Practice makes perfect when it comes to seeing the glass half full, too

A positive attitude sometimes makes the whole difference – there are no mistakes, but simply different routes to our destination.

I don’t know where the saying “when nothing goes right, go left” originates from, but I find it to be a brilliant centralization of a positive approach to life.

I do my very best to live by this constructive attitude, too.

Maybe I like this saying that much more, because it reminds me of the way I used to panic as a new driver when missing an exit while driving with my navigation device on, because I’d misinterpret the voice announcements.

To my defense and for a better understanding, why the panic, I got my driver’s license at 18 and didn’t need it for 12 years, afterwards.

It was only when I moved to Germany and needed a car that I actually started driving.

So, on top of the new everything, unusual activity and lack of reflexes I had to improve, there were completely new surroundings I had to deal with, too.

All these newness sometimes threatened to interfere with the appointments I had to make, simply because I had missed an exit on my way to them.

It was only with time, practice and patience that my driving skills improved, I learned to rely on my sense of direction and got to know the surroundings better and, most of all, I learned to not let the panic take over anymore by telling myself that my GPS will simply recalculate the shortest route to my destination, so all is well.

Not to mention how much more it helped not to drive off focusing on the fear of taking a wrong exit or route, but with a positive attitude and excitement over the drive ahead.

It might seem trivial, but it was essential to first change my attitude toward the challenge I was facing, before getting to tackle it.

This kind of realization applies on so many levels – there are no mistakes, but simply different routes to our destination.

There is no single angle of view, there are many different perspectives, color shades and ways to reach a goal or different kind of solutions to the same type of problem.

And not allowing discouragement to knock the wind out of our sails by concentrating on the positive aspects is the first step in moving forward.

Although my intention to constantly dive in a zen-approach and focus on the full half of the glass sometimes slips out of sight and thus on the wrong track, I stubbornly start my journey to it over and over again, because I believe it to be the healthy view about life and strive to reach a state of inner calm and joy.

It is out of this state of inner calm and joy that I am able to fully enjoy my day, my loved ones and life in general and create artwork that fulfills me emotionally and gives me a sense of purpose through self-expression.

There will always be situations or people who will challenge our intention to see the full half of the glass and enjoy the positive aspects this perspective brings.

It doesn’t matter. Our first reaction to whatever comes our way can still be neutralized by the second one, when the surprise effect has worn off and we consciously take action, better prepared than we first did.

There will be better days and there will be days when everything seems to be a little off.

When confronted with a less positive day, just remember to take it easy, breathe deeply in and out before reacting to any remarks that infuriate you and, most of all, step away from the computer to chill out, before answering an e-mail that shortly threw you out of your zen-track.

I promise, it helps 🙂

Cornerstone teamwork

I don’t know about you, but I sometimes realize I am talking to myself, while reflecting on something or weighing pros and cons for some decision I have to make.

Please mind, I am not talking about any disorder other than the standard ones , we ALL may be experiencing :))

I do find it funny, especially if the so-called dialogue goes like there are multiple persons /personalities trapped inside myself and I remember some cartoon where one finds itself observing an angel and a devil arguing over the topic.

Then again, every “Leia” that turns out at the discussions table simply advocates a different perspective on the issue.

And wouldn’t it be a shame if we would let such an opportunity – of defending every side of a matter – get away? I’d say, the more perspectives, the better overview before making a decision.

This kind of a dialogue is a standard when it comes for me to deciding upon / planning an artwork / putting into practice some idea I have.

What I might have feared of being contradictory themes, before arguing the different angles, I find it to work very well together, to even complement each other, in the end.

For example, the recurring geometric patterns (squares and triangles) in my fineliner drawings in combination with flowers or birds, especially with watercolor, are two different, yet as such complementary themes, from my point of view.

Soft and hard edges, fully colored areas and hatchings, black/white and popping colors, fineliner and watercolor or resin, the possibilities are endless, so we shouldn’t deny ourselves the fun of exploring them.

Who says that different or opposite themes can’t appear together and rock the stage, even more than they would on their own, more often than not?

Dieser Post enthält #Werbung / This post contains #advertisement

Lately I have been noticing on various social media accounts of friends or artists I am following the clear indication of advertisement in their posts, whenever they are using hashtags or handles of various companies or products they are simply using or even recommending.

And then I remembered. 2019, in Germany, there were several cases of reports of influencers and not only for hosting covert advertisement on their platforms and in their posts or not having various collaborations clearly marked as paid partnerships.

