The Artist

How she does it… beats me!

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2nd pencil sketch for an illustration: ‘left and right hemisphere of the brain’; work in progress

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Numbers

How can she be so fond of numbers?!
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Pencil sketch, character development for a comic, A6 format

The Nerd Bird

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The Nerd Bird, iPad sketch with SketchbookX using finger, pencil and layer function

While I was busy updating my web design skills, watching Apple’s keynote (being completely thrilled by all what I saw by the way), checking out YouTube tutorials, and reading interesting blogs and tweets…

ok – to clarify: while one can find heaps of nonsense (a matter of definition, I agree) and waste a lot of time on SoM platforms, they can also be a great source to learn to master new skills and update existing ones, and expand or deepen ones knowledge (that is, if one is capable of selecting meaningful content). E.g. on YouTube, many really skilled people share their knowledge with the world and make life for others a little or much easier.

But, I was not only busy with the rational part of me, aka feeding information into my brain, but also creatively inspired to do this little iPad sketch.

Is it not wonderful that inspiration can be found under the most unexpected circumstances!?

Lucky Koi

Transformational times can be quite challenging and chaotic. Often, they even tend to be frightening, because of their unpredictable nature. Letting go of the old is hard when the new is yet unknown.

Luckily, experience shows time and again, that we actually do land on our feet. Yet the ground we land on might be other than expected. But, even if not evident upon landing, in the long run, the outcome is usually even better than expected.

In any case we all are walking the journey of life with more or lesser challenges. Circumstances arrive and disappear and may not always be influenced by our own efforts. But, let us say we wake up to a rainy day. Well, we can be as grumpy at the weather as we like, it will not change the rain from coming down. So why not decide to be happy despite the rain? The only thing we actually can influence at any point in our lives is – after all – our own attitude. The key to being able to influence our own attitude and with it our life’s colours, is awareness.

Feng Shui is one of the great ways to practice ones awareness. The way we pay attention to our e.g. home, office, environment, and clothes gives us a lot of insight into our conscious as well as unconscious behaviour and thought patterns.

Despite our efforts to stay aware, we often lose awareness and certain areas of our lives become neglected. Much time can pass before we actually realise it. This is usually reflected in how we (do not) organise our living space. Bad habits sneak in, colours fade, corners get dusty, clothes get tired, purses and wallets get worn out, things get forgotten and clutter is gathered in the most amazing spaces. These are signs for necessary awareness trainings.

It is a great habit to declutter from time to time, to redecorate and to harmonise each and every area of one’s life time and again. In those parts of our lives, where we feel that things are not quite happening as anticipated, we might want to pay attention to that particular area in our home or office.

So, being currently very busy with rearranging my home, from painting walls, restoring furniture and frames, decluttering cupboards, shelves, the attic and cellar there is not much time left to work on my art project and for #paintseptember on Twitter. But art can be used as a wonderful way to enhance the chi of our homes and life.

Among other areas, I wanted to in particular enhance my life path area and painted two Koi fish swimming upstream. Before painting, I meditated well upon each detail of my life path and how I wanted it to improve and how the relevant elements involved should support each other. No line nor colour was a coincidence. The painting is now hanging on the wall and already bringing about a positive effect with a huge and wonderful transformation taking place.

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Lucky Koi, Acrylic on canvas, width 50 cm

Drawing August Day 14

My dear blog followers, first and foremost a big thank you for stepping by, reading, liking and/or for following my blog, really appreciate it. Then, please excuse the late post of drawing August Day 14.

After a very busy day I visited my dear friends Sanatan, Garima and Govind in the evening. We live about an hour car drive apart and we had not seen for some time. It was a lovely get together and we were immediately engaged in exchanging past happenings, having dinner, chatting away some more and laughing our heads off. Time just passed so quickly without us noticing. Therefore, I really just managed to do a very quick sketch of Govind. But my compliments to him. He sat as still as a statue. Such a great model indeed!

But me however, I lacked focus. And yes, in reality, his nose is smaller. Govind, please forgive! Hehe, but it did cause great laughter yet again. Apparently, laughter is the best immune system booster. I do not remember the exact source of this statement (my apologies to all the hardcore scientists out there for not being able to reference this 😉 ) but if nothing else, and out of my own experience, it is like a fresh breeze on a hot summer day to the soul.

