is quite easy. It takes around 15-20 minutes to walk down to the center of Locarno. To walk up - frankly, I haven't tried that. Maybe if I hadn't eaten a delicious plate of l'ossobuco, I would have tried. 

 

My beautiful old-style room with a big balcony and the view:

 

 

 

2. WHAT TO DO?

 

This depends on what you like doing. Each of us is different. Maybe you prefer to sit and relax or walk a lot and explore. And that's perfect - to be yourself. 

Whenever I'm travelling, I don't do a strict list of places to visit. I don't make a perfect plan, with shcedule for exact hours when to sleep, when to eat and where to go. Naturally, I google out what's interesting there and I simply make a choice.

Travelling for me is a journey. the time to be not only with myself but also to marvel at the beauty of the outside world. 

 

a) Sit and enjoy the view 

 

As simple as that. Pick a bench in the park overlooking the lake or sit at your balcony up on a hill. Life is about savouring the moments. The moments which usually escape our every day attention. 

 

 

 

 

b) Explore the neighbourhood

 

As I was staying in Locarno I paid a visit to Ascona. It's diverse and it has its own atmosphere. The town is located at a cute bay by the like, overlooking the mountains. 

It's wonderful to sit there and sip a coffee or a cocktail. There's a nice promenade with countless cafes and restaurants. Up on the hill private mansions and villas overlook the area. Sometimes I felt like on a movie set, with the boats, yachts, splendid weather and good-looking people. 

The Italian part of Switzerland is a great opportunity to practise your Italian. Though I must admit, that there were many Swiss coming from the German-speaking part there and actually, I had to switch between my Italian and German. 

 

 

 

c) Go for a hike 

 

This was my favourite part of  the trip! I like hiking very much and I discovered hiking during my stay in Switzerland. It's a good mix between sport, meditation in the nature and catching scenic beauty of the world. Such a great activity for an artist.

The hike I went on was from Ascona to Ronco sopra Ascona. It's about 5 km one way and it took me 1:45 h to get to Ronco. The hike is pleasurable - you climb so close to the lake. Wonderful views are never-ending. Make sure to take some fruits or sandwiches and a big bottle of water with you. 

 

One hint: as you get to Ronco note that in case you don't want to go back on foot to Ascona, the bus runs every one or two hours on the weekends. I was very lucky to have my bus shortly after I reached and explored Ronco. 

 

 

 

Switzerland is beautiful and I feel grateful that I am living here. There's always something new to discover. What will warm you up during harsh winter nights is the memories of places you visited, of people you met, of time you enjoyed...

While in Ticino I was able to finish my book. Yes. I kept this in secret for three years. I have written a book and it's coming out soon. I am so excited! You will have the chance to read more about life in Switzerland and in Poland, as the stories in my book are based in two cities - Warsaw and Zurich.

 

The book will be soon available to buy in my online shop (English language version) and through my publishing house (Polish language version) :-)

 

 

Hope you enjoyed reading my post about Ticino and let me know if you liked it!

 

See you soon,

Aleksandra 

 

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02.05.2018

5 Ways for artists to successfully market their skills

How to take your art to the next level?

So, you've been creating art and now you'd like to share it with the public and see the feedback. Rock the world. This is the dream of every artist.

But before rocking the world you need to make sure your art is seen by others. 

 

Here are 5 ways that can help you take your art to the next level.

 

 

 

1. BE ORIGINAL

This can sound like a cliche, as you assume that every artist is original. I understand the need to copy the great masters at an early stage before you develop your own style, but remember to be yourself and always add a personal touch to your creations. 

Even if your version of  van Gogh's "Sunflowers" is different to the original, do not worry. That's what art is all about. The difference. Your personality transferred onto your artworks. 

Think about how you can differentiate yourself in the world full of artists like you. What can be special about your art? Maybe making unique portraits, developing a new technique for landscapes  or painting with your fingers?

 

 

2. TAKE IT TO SOCIAL MEDIA 

For sure you are on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram. Is your art there, too?

If you want your art to be seen use the social media, which are avalable for free. Set up your 'Fan Page' on Facebook or 'Art Business Profile" on Instagram.

 

Why it's better to have separate pages than your own personal profile? 

As a business page on Facebook and Instagram you will be able to know how people react on your posts, as all the insight calculations, visits and reads of your posts will be available to you. 