Since this is definitely still a gray area, the (German) applicable legislation in the works and the necessary boundaries not yet clearly defined, the best advice for us, users (not only influencers!) out there is to clearly mark one too many posts as advertisement, before too few.

So please let me clear about my posts:

I started this page as a communication channel to my friends and family – a way of keeping them up to date with my creative projects.

This was about 6 years ago. In the meantime, I started to market my own artworks/designs on print-on-demand channels like Society6 or Redbubble and am working on bringing my own online shop to life.

So, yes, I sometimes post advertisement regarding available products with my designs on them – like in the Footer of my website – or in my artwork portfolio, lately also available on my website and powered by the Artwork Archive.

I do apologize in advance, if you might find this annoying, reading the according hint every time I post something on my social media accounts in regard to programs, products or apps I am using, but I thank you for understanding and showing your support through respecting each others work and copyright and related rights.

Best regards,

Leia

Not your average love statement

I can’t believe Summer is gone, already.

This year has been pretty strange, so far.

This time of the year I usually take a trip at home, to Romania, visiting my friends in Timisoara and my family.

The city is beautiful in September/October. The days are still very warm and the nights not yet too cold.

Oh, and the light, the light is special and the colors so intense.

At least, in my memories they are and will forever remain 🙂

We only keep the best memories of the most precious love stories, so it is only natural to keep the city of Timisoara this way in my heart.

We should have been celebrating 10 years of Argentine tango in Timisoara this fall – Anivertango.

I was looking forward to hugging my friends and getting to share our stories – good or bad, they’re always easier to get over them or nicer to celebrate when they are shared with dear ones.

But this isn’t supposed to be a sad post and I am very grateful for the fact that we are only a Videochat or written message away, when we miss each other.

So, stay safe, dear friends and family, I’ll see you soon.

And for the rest, don’t worry, once you tango, you tango forever, they say 🙂

Fragment of a non-standard self-talk

Leia 1: “So, what is it that you do?”

Leia 2: “What do you mean?…Like, right now?!”

Leia 1: “No, silly 🙂 I know what you’re doing right now – you’re talking to yourself again. Talking and not really listening, I might add.”

Leia 2: “What I do…I draw. First, I draw and then, I’ll paint. After I paint, I will scan what I drew and painted and have fun with all the possibilities offered by digital manipulation. The more I learn about it and lean into it, the more I enjoy the creative freedoom I discover!”

Leia 1: “This is all very exciting, but I was hoping to hear from you what it is you are LOOKING for through all these steps. Steps which took you long enough to take, since you have to learn from scratch what you don’t know regarding this craft and we are both aware, that’s a lot.”

Leia 2: “Oh. That. I see. Well then, I guess I am learning to listen to myself. I am listening and getting to know another side of me.

I guess I get to process everything that happens through it, be it positive or negative.

If it is negative, it’s like it becomes less threatening or painful after being filtered through my fineliner pens or poured in a sea of color and drowned in different layers of resin or retouched in Photoshop.

If it’s positive, it feels like another way of celebrating it, like looking at it from a whole new perspective, just to be able to relive it on another level.

Does this make sense to you?”

Leia 1: “Yes, you treat yourself through the arts.”

Leia 2: “I treat myself lovingly through the arts, it’s what I hope everyone will do, sooner or later.”

The Freedom Series

10 years flew by since Dumitru Mihaica agreed to try to custom make the first pair of Argentine tango dancing shoes for my friend, Maria, in his workshop in Timisoara.

10 years, many, many pairs and dancing experiences later, he built the dancing shoes line My Tango Shoes by Mono and continues to develop it based on the feedback he gets from Argentine tango dancers.

Always creative and inquisitive, he holds on to the openness that got this project started in the first place and sometimes collaborates with other artists in order to continuosly improve and beautify his dancing shoes and not only.

I was lucky enough to get to be one of these artists and am currently working on a series of artworks inspired by my dancing Argentine tango.

I entitled this one the Freedom Series, since freedom is for me the feeling best describing what I get to experience through “dancing the tango”.

The three symbols most adequate to impersonate the feeling were for me the humming birds, butterflies and flowers.

Hummingbird

The first humming bird of the series got a place of honor on a pair of men dancing shoes and the result ist astonishing.

IMG_4967

Especially during these uncertain times, when Argentine tango dancing, like many of our dear ones is missed and kept in our hearts, working on this project feels soothing to me, like the so missed (tango) hugs.

Stay safe, my friends, keep taking care and watching out for each other, hope to see you (and maybe hug you?) soon, somewhere around this beautiful world of ours.

