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Aleksandra Bzdzikot

PAINTING & ILLUSTRATION

 

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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08.03.2018

Reflections on being a woman on a Women's Day

The 8th of March has arrived and it inspired me to ponder a while about what it means to be a woman.

Who is a woman?  What she needs to be happy? Does she need to be beautiful and intelligent to attract men? 

 

The beginning of March reminds me about the spring time coming, birds chirping, flowers blooming and women blooming as well :-) 

The International Women's Day, for me, is a celebration of being a woman. The appreciation of the feminine part of the human spirit. The time to stop and think a bit what women give to this world. And they give something truly wonderful. Beauty, love, life, inspiration, smile, emotional excitement and an oasis to rest. 

 

Woman is happy when she allows herself to be a woman.

 

 

1. WHO ARE WE, WOMEN?

 

We are delicate, light beings, smiling, beautiful in our bodies and minds. Emotional, tranquil and harmonious. Full of passions, dreams and ability to give and take love. 

Women are different creations than men. Not only physically, but also energetically. 

 

In contemporary world we hear so much about feminism, fighting for our rights, being equal at work and earning as much money as men. Before you define youself as a 'femininst', let me take you on a short trip into history and human psychology.

In ancient times or even in the pre-history men were the ones who were going to 'work'. They were leaving their houses or chalets to go out in the world, hunt a mammoth, sometimes even face death and danger outside. Then, they were bringing the mammoth to their women, who were preparing skin rugs, clothes and warm food. Women were the ones who were creating the internal world - home. Bringing up children, taking care about the house and supporting men. Exchanging sex for food. For the mammoth. Literally. This way, both men and women kept balance between their roles and energies. They were like yin and yang. 

 

Yin - softness, tranquility, delicacy, feeling home, at rest, moon - female energy 

Yang - action, way, strength, activity, doing something, pursuit in the external world  - male energy 

 

Is it still like in those times? Unfortunately not. Yes, I say unfortunately, because nowadays women work a lot, make a career, behave like men and simly forget that they are women... How sad is that. 

I know women, who work hard, make a career, are beautiful and have successful relationships with children. Are all of them happy? No. Why?

Because in the fervour of everyday existence they forgot who they really were. Managing the deadlines, working 100%  and bringing up children makes them tired. They don't feel beautiful and delicate anymore. They took the part of the masculine energy onto themselves. Working hard, no rest and enjoyment, no time to cherish  life and awe about a butterfly crossing their path on a sunny day.

 

Simply ask yourself a question: when was the last time you took time off for yourself and enjoyed it? 

 

 


2. WHAT MAKES YOU HAPPY AS A WOMAN?

 

When you are young, they tell you: go to school, be a good girl, try hard, work more. Do this and that. 

Of course, I understand that every woman has some dreams and plans to realize. But we haven't been taught how to be a woman. How to make use of our femininity. How to be a woman that attracts real men, and not mama's-boys. 

 

 

Have you thought how pleasurable it is when you are a woman and a man opens doors for you, gives you flowers or gives you his hand while crossing the street?

Some would say that this depends if the man was brought up to be a gentleman. Yes, this can be an explanation. But I also have my own theory.

 

A woman who feels and behaves like a woman is in balance with her female energy. In this way she feels happy about the fact that she is a woman. When she allows herself to be a woman. To live in female energies. To unleash her vulnerability, delicacy, warm heart and fabulous smile.  Not rushing from work to home, thinking about a thousand things she needs to do before midnight.

 

We were born to be happy dear women. To experience emotions, to feel the universe, to give inspiration and beauty to this world. In exchange, men give us what they were created for: to bring material goods and provide strength and support. 

 

 

 

3. DO YOU NEED TO BE BEAUTIFUL (good looks) AND INTELLIGENT ( a high-paying job) TO ATTRACT MEN?

 

Tell me, how often have you seen on the street an amazing man with a mediocre woman? With a woman who looks far worse than you, even if you're far from a top model?  What's the secret you may ask. The secret lies in your behaviour, in your feminine energy.

 

Imagine you're a man searching for a woman. Would you rather go for woman who earns more than you, is bossy and rules in the relationship, or rather for a woman who does not earn much, but is able to give you so much beauty arising out of her emotions and delicacy?

All you need to have is a correct balance of your feminine energy. This is not easy in today's world of women who put on the trousers and carry out masculine roles in the society.

 

 

Woman's energy is passive, man's energy is active. 

 

Here are a couple of things you can do to take more feminine energy into yourself:

- rest in nature, walk in the forest, sit in the park

- learn to take rest and do nothing

- breathe through your belly 

- eat healthy, green foods

- take pleasure from seeing something new: an art gallery exhibition, a trip to Paris, a new dress

- be happy about being a woman

- laugh a lot :-)

 

 

 

Not only the 8th of March is your day as a woman. Every day is a good occassion to celebrate your femininity.

 

With best wishes to all of you, women

Aleksandra 

 

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26.02.2018

Sketching Monica Bellucci

Monica Bellucci - a dream woman for many. Both men and women are inspired by her amazing and ageless feminine looks. 