 

 

My advice regarding instagram: use less popular hashtags. You will increase the chances of being seen, especially by people who will search visual material connected with a given hastag. 

Example: hastag 'art' currently has 359'625'286 posts. If you try 'pencil drawing' you have 5'536'506 posts.

The more you narrow your art to some category, the better for you. 

 

My advice regarding facebook: schedule your posts. If you have a Fb Fan Page it is relatively easy to schedule your posts, which means that they will appear on the wall at a given time and date. It's very convenient, as you can cut out some time to do all your planned Fb posts once a week. You just click 'schedule' and each post will be added with the frequency you're chosen, for example, once a day. 

 

With social media it's essential to hit the 'share' button regularly. If your page becomes dormant or if you won't post for a longer time, your fans can stop following your page or 'unlike it'. Be regular to get more likes and more interaction from your fans as well as other artists. 

 

3. START A BLOG

Think what you could write about. Link your blog to your art website. Every artist is a story-teller and I bet you have something interesting to say. 

People love when you share with them your personal interests or you show them how you make your art. Your public is humans not robots, and for sure they'd like to know what stuff aside from your art, you're making. Don't forget to share some personal sneak-peaks, it can be your travels to get more inspiration, your every day painting routine or the fabulous course you have attended. 

 

 

 

4. CREATE YOU OWN YouTube CHANNEL

Be it a vlog or YouTube channel, in this way you spread your possibilities even further. If the art you make is music - have it on your channel! Share your talent with others. YouTube provides you with more views, even random ones, and the possibility to be discovered as another 'star' :-)

I love talking about the greatest artworks in the art history and out of this passion I created my YT channel "Let's talk ART". I give short speeches about artworks. Usually about the unspoken mysteries that are hidden inside. It's so fascinating. I'd say it's a bit like being a psychologist and getting into somebody else's shoes (biography) to feel the drives that a painter had to create his or her artworks.

 

 

5. APPLY TO BE INCLUDED IN ART BOOKS 

This method may seem a little old-fashioned, but still works. Apply to be included in international art books, which are published worldwide every year. 

Such art books are usually in the form of elegant, hard-cover coffee table books and are distributed to art galleries around the world. 

 

I have been published in two art books published by a leading art published World Wide Art Books, seated in Santa Barbara, US. This year (2018) I had yet another publication curated by Michael Ezra, seated in New York. 

 

 

I hope my hints were of help to you. Let me finish this short article with a quote by George Bernard Shaw:

 

"IMAGINATION IS THE BEGINNING OF CREATION. YOU IMAGINE WHAT YOU WISH FOR, YOU WANT WHAT YOU HAVE WISHED FOR AND IN THE END YOU CREATE WHAT YOU WISH FOR".

 

See you soon!

Aleksandra 

 

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23.04.2018

Salvador Dali, Freud and dreams

Salvador Dali was an eccentric painter of the surreal, who liked to shock and astonish the public. Lately, I had a chance to see one of his paintings live in Madrid, in Museo Thyssen-Bornemisza. The Museum houses one of his paintings, the meaning of which is not so easy to decipher. The title of this artwork is as long as the morning queue to get a coffee from John Baker's at Zurich Stadelhofen: "Dream caused by the flight of a bee around a pomegranate about a second before waking up". 

 

I took this as a great opportunity to share with you some thoughts on where from did he get his inspiration to produce such bizzare paintings. 

 

 

1. SALVADOR DALI'S BIZZARE LIFESTYLE 

One of the explanations for his non-standard lifestyle and the philosophy of dreams that he later followed, may lie with his peculiar childhood. Before he was born, his mother gave birth to his elder brother, who, interestingly enough, was named 'Salvador Dali'. This first Salvador died at just 22 months old, not living even a full year of life.  Exactly nine months later his mother gave birth to our Salvador (second). Since he resembled his dead brother and was born exactly 9 months after his death, his parents believed that he was the reincarnation of his dead brother. 

How fascinating it can be! There are many similar cases, where people were reborn to their families, for example, a mother of a daughter, who died in a car crash, was later reborn as her own daughter's daughter. Anyways, getting back to our Salvador's childhood. When he was 5 his parents took him to the grave of his dead younger brother and told him that he is his reincarnation. Can you imagine what effect telling a young boy, that he actually is his brother incarnated, may have on his psyche?