Thank you, Miti, love this one 🙂

 

Get a closer look to the Mono Shoes workshop website:

https://www.monoshoes.ro/?route=common/home

https://www.facebook.com/monoshoes/

https://www.instagram.com/monoshoes/

 

For those of you curious what My Tango Shoes by Mono looks like, in case you don’t already know it:

https://mytangoshoes.blogspot.com/2020/04/sandals-summer-2020.html

https://www.facebook.com/MyTangoShoesByMONO/

https://www.instagram.com/monomytangoshoes/

 

This design is also available to buy as wall art and on a variety of different kind of products, on two different platforms:

Society6:

https://society6.com/leiat

RedBubble:

https://rdbl.co/3eWoipa

Resin, my love

It all started with the fading color on one of my artworks. Not only was this one pretty time-consuming to finish because of the size, but the fading color was the predominant color in the drawing and it simply made me sad seeing it get lost so soon.

It wasn’t difficult to establish the “culprit” for this color fading happening so fast. The picture frame of the drawing hung in a very bright room – lots of windows, sun was shining in the room for the most part of the day.

I realized, I needed a backup plan for my artwork, since it was suddenly clear, how quick all can get lost.

Two different work processes resulted from this sudden awareness – I started to scan my work and looked for a way to protect the finished artworks.

I needed something to protect my drawings from the sun – some kind of a UV protection layer.

I tried different kind of transparent paint coatings. It wasn’t bad, but didn’t look very reliable or the scare I had with the fading color of the first drawing simply didn’t let go of me easily.

I remembered the synthetic resin coatings sometimes used for floorings I got to see a couple of years ago at a construction fair and started looking online for the suitable version for artworks.

Patience never was my strong point so I decided, the best way to get to know this new material, is to try it out. I read the product descriptions and precautions, the reviews and advice for a suitable product on Amazon and ordered a little bit to try it out.

The little recipients in which the two different components were, came together with flyers regarding other products and contact info of the artist representative of the company selling this products. I looked her up immediately and was very happy to find out she is offering guidance for using this medium. Guidance in the form of workshops for different levels of know-how, advice by telephone and info, where to find out more about the products.

I tried to book a workshop about the basics right away, but these courses are very popular, so I only could book one in advance for the autumn 2019 – this was about a year ago, February/March 2019.

Last October I participated in my basics workshop with Stefanie Etter – the artist representative of the company selling this products in Germany.

Right after the first workshop, I booked the next one, for this last weekend.

This was the “master course”. In the evening after the three-day-workshop, I booked the next one, for the coming fall.

I am fascinated by this medium. It is the complete opposite of what I usually do – very precise drawings and crosshatch with very thin tipped fineliner pen.

Resin is hard to control, it’s messy until brought in the form one wants and even then, it is not exactly the way one imagined, but the material sometimes seems to simply be self-willed. It is susceptible for damage until fully hardened and the lack of patience will only bring one this far, since resin usually has to be poured in at least two different layers before completion and every layer has to be sufficiently hardened before the next one can be poured.

But the result is worth it, all the way – vibrant colors, shiny layer, pretty scratch-resistant surface and a better UV protection, for a longer time.

I realized, I would love to combine the two work methods – fineliner drawings and resin pouring.

I am only at the beginning of this new adventure, but I really love discovering the freedom this new medium brings with it and am looking forward to what it has to offer in the long run.

For more information about the resin I chose to work with and professional advice regarding this, I wholeheartedly recommend Stefanie Etter and the line of products she is representing.

Here are some impressions from the basics workshop, last year (5th/6th of October 2019):

Stefanie demonstrating how to work with resin – pouring the color
Next step, “painting” with the heat gun
Different colors, different options
How about a beach remembrance, to hang in the living room?

 

My first resin painting
Mixing the known with the new, Part 1
Mixing the known with the new, Part 2
(don’t worry, it’s an art print, not the original drawing :D)
Mixing the known with the new, Part 3

 

My first group exhibition

It has been a while since I last got to post something on my page.

This doesn’t mean by far that I haven’t been continuing my journey regarding art and enjoying the deep satisfaction a freshly completed artwork brings with it.

About experimenting with new mediums and where the journey is taking me I will write sooner than 7 months from now, I promise.

But today I would love to tell you about the chance I got from Atelier MaMuK. Atelier MaMuK, more specifically, Marion Musch Kunst is curating a group exhibition for musical and fine arts in Stuttgart, since 2017, now.