Last month I organized art workshops on how to sketch Monica.  She was a perfect model to teach the basics of face sketching. Taking the occassion we also had an interesting chat with the participants on what beauty means to them. 

I bet many of us, women, seeing Monica Bellucci, think that we are never going to look so ravishing as she does. The thing is that we do not need to look like Monica Bellucci. We need to look like ourselves and feel great about the way we are. And we are always amazing!

 

Monica Bellucci once said: "I don't feel the need to prove myself to others, but to prove myself to myself". I totally agree with this statement. Don't try to please others or prove something to them, because you'll always fail. People prefer to be inspired by someone rather than convinced by their golden thoughts pouring out of their mouth. Prove yourself only to yourself. Be happy about the way you are, aappreciate and love your current beauty. 

 

 

 Getting back to sketching. To make a similar portrait of Monica Bellucci you might need the following materials:

 

 - paper, size A4,

 - pencils, B and HB

 - mascara Dior Addict 

 - brown and black crayons

 - orange and red acrylic colors

 - delicate lipstick, the one that you have at hand 

 

 

 

As you can see, the sketch is very basic. Most importantly, the proportions of the face are good and the symmetry is preserved. 

After you have made your basic sketch there comes the time to give it more flavour and sharpness. This you can achieve with pencil and crayons. The shadowing will depend on the strength of your pencil touching the paper. For a more delicate result don't press it too hard. 

I usually color the lips with a real lipstick. It gives a natural touch and glow. You don't need to buy a separate lipstick for your drawings. You can use the one you have at hand. If you are a man, just borrow the lipstick from your wife or girlfriend :-) 

I put some eye shadows or rub the very same lipstick on the eyes of Monica. The same goes for counturing the face. 

 

The last stage is paining the dress. I decided to use bright and juicy colors that match the blackness of the hair. Red and orange make her stand out and catch the attention of the viewer. 

 

 

 

This was one of my 'model' photos for my drawing:

 

 

Here are some snaphots from the latest workshops in Zurich.

It was so inspiring to see that every woman holds a different type of beauty that she reflected on her drawing. Just take a look:

 

 

 

 

Next month there will be a chance to participate in another art workshops. 

I hope the teaser from Monica Bellucci workshops inspired you to create something beautiful by reflecting the special inner beauty you have.

 

Fyodor Dostoyevski once said that "Beauty will save the world". You can interpret this in many ways, but for me, beauty has always been associated with women. 

Women are here to bring beauty to this world. Have you ever awed about a naked man more than a naked woman? I guess not. 

 

Wishing you a lovely start of the new week,

Aleksandra 

 

 

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20.02.2018

Leonardo da Vinci and the force of the masculine power

"Learning never exhausts the mind" - these words of Leonardo da Vinci can easily refer to his life. Not only a great painter, but also a sculptor and engineer. A man of the reneissance. A genius. A man who was constantly learning something new and understood gravity, before Newton figured it out. 

 

In the beginning of February I have travelled to the amazing city of Madrid with an aim to visit the Prado Museum and make a video there. Unfortunately, this dream has not yet been realized, because of the long queues to enter to the museum. Instead of focusing on feelings of disappointment and anger I decided to see some other museums and make the best of my stay in freezing Madrid.  If you allow yourself to relax, even if your plans fall apart, you can be sure that the universe has some surprise for you :-)

 

Such a surprise for me was the discovery of an interesting installation inspired by Leonardo da Vinci's flying device projects. 

 

 

On a Saturday morning, my friend and I, despite the cold, decided to go jogging to the Buen Retiro Park in the center of Madrid. Though the sun was shining the temperatures did not exceed three degrees of Celsius. Frankly, we were expecting to have at least plus ten. Now I can tell you that it's better not to make any expectations and just appreciate all that there is. The park turned out to be one of the most beautiful parks I have ever seen and inside there was a small museum of contemporary art - with a focus on modern installations

 

 

The museum was Palacio de Velazquez, erected by the architect Ricardo Velazquez. Don't confuse it with a famous painter - Diego Velazquez. 

The thing that surprised me most of all was the installation of a flying penis, directly inspired by Leonardo's sketches and projects of a flying machine. 

 

Leonardo da Vinci at the time when he was painting Mona Lisa (circa 1503) was engaged in another fascinating project - the pursuit to make humans fly. He extensively studied the flight of birds and the phenomenon of flight. He produced many studies of birds and avian inventions. In his notes, he revealed bats, birds and kites as a source of inspiration. Just take a look at one of his sketches:

 

 

Most of Leonardo's aeronautical designs were ornithopters, machines which involved flapping wings to generate lift. He sketched such machines with a pilot prone standing vertically, using arms and using legs. The projects were never realized in practise. But still, in XVI century, long before airplanes were invented, the thought of flying machines germinated in Leonardo's mind. He was aware of a limited muscle power of humans, compared to that of flying birds. He also hinted at the force Newton would later call gravity. Leonardo was a real visionary. 

 

 

The artistic installation in Madrid was entitled "The force of the masculine power". This force is represented by a silver penis with wings, which by pressing a button will flopp. What was the artist trying to say through such adaptation of da Vinci's work?