 

This might have influenced Dali's vision of himself and the world and make him keen to explore the world of dreams and the mysterious side of life.

 

2. WHAT IS A DREAM?

Some say that dreams are portals into other worlds or dimensions. Sigismund Freud developed a theory, in which he claimed that dreams play an indispensable and important role in shaping our soul and psyche. A dream is an imagery language of our mind, the way to discover the unconscious. 

I believe that when we dream, our soul goes out for a walk :-) Quite often it discovers and learns things that we somehow push to the nookes and crannies of our mind during the daylight. Sometimes, the dreams can show you something you don't want to look at or you are afraid of. I very much believe that dreams can tell you many things, if only you are open enough to believe them.

 

 

3. SALVADOR'S DREAMING TECHNIQUE 

 

Salvador Dali invented his own method to unlock his dreamig potential. You might say that things he portrayed are so bizzare, surreal and odd that he must have drugged himself to be able to create such visions. Well, this was not quite his case.

What he did was he would put a tin plate on the floor and then sit by a chair beside it, holding a spoon over the plate. He would then relax his body and mind, and even begin to fall asleep. Especially after lunch time ;-) The moment that he began to doze, the spoon would slip from his hand and clang on the plate waking him up and allowing him to capture the surreal images of his dreams. The only challenge here was to remember what he dreamt about. 

 

Dali was fascinated with the images that occur at the boundary between sleeping and waking. They can occur when you fall asleep or when you wake up.

 

Usually, we don't remember our dreams.  How to change it? 

I advise you to keep a notebook and a pen on your bed table. As soon as you wake up, try remembering your dreams and write them down. It's a great method to explore the unknown of your subconscious. 

As you become more practised in it, you might even experience lucid dreaming. In lucid dreams you know that you are in a dream and you can do everything you want. Fly like a bird, fly to the moon or high up to the sun. It's like being live in a video game, where you're a superhero. There are no limits, and in this kind of dream thanks to your will you can explore the universe in a way you haven't done it before. 

 

4. INTERPRETATION OF HIS PAINTING "DREAM CAUSED BY THE FLIGHT OF A BEE..."

 

Can you interpret the surreal dream visions of anyone else except yours? Well, this is a tough question with no good answer. 

On this painting we see a naked woman who is lying on a rock, asleep. Out of a pomegranate floating in the air we see the fish coming, and then the two tigers and a bayonet. They all can symbolise the moment just before waking up the woman. Note that the tigers are striped in yellow and black, just like the small bee at the painting. 

If you take a look at the smaller pomegranate, located just beneath the woman, it casts a shadow in the form of a heart. Such a small detail. It is so interesting to interpret and uncover what the painter wanted to say by his painting. 

 

 

Dare to watch the paintings with your own eyes and make your own interpretations. Sometimes, it can be a never-ending journey to discover things, which will change your life or your mode of perception. 

Lately, I have published a new video with my interpretation of the great masterpiece "The Last Supper" by Leonardo da Vinci.

Click the link below to check it out. Your comments or questions are always very welcome. 

 

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JTPI3l4R254

 

Aleksandra

 

 

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17.04.2018

Spring changes. How to motivate yourself?

Motivation is like the wind - it is elusive. Everybody knows that it exists, though no one has seen it. 

When the spring comes I feel motivated to pursue my goals and to change something, that hasn't been working out for a while. I think that each one of us should not only freshen up our wardrobes and clean our apartments but also clean our minds and let fresh spring air inside

 

 

Let's say you have a great idea. Maybe you want to start your own business, maybe do more sport and lose some kgs or maybe start with yoga or meditation.

You have so much energy and you are inspired to act. You sit in front of your computer and search for a yoga course in your city. After 15 minutes you start to check your facebook, instagram and whatsapp messages (BTW: I feel so great living without whatsapp!). Then, you feel your belly calling and you need to make yourself something to eat. After having eaten well, you relax 15 minutes with the cell in your hand and then you clean the kitchen mess.

Suddenly, you remember that you started searching for a yoga course in your city and you still haven't finished the search. You sit again and you notice it's 22:00. Sounds familiar? 

 

This is called procrastination. You pretend you're doing something important for you, but at the same time you do many other activites (cooking, cleaning, messaging friends etc). Let's face it. We live in the world of distractions. But the key element of your motivation success is focus

 

So, how to motivate yourself effectively? In these 4 simple steps I decided to share with you my top 4 methods with which I motivate myself every day. 