This group exhibition has the purpose of providing an advantageous presentation forum for artists from the Stuttgart region. A very good friend of mine has been sending me information about arte-sono and the call for proposals for this exhibition ever since the first year it has been organized.

Truth be told, I didn’t believe I would have enough interesting works of art for applying for participation until last year, after having organized my first solo exhibition, yet again with the help of friends (hooray for Dani and Harry Fendt! 🙂 ).

This time, I did apply and am now participating in the group exhibition taking place this year.

About arte-sono 2020:

The interdisciplinary exhibition for music and fine arts in Stuttgart will take place on January 18th and 19th 2020, for the fourth time in a row.

Due to the great interest generated around this event, arte-sono 2020 presents a larger number of participating artists, in a larger exhibition area and in a new event location, with a special ambience:

SI-Centrum 70567 Stuttgart-Möhringen,

Plieninger Str. 100, DORMERO Hall A

The vernissage will take place on January 18th 2020, at 1:00 p.m.

Musical accompaniment: Lorenzo Petrocca Solo Jazz Guitar

Art auction in favor of the Marvin Puchmeier Foundation with Michael Gaedt as auctioneer on January 19th 2020, at 3 p.m.

See you there ❤

arte-sono 2020

My first solo exhibition

I’ve met Harry when working for my former employer. Since I don’t remember having made any observations about my profession, I might have to add that I am a civil engineer and I currently work as a project manager in industrial construction.

He and I made a good team together and I’ve had a lot to learn from him as a project manager. Among other things, how to tackle a new project with full commitment and enthusiasm and how to consider the obstacles in the project execution as an opportunity to learn something new from it and to develop professionally (and sometimes as a person, too) further.

The same high dedication, enthusiasm and passion he now brings into his small but fine business, a dance shoe shop – Danzapatos – in the middle of Landshut (Germany), which he opened and successfully operates together with his wife, Daniela.

When I visited them at the end of last year with a mutual friend, we learned that Danzapatos will be extended in the rooms next door from September 2019. During our conversation about our work (yes, I still need his advice, even now, years later) and favorite recreational pastimes (we share a passion for the argentine tango together), Harry got the idea to organize an art exhibition with my artwork in the space, where the store will be extended, before the store opening.

In my free time I like to draw and I edit my drawings as various collages or patterns in Photoshop. Starting from the beginning of this year, my works and designs are also available for sale online – as art prints or printed on various products.

This solo exhibition in Danzapatos’ extension rooms represents a brief summary of my artwork from the past five years and how it has evolved and continues to do so.

Over three weekends, starting on May 17th, 2019, I will look forward to greeting you on Fridays (4pm to 7pm) and Saturdays (10am to 6pm) at Spiegelgasse 201 in 84028 Landshut.

Since I will be present throughout the opening hours of the exhibition, we have not planned a vernissage in the classical sense for this event.

However, I will gladly answer all questions of the guests about my artwork, my inspiration and the sometimes not necessarily obvious connection between my profession and this passion.

Pattern created from the artwork ‘Different kind of a Lotus-flower’ – art exhibition poster

Time management is the key… Yeah, right!

Time management becomes a must when we have more than just one interest outside the day job.

Well, it has definitely been a while now since I have gotten around to write something for my website or at least to upload some of the works I managed to finish in the last months…

I guess it has also to do with the fact that I haven’t quite found my routine yet. Specifically, a way to either extend the 24h-day to a 48h one or to get the household/grocery shopping etc. stuff done the Sabrina-way – magic would be nice sometimes! – so that I can concentrate only on what I please 🙂

Then again, I’m pretty sure that if the day was 48h long, I would still find a way to lose myself in the various topics of interest I have, so that somehow I still wouldn’t get enough sleep 😀

A couple of weeks ago, I bought two small drawer cabinets, to get some order again in my art supplies. Some of them were stored in cardboard boxes and finding what I was looking for for my projects turned out to be pretty annoying sometimes. Buy bringing these in order, I stumbled upon a little treasure: paper-pressed pansies from a while ago. I had pressed the flowers and let them between the paper sheets to completely dry – and forgot about them!

Although I had no idea, what exactly I wanted to use them for, when I paper-pressed them, this time I knew instantly, what they were going to be – pretty flower pictures to brighten by bookshelves!

First try – work in progress
Framed result
Preparing the background for two more pictures with single flowers
Almost there 🙂
Field Pansy I
Field Pansy II

Don’t you think pansies look friendly, too?

I most certainly do. Maybe that is why they make me smile – smile back, that is 🙂