 

For sure, he wanted to give tribute to the masculine energy, or masculine power.  Both masculine and feminine energies create a unity. Oneness. Life. Creation. Just note that when a man and a woman unite in sex, the result is unleashing of the strong creative power, which later finds its embodiment in the beginning and growth of a new life - baby.  The masculine energy has different properties to the feminine.  Masculine energy is a straight line, concentration on action, it goes in one direction with full power. Like a waterfall. Feminine energy is that of a river, flowing in many directions, calm, with swirls and turns, concentration on nurturing and sheding light. 

 

Masculine power protects the feminine. Provides resources, acts in battles of everyday life and gives balance. Feminine energy develops, appreciates, gives pleasure and inspiration. Where does it all start? Where you can find your masculine energy?

 

For every man it's essential to honour his father, because it's there where his masculine force comes from. From learning and taking the energy from his father. Standing by him. Taking action, being a man and not a mama's boy. Taking more from the masculine in his family, rather than from the feminine. 

A masculine energy is essential to create a harmonous relation with the feminine. It's all about polarity. A woman should be a woman, and not a man in skirt. A man should be a man and not a hidden woman underneath. It's all very fascinating and I feel hapy that "The force of the masculine power" inspired me to write a post about it.

 

Please share if you find this article valuable.

 

 

Thanks for stopping by.

Aleksandra

 

 

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09.02.2018

Coffee - an essential element of pleasurable life

Can you imagine starting your day without a cup of good coffee? I believe not. 

I'm a huge coffee lover and I must say I drink my coffee for 'buongiorno', in other words, for a good morning:-) Sometimes I wonder whether it's a coffee addiciton or simple likeness and appreciation of its taste. 

 

Coffee is poetry. You can get lost in its dark color, the tempting aroma and the way it penetrates the taste buds in your mouth. Coffee is life. It wakes you up and welcomes you to a new day. Coffee is power. The way it stimulates you to pursue your plans and actions in your every day life. Coffee is a moment of pleasure on a hasty day.

 

In today's post I'd like to share with you my favourite coffee places in Zurich and how coffee inspired my artwork. 

 

 

1. COFFEE AND INSPIRATION

I bet when you travel, especially in the spring or summer time, you like to sit outside by a coffee table and look at passers-by, slowly sipping your cappuccino. It's a great occassion to take things slowly, look at people at nearby tables or the birds picking the rests of food. 

Do you want to know what I usually do while having a coffee?

 

I pull out my paper notebook and make some sketches. Some are just for fun and some serve as a draft for a future painting. The above illustration was inspired my stay in Paris last year. Though it was in January, it was warm enough to sit outside in a heated garden with a view on one of the Parisian streets. I remember then that I wondered which city Paris or Milan would win in a 'fashionista' competition. Both Parisians and Milanese inhabitants dress very fashionably.  Drinking my coffee at Cafe Les Deux Magots in Saint-Germain-des-Pres area I spotted a woman. Crocodile green coat, pink pastel gloves like skin of a newborn baby, no make up and her hair pulled up in a bun. This is what they call an 'effortless chic'.  I quickly made a sketch of her. She smiled as she saw me drawing her. 

Quite often I am fascinated by people savouring coffee. I wonder where their thoughts drift in that moment, what they think about or what they feel. 

 

 

 

 

 

2. MY FAVOURITE COFFEE PLACES IN ZURICH

Zurich has a rich variety of nice coffee places, where the coffee is really decent. By decent I mean very good. Because as you know, the best one is in Italy. 

 

1. Numero uno on my list is John Baker. They have two spots - one at Stadelhofen, where I take my coffee every morning and the other at Helvetiaplatz. Their cappuccino is excellent! And in case you want to grab a bite of delicious croissants  - they only use regional, eco-friendly and organic products, including flour and chocolate. Coffee and a croissant from John Baker's is my daily sweet indulgence :-)

Lately, after finishing the cappuccino I drew with my pen a small unicorn. I had dreamt about it the night before. 

As you see, you can use literally everything for creative drawing, including paper take-away cups. 

 

 

2. Another place to try a good coffee with exceptional foam is Maison Blunt, located at Gasometerstrasse 5. 

I like their interior design inspired by Morocco. Located in a cool neighbourhood near Zurich HB they serve some oriental dishes with wonderful flavors and a nice cappuccino, which I call "cloudy cappuccino". I have never seen a cappuccino with a foam like this! Plus they have beautiful cups of emerald green and great design.

A place I would definitely recommend. 

 

 

 

3. The third place is an option for you if you've had enough of coffee. It's a hot chocolate place. 

In Zurich there are quite a few places with  good and thick hot chocolate - exactly the way I like it. One of them is at Niederdorf, at Napfgasse 4  - Conditorei Stober. They have homemade chocolate and cakes and they are more than 100 years old. 

What I particularly love about this place is a cute garden in their courtyard. When I look at it, even in winter it becomes green in my heart. 

 

 

I am curious to know what are your favourite coffee places in Zurich. 

Feel free to post a comment :-)

 

Wishing you a lovely weekend!

Aleksandra

 

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