 

 

Method No. 1 - TAKE TIME FOR YOURSELF

 

Hmmm... yes, I can see the frowns on your faces. Rest instead of acting and pursuing my goals? Exactly. A good rest is the key for taking further action. If you are constantly tired of your work, your life in general, then your mind does not rest either. Imagine a porsche in which no one changed the oil before. Does it drive to its full power? I guess not. The same is with your body and brain. They need to relax. 

Even if you're a super busy human find half an hour every day to cherish the moment. To laugh, to smile - even to yourself. To meditate. To take some sun during a lunchbreak. To make yourself a wonderul bath. Or just watch the view before your eyes.

This beautiful photo below I made when I was at the Geneva lake - the water was so crystal clear and freezing at the same time!

 

 

No matter how busy I am I always find a moment for relaxation. Otherwise, I would stress myself to a level in which I would not hear myself anymore. And that's how we proceed to my next method. 

 

Method No. 2 - HEAR YOURSELF

 

Hearing yourself is essential if you want to motivate yourself and take action to realize your dreams and your goals. When you are relaxed, it's easier for you to dream and think about your plans for this life. 

 

Take a notebook and a pen and write 5 goals you want to accomplish this year. Set your goals high. Remember than everything is possible if only your heart wants it. 

Important: don't listen to opinions of others. Some will say that 'you cannot do it', you're not fit/brave/intelligent enough to do it, etc.

Cut such conversations. Don't let yourself be discouraged by others. 

 

If you're a beginning artist or a musician you need to have a mental stamina not to give in to opinions of others. Be yourself, do your stuff, train yourself in drawing or playing the guitar. The progress - you got it. Practice makes perfect. Remember to set yourself goals with deadlines.

 

Example:"I know how to draw well buildings and city architecture until 30.07.2018".

With starting date from today (17.04.2018) you have more than 3 months to pursue this goal. You can buy some books on drawing, take up a course or make a small drawing every day. Act. Rest. Repeat. 

 

 

Method No.3 - CREATE THE MAP OF YOUR DREAMS 

 

I usually create such a map in the beginning of every year. Though the begining, in fact, can happen in every moment of your life :-)

The map of your dreams is a piece of paper, divided into different sectors with your dreams on it. Drawn or stickered. Such a visionboard is a powerful motivational tool that will tune your brain into thinking about your dreams and the way to make them happen.

 

I promised myself that in 2018 every month I will go to one place that I have never been before. I always wanted to travel a lot, because I love it and I learn so much seeing other places and experiencing life out of the ordinary routine. Frankly, I believe that if you have a goal and you want to pursue it, you will find a way.

 

"I don't have money" or "I don't have time" are two excuses, which are used most of all. Cross them out from your vocabulary. Make money and make time for what you want. Instead of buying another dress or pair of shoes invest this amount in your next trip. Make time to feel pleasure from satisfaction of your goals. Take a day off or two. The world will not collapse. 

 

 

 

Method No 4 - BE INSPIRED BY OTHERS 

 

How many times you screamed "Wow! I wanna be like him/her!". Inspiration is always motivating. But the most important thing is that after inspiration and motivation comes action.

So, if you want to have a fit body like Ewa Chodakowska and currently you are not able to run for more than 1o minutes, set yourself a realistic goal and begin from small steps. It can be a 20 - minute walk every day. Get off four tram stops earlier and walk to your workplace or hop on a bike. 

 

Only by taking action you make your dreams happen.

Let's begin! Put on comfy shoes and make the first step. I trust in your success.

 


WORKSHOPS COMING UP 

This Wednesday at 18:30 I will lead workshops on how to make the map of your dreams and will share with you some extra techniques to program your subconscious towards achieving your goals. More details on my website. If you'd like to participate please send me an email: bzdzikotaleksandra@gmail.com

 

 

"LIFE IS LIKE A BLANK CANVAS: YOU CAN CARRY IT AND DIE UNDER ITS WEIGHT, BUT WHAT'S THE SENSE OF IT? PAINT SOMETHING ON IT!'

OSHO 

 

If you know good motivational methods please share them with us in the commentaries.

See you next time,

Aleksandra

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02.04.2018

Musee Rodin in Paris better than the Louvre?