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But yes, after driving back home for an hour and writing this blog I feel that sleepiness is kicking in… Wishing all a very good night.

Drawing August Day 5

Mother and child.

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Inspiration
Lately, babies and mothers were a lot subject of conversation. Mothers, aspiring mothers, women that wish to have children, women about to have their first, recent mothers … . That is why I decided to do a portrait of a friend of mine with her baby. However, this looks nothing like my friend, and the baby vaguely like her child. Mission not accomplished.

Today’s lesson I learned about myself
I noticed that I get very quickly bored when I need to draw something from a picture or a model of what ever kind. It rarely turns out right. Meaning, it might be an ok drawing but it will not look, or maybe just vaguely look, anything like the model it should look like. Today, I believe to have discovered that I start getting sloppy in my approach when I try to portrait something realistically. Why ever!? But, giving up is not an option.

Further artistic development
Well, for my further artistic development it certainly cannot hurt to train the eye to fingertip translation. With this exercise, which I dread, I might overcome this boredom I noticed today. It’s maybe just fear of failure, and ultimately, fear of success? Or it might just be a sign that my heart is not involved? A sign that I should focus my creative energies on another object, a different style, a different theme? In any case, I shall commit to getting to the bottom of this. I still have 26 days** to go! (**See post Drawing August 2013.)

Getting to the bottom of the problem
Thanks to today, I am aware that, together with developing more patience with myself, I need to internalise a subject/object before I can portray it realistically. I must connect. A few years back and for the first time, I uttered something in this direction but did not really understand the meaning of it.

The situation was the following:
A friend and myself were preparing for an exam in social sciences. We needed to learn the essence of the theories of many major sociologists. To avoid confusing sociologists with each other I searched portrait images of each of them. Then, we summarised each theory onto a separate piece of paper and attached the according image of the sociologist to it. It was such a fun, efficient, and very effective way to study.
As we paused my friend went to the bathroom. A bit exhausted but very enthusiastic about our speedy study session my eyes rested on the Norbert Elias picture. The next thing I found myself doing was sketching him with a few lines and without much effort. When my friend got back he was amazed. He could not believe how it was possible that in just a couple of minutes with just those few lines I was able to portrait Elias so accurately.
He begged me to repeat the ‘phenomena’ before his eyes. I did not want to and replied, that this was not a possible thing to repeat. He did not understand and wanted to know why. Not quite sure what I meant either I answered that in that previous moment I actually ‘saw’ Elias internally and that it was just a momentary thing.
But because he insisted I gave it another try. My friend selected a different sociologist. I observed and tried to repeat what I had already done before. But this time, and to the disappointment of my friend, I failed terribly.

Elias, I ‘saw’ – the other sociologist – I did not. Back then, I did not quite understand the difference either. I just knew it was like that. But today I think I do. To make a sketch accurate and alive one must ‘see’ with all available senses, process the visuals through the heart to the head and onto paper. Of course, the hand must also get more and more skilled with continuous repetition. The goal is to get connected by choice instead of randomly and to be able to translate visual impressions authentically onto paper. To reach that goal one must patiently try time and again and also dare to fail. Because failure is nothing but the forerunner of mind blowing success.

Learning the Language of the Universe

Sometimes life sends us signs. Actually, I believe life sends us very often a multitude of signs. But, being so used to the spoken, written, man-made language; we have forgotten the language of the universe. We have archived it into the depths of our souls and tucked it away.

But then sometimes, our true self, our heart will revolt to its suppression and the language of the universe will make its way back to our awareness. Just like a stream carves its way through rocks, stones and pebbles. The clearest of water, gathering to a stream, accumulating strength, getting dirty, unclear, purifying again, nourishing, flowing incessantly wherever it is channelled, no preferences, simply flowing until reuniting with the ocean.

Now bring your attention to the moment of falling asleep. We experience sleep a blissful state of being and for our own sanity we return there in a regular pattern. Now, if it were that in our state of sleep we plunge into the realms of the universe to regenerate anew at the power source of truth and knowledge, we must be doing it in complete unawareness! For, by the time we awake to our physical existence, we rarely remember much of the hours gone by.

So, let us say, life is but a dream and a dream nothing but life itself in our physical sleep state. When awake and not necessarily aware, we are ignorant to the universe’s language and identify ourselves with the illusion of the world we created through our thoughts and actions.