I received many warm e-mails from you asking more details about my recent stay in Paris and the museums I visited. For most of us, including myself, it's difficult to squeeze our wish-list of things to see, especially when we have only two or three days in Paris.

During my last stay in Paris I was there for the weekend, so actually I had three days (Friday afternoon, Saturday and Sunday) to enjoy Paris and its art treasures.

 

I think if you're going to Paris for three days you cannot see it all, naturally, but the Musee Rodin should fit your agenda.

Why?

 

 

The museum is simply beautiful! It is nestled on a calm street and located in a former private residence known as Hotel Biron. It is a true gem of classical architecture embellished with woodworks and rocaille decoration elements in some of the spaces.  The exhibition rooms are very elegant and their simplicity matches well the power and emotions of Rodin's sculptures.

 

 

Auguste Rodin was born in Paris, and he created his sculptures here. The most important and well-known is the philosophical sculpture of "The Thinker", sitting on a stone with his head resting on a hand, pondering about the nature of things.

This sculpture is located in the garden of sculptures - make sure not to miss it! This park has a very romantic atmosphere and strolling there makes you feel relaxed, especially after spending some time on Parisian bustling streets.

 

 

When I was there, exactly one month ago, the weather was pretty cold and rainy. Nevertheless, I decided to do a quick sketch, before my hands froze and my phone went black because of frosty temperatures :-)

"The Thinker", originally is a part of a greater sculpture called "The gates of hell", inspired by Dante Alighieri. You can see it in the garden of scupltures, it is so big that you cannot miss it.

 

 

 

It so amazing to come closer to the "Gates of hell" and see all the details carved out, filled with emotions and at the same time they are physical like us, human beings. The muscles, the body parts are sculpted like in times of Michelangelo, from whom Rodin took inspiration.

Quite interestingly, Auguste Rodin was rejected three times by the Ecole des Beaux-Arts. Though the art specialists and professors didn't admit him to this prestigious art school, he still made his way and became a successful sculptor.

He is another great example of how hard work and persistence, mixed with passion pays off. Sooner or later. I hope you can also find a great motivation out of his story.

 

 

Is Musee Rodin better than the Louvre?

Both museums are great, but they are also very different.

 

If you have a enough time 'to kill' in Paris, then go for both museums. If your time is really limited, then I advise you to skip the Louvre and go to see the Musee Rodin.

The Louvre takes about 3-4 hours at least and can be very tiring with thousands of tourists flocking to see the greatest pieces, whereas Musee Rodin you can visit in 1,5 hours, including having a lovely walk in the park. It is far more relaxing and quieter than the Louvre.

 

 

The second well-known sculpture of Rodin is "The Kiss". Just like in case of "The Thinker", "The Kiss" was also inspired by the "Divine comedy" of Dante.

It represents the doomed lovers from Dante's inferno. Dante meets the lovers Paolo and Francesca in his travels around hell. They had been murdered by Francesca's husband after he discovered the lovers together. The sculpture sees them at the moment of their great passion.

I loved how Rodin was able to evoke so many emotions through his scultpres. Their dimensions, especially when we see "The Kiss" are human-like. You can feel like you're witnessing a romance, a love affair at a theatre.

 

 

Rodin drew inspiration for his scultpures from ancient Greek art. Some of you might wonder, but how he came to such perfection?

Well, he trained a lot and he even collected some pieces from ancient sculptures. In this museum there are one or two rooms where you can see his collections of ancient pieces, like torsos, hands, or feet. They are attached to the walls.

Thanks to studying them from close, he was able to learn the craft and master his talent, which took him high up in the panteon of the greatest sculptors of all times.

 

 

Hope you found this article inspiring.

Thank for stopping by!

 

Aleksandra

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28.03.2018

Easy DIY Easter eggs decoration

Are you also counting the time until Easter holidays? For some of you this will be a busy period, filled with preparations, cooking food and baking pies, waiting for the whole family to gather. For the others - relaxation time at a beach in a warm, far-away country. 

Regardless of how you spend your Easter I'm sure you enjoy this time and I have one more recipe for you to enjoy it even more.

 

Today I'll give you a short tutorial on how to make two easy "DO-IT-YOURSELF" Easter eggs decorations.

The first design is called 'smileys' and it is very easy to make. They look very cute and differentiate themselves among standard eggs. So, let's start!

 

 

 

1) OPTION: A SMILEY EASTER EGG

 

You will need:

 - as many hard-boiled eggs as you wish

- a pencil

- a waterproof black marker or pen 

- scissors

- some green elements like flowers, plants or catkins

- a small piece of wire 

 

 

STEP 1 

Prepare all the materials on your working table. Take a pencil and draw eyes, eyelashes, freckles and a smile.

I usually first do it with a pencil because later you can always adjust it or erase an eventual mistake you make. 

 

 

 

STEP 2

Cover the pencil by drawing the facial features of your smiley egg with a black, thin marker. The one I use is from Stabilo.

That's all you have to do in terms of drawing. Seems easy, isn't it?

You don't need to be a Picasso to draw a smiley :-)

 

STEP 3

Cut the wire in small pieces. Before you do it, just measure it on egg, so that it will be like a wreath on egg's 'head'. 

Then, tie up the endings of the wire to form a circle.

 

 

STEP 4

Braid in the wire small pieces of a green plant or catkins. You can also put the eggs on some green leaves, so that the spring flavour spreads around. Voila! Your smiley Easter egg is ready now. 

 

 

 

2) OPTION: EASTER EGG IN PASTEL COLORS

 

You will need:

- hard boiled eggs, as many as you wish 

- acrylic paints - two or three bright colors 

- paint brushes

- plastic foil 

- water

- some old newspapers to cover your working table 

 

 

 

STEP 1

Prepare all the materials on your working table. Don't forget to cover your table with old newspapers, as it might get dirty with the paints. 

Then, pour a small amount of one acrylic color, for example yellow, on a palette. 

 

STEP 2

Paint the egg in yellow with a brush, but don't do it thoroughly. Just some quick brush movements. Then add some blue color on one side, but very little. 

 

 

STEP 3

Now comes the fun part. Take the plastic foil and rub it on the egg. Be careful not do it too strongly as the eggshells can break. We don't want that, do we? :-)

Usually, I put the whole egg in the foil and then rub it. 

The colors you will get will be dispersed and the egg will look like an abstract painting. 

 

 

The point is not to spend too much time painting the egg. We don't paint intricate designs or details. All you need to do is to rub the egg with paint with the help of the plastic foil. No Van Gogh's painting skills are required here :-)

 

Your pastel Easter egg is ready now. 

You can use any colors you like, but I suggest you use bright spring colors like pink, blue and yellow-green. 

 

As an additional decoration I put some rose petals and heads of fresh roses to the basket. The Easter eggs look so artful now!

 

 

I'm very happy with the result achieved - both with smiley eggs as well as the pastel ones. 

Hope you are inspired to decorate your eggs creatively this Easter!

 

Feel free to drop me a line how it goes with decorating your eggs.

Happy Easter!

 

Love,

Aleksandra 

 

 

 

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23.03.2018

The Louvre off the beaten track - what to see beside the Mona Lisa?

Every day thousands of tourists  travel to Paris to see Mona Lisa at the Louvre among many other works of art.

In the beginning of March I made myself a birthday present and went to Paris for the weekend. Purpose? Art, naturally.

 

This was my first time at the Louvre and I knew that I needed a plan to organise the sightseeing and to know what artworks I want to see there.

The Louvre occupies three wings of a former royal palace. If you stretch out these wings into a straight line, the Louvre would run a whopping 14 kilometres!

It is so big. 80% of the visitors just come to take a photo of the Mona Lisa and then leave. But there is so much more to see.

 

 

 

If you don't want to wander aimlessly throught the maize of galleries at the Louvre you need a good plan. Frankly speaking, I didn't expect the Louvre to be so huge. I knew it's big but its dimensions and the number of artworks went far beyond my expectations. What do you need to know before visiting the Louvre? Let me share with you five practical tips that I checked on myself.

 

1. PRACTICAL TIPS

 

1. Buy a ticket in advance  - you can do it online and this will save you long waiting in a line to enter the museum.

2. Try to avoid going there on Saturdays and Sundays. On the weekend there is a biggest number of people and tourists visiting the museum. I went there on a Friday evening, from 6 pm until 9 pm. Still, there were crowds, but I believe not so big as on a Saturday.

3. Have a decent meal and a good coffee before :-) Be prepared to spend there at least 3 hours, which actually, pass by very quickly.