But then, let us say life itself is just as real as the impressions, colours, images, emotions, people we experience in our dreams. Sometimes we might even become aware of our dream state during sleep and may have even learned to influence the continuation and outcome of the dream.

But now imagine that whether in physical dream state or awake state the happenings are a reflection of our state of mind, our perceived reality, which is nothing but our self-made illusion. Now what if, rather than being the result of thoughts and actions from our smaller, conditioned self, we would allow the heart, the universe to take over and create a divine reality, a reality that is in harmony with an all-encompassing truth. Reality would be nothing but the sum of innumerable possibilities. We merely need to decide upon what we would like. Sounds nice, but the catch lies in the ‘what we would like’ and especially in the ‘we’.

We speak the language of the mind and rarely do we follow the language of the heart. The language of the heart speaks ‘love’. Love is. No coulds, no shoulds, no woulds, no likes or dislikes. It just is – well – beyond duality of which our illusion is built upon.

However, we speak duality and are foreign to unity. It comes as no surprise that we hardly ever hear the universe speaking to us. As children we may have been speaking the universal language all the time, who remembers? Hardly anyone will claim to, for back then we lacked awareness. By learning the language of the universe we are travellers on a journey to wisdom. By daring the adventure we can slowly return to our childlike innocence by knowing nothing and remaining enthusiastic to learn. Wisdom, to me, must be the divine union of true knowledge and awareness, which in its final state is mastery of the universal language of love.

So, once we start to awaken to the desire of communicating with and through our hearts and send out our firm intention to learn its all unifying language, we will hear the whispers of truth, channelled through our hearts, the universe’s incessant song of love and will speak from the source of light. Our actions will then be in harmony with the universal song.

However, the language of our heart – so powerful, bright, unifying, blissful as it may be and sound – we in all likelihood – fear it’s arrival. We immediately fall prey to the whims of our for-survival-struggling small self. Especially, if at this point we object the possibility of fearing bliss. One might object and ask: “Who would not enjoy bliss and all those pleasant things!” But we are foreign to true bliss and know – by experience – merely a dangerous approximation called pleasure, which itself has its roots in illusion and always includes disappointment.

However, by acknowledging fear we can embrace it and attain the strength to recognise it early on, before it can do any greater damage and throw us back too far in our endeavours. Well, let us call this ‘thing’ that fears our ‘habitual self’ or ‘smaller self’, or call it Ego if you like. In any case, it lives of its identification of the common, the known, and the familiar – regardless whether pleasant or not. It is all that we were taught to be, how to conform to the environment, the so-called socialised self. Now while some socialisation may be beneficial to the language of the universe, most of it is not. Learning to differentiate the useful and the useless is one more step on the journey to our hearts. At some point we began to identify with our socialised image of ourselves. And we defend, to date, its place and existence so that we can accept ourselves as well as be accepted by others.

We adapted into our environment like sheep adapt to the shepherd’s lead in the field. Nobody likes the sound of ‘socialised us’, ‘accommodation’, ‘adaptation’, or even the idea of ‘being part of a sheep heard’. Yet, despite our own impression of non-conformism and individuality, when it comes down to it, we ‘sheepishly’ cling to this identification of self as if we would be struggling for survival. Of course ‘they’ all struggle out there. The thing is, we all do, myself included, especially if, when reading these particular words, we believe to the contrary.

But truth be told, the reason why we are on this very planet is because we cannot let go of the clinging to our identification with the illusion of whom we are. But it is never too late to redefine oneself and start collaborating with the universe. It is never too late to become the universe’s instrument, to become a servant of the world. Don’t like the expression ‘servant’? Well, apparently ‘a servant is nothing but a master in disguise’ ~ source unknown. Life will send us signs. Our heart will use all means to speak to us. And, one of the steps towards our hearts is to learn the language of the universe, which ultimately is unconditional love. Once we open up to the universe we will begin to hear the divine song manifest at anytime and everywhere. Love is.

But we must be ready to let go of illusion. We must die to our perception of what we like and dislike. We must let go of what we believe to ‘know’ and of what we believe to ‘understand’ with our minds so we can make space for a reality that is in harmony with our hearts. Only by letting go of who we think we are, will we die and be reborn as who we really are. By dying to our identification with the smaller self we surely pave the way to the eternal connection of our hearts, the true pulse of the universe, which is ever flowing unconditional love.