4. Put on comfy shoes. Forget about high heels. Walking around for at least three hours is quite a challenge, so better be comfortable.

5. As soon as you enter the museum take a map with the plan of the floors - it will make strolling around the museum much easier, as you will more or less know where are the artworks that you want to see.

 

 

2. WHAT TO SEE BESIDE THE MONA LISA?

 

The Louvre houses much more than just the Mona Lisa. When I was making my plans for Paris I knew that while visiting this museum I would go either for seeing the Mona Lisa or for seeing artworks from my 'bucket list'. I chose option number two. Yes, I know that for some of you being in the Louvre and not seeing the Mona Lisa by Leonardo is something odd and extraordinary. This was definitely not my last time in Paris, so I could say that I saved the Mona Lisa for later.

 

In the museum not only you can see paintings, but also vast selection of ancient sculptures and the decor of the royal chambers.

What was my selection for this memorable visit?

 

If you love and appreciate paintings you are in paradise. I decided to focus on a couple of paintings from my bucket list. They are less known than the usual masterpieces of the Louvre advertised on the internet and the articles on "Top 10 paintings you need to see at the Louvre".

So, here we go:

 

1. JOHANNES VERMEER VAN DELFT

 

 

Johannes Vermeer van Delft "The lacemaker"

 

Johannes Vermeer van Delft is the author of such artworks as "The girl with a pearl earring", "The astronomer" or the above "Lacemaker".

This artwork dates back to 1670 and portrayes a young lacemaker, peacefully focused on her work. The delicacy and intimacy of this painting is breathtaking. However, I was surprised to see that this painting is so small.

 

2. JEAN COUSIN LE PERE

 

Jean Cousin le Pere "Eva Prima Pandora"

 

This painting likens Eve, who, according to the Bible commited original sin, which is suggested by an apple branch on her right hand, to Pandora. Jean Cousin le Pere portrays Eve as the first Pandora, who according to the Greek mythology was a curious woman and opened the vase belonging to the Titan Epimetheus, thereby releasing evil into the world. I love the way Eve was portrayed at rest, with natural curves of the body and delicate features of the face. An interesting point to this painting is the landscape of a city in the background.

 

3. HIERONYMUS BOSCH

 

Hieronymus Bosch "The ship of fools"

 

This oil on panel dated at 1505-1510 is one of the most famous paintings of Hieronymus Bosch. I very much wanted to see Bosch in Madrid at Museo del Prado, but the long queue, lack of time and freezing weather prevented me from seeing his "Garden of earthly delights".

"The ship of fools" is a satire on human society. A motley crew surrenders to drunkenness and gluttony as their boat drifts.  I think Bosch was one of the first to portray a puking guy, which is visible to the right of the painting :-)

 

 

4. QUENTIN METSYS

 

Another unique painting  - "The moneylender and his wife" by Quentin Metsys. This painting shows the double portrait of a jeweller weighing gold and his wife, distracted from her pious reading and looking toward him. This is a genre scene as well as an allegory of the vanity of all earthy possessions. As the saying goes: "Vanitas vanitatum et omnia vanitas".

 

 

An interesting fact - this Flemish painting was once owned by Rubens. What's even more interesting is the mirror at the bottom of the painting. The trick with putting a mirror with a reflection of a person in it serves as a new, additional opening, a new layer to the painting. The mirror uncovers a new world, which is behind the frames of the painting. This trick you can also find in a famous painting "The Arnolfini portrait" by Jan Van Eyck.

 

 

5. SALOMONE DE BRAY

 

The last painting on my bucket list was "The young woman combing her hair" by a Dutch painter Salomone de Bray. When I saw this lovely painting I was struck by the pose and the details of the hair. the light on the paintings makes this scene intimate and brings forth the beauty of a naked blonde woman. This painting is very similar in terms of the play of light and shadow to paintings of Rembrandt.

I found this piece unique and simply beautiful.

 

 

 

My first time at the Louvre was amazing, but also a bit tiring. My brain and my soul have seen so much beauty and inspiration there. I will definitely go again to see another portion of such splendid works, including the Mona Lisa, of course.

Paris is a breathtaking city with rich cultural options. Go there not only to try a freshly baked croissant but also to take a look and marvel at the artworks at the Louvre.

 

I hope you found this article stimulating.

Thanks for stopping by and do not hesitate to post a comment.

 

Aleksandra

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