Missing the Details

The other day I published this picture on Instagram. The day before had been one of those days that happen sometimes, where your thoughts are filled with negativity and it seems that the light has suddenly vanished from the whole Universe.

Thankfully a good night rest brought the smile back and while I was drawing and listening to Il Volo singing il Mondo, some words struck me, bringing me to this picture I took in Portugal in summer, which described perfectly the feelings I had been going through.

So I posted: ” Sometimes shadows visit us unexpectedly and everything seems so dark, but thankfully it is a momentary illusion as the Sun is always shining behind! With a bit of patience, they too will eventually pass. Like an old Italian song, “il Mondo” performed beautifully by Il Volo says  “The World has never stopped for a moment, the night always follows the day and the day will come.” This picture has no editing or filter.”

Afterwards, @mybeautifulskyphoto left a comment saying:
“Great words! I see that little bird!”When I saw the comment I said: “What bird?”
And went quickly to check the picture. And there it was! That is the first thing I saw looking back at the picture, this beautiful little bird sitting on the antenna observing these amazing Dark clouds covering the village but staying clear away from the sea where the Sun was shining. Now it has become the most important aspect of the picture!

Probably I had seen it when I first saw the picture but as this one is part of a sequence of about 8, and the bird only appears on 2, I just did not remember. The only important memory left in me of the picture was the contrast between the clouds and the Sun shining behind, and even when posting, I did not notice it, but thanks for this comment, now it gives another much deeper perspective. And like she says: “It makes the picture!”

But this got me thinking how during the past months I have lost this capacity to observe details, which is fundamental when taking a picture or observing Nature, as it is when observing our own lives. The vortex of deadlines and to do items on our lists reduces so much our attention span that automatically, to save time, we miss details. Those tiny little details that are the most important part of the whole scenario. And this is partly due to a lack of mindfulness, as she beautifully describes with her thoughts in the blog My Beautiful Sky.

Just imagine how many perspectives there are on a certain picture, when we focus only on one aspect, how many details are we missing out, that could help us resolve our issue? This has taught me to force a break on the spiral of activities that prevent me from enjoying the little things that usually come as a surprise because those are the ones that put everything in its right perspective, making us understand the whole picture.

So I went for a long walk, ignoring the mind and concentrating on every tiny detail around me, and as a gift, this is what Mother Nature surprised me with.

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The Perfection Of Nature

How does the perfect symmetry and harmony between elements found in Nature help us balance our whole body and energy systems?

The other day I was having a conversation about the beauty of Nature. And it took me back to those first years I was discovering Art in school and how my eyes would adjust to observe the particular details of the subject of my painting. To be able to attempt making a similar copy of it, I had to observe it thoroughly and understand its essence, so that when I would look at what I painted, it gave me that same feeling.

In this way, I began to discover the hidden structure behind all what I was observing in Nature and the harmony with each other and within its own structure.

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When then I discovered Mandalas it was magical for me because finally, I had found how to build one of those structures to manifest the perfection of a flower for example. So came the consciousness of the work involved in that expression of Beauty, which increased the value and importance of that flower, or of anything existing in Creation. Understanding the value of each thing from the smallest to the greatest and its correlation to one another made me enter into a world full of significance and discovering.

From Nature I began to fully understand the work of Arts of women and men who have arrived to express such perfection inspired by it, and the amount of work they have had to endure, through practice and learning, to arrive at such results.

I suppose that when one tries to re-create, manifest or care for such beauty such consciousness is acquired. And not only through visual art, I think of great talents being able to transmit such emotions  through perfect words, and what about music and sound and last but not least our taste and smell senses through food and perfumes for example. Combining elements perfectly, resulting in a sublime experience through taste, especially when it is accompanied by the  awareness of the amount of work from people and nature involved in making such a dish, from the first seed, to the talent behind the person that through his/her care has harvested such a great vegetable or fruit, the work involved by all the people that with their expertise make sure that these treasures arrive at our plates safely and so all the rest. The Art of perfumes and the power of smell.  Architects. Engineers.  And so the list could go on forever  including all those that put passion and love in anything they do until reaching all the people that their whole life is dedicated to the care and protection of every aspect of the environment with all the risks involved.  Such is the human orchestra, each playing its own instrument.

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The beauty of Creation,  resides first in what was here before us and the meaning of Life I believe is the glory and emotion of the appreciation of such perfection through consciousness, achieved in the experience of manifesting our own unique purpose. Finding that purpose I believe starts from attempting to express such perfection in our unique way according to our talents,  for the joy and inspiration of others as well as to feel satisfied with oneself.  The Circle of Life.

The influence of the harmony and perfection that Nature offers us every day on our well-being is immense and the work goes on unconsciously. Like the hidden structure behind the beauty of a flower, the hidden structures behind the beauty of our bodies are directly connected with our surroundings. Our eyes thus our unconscious minds recognize that order instantly before we are even conscious of it, like a little child recognizing its parents out of thousand different people. And we feel good.

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I believe that is our Real Nature in all of us. But the struggle for survival that has accompanied civilizations and still does today prevent many from fulfilling that need. The destruction of entire forests caused by man, the torture of animals and people and everything we hear or read in the news every day, it is a result, as I understand it, from people that are deeply suffering within, often unconsciously, due to their life circumstances, for  the inability to do what the True Self needs and find peace, blocking thus the connection to that subtle dimension that Nature offers us.

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Through such an understanding you cannot but ask yourself as for how such perfection has come to fruition when you try to create anything usually perfection does not come out automatically, one needs to practice, learn and continue practicing until the desired result is reached. I am sure even geniuses like Mozart or many others have had to work a little on their grand successes.  We do not have today the answers as to what or who is behind all this incredible Creation, we can only form beliefs. And I believe that it is too perfect for it to be just a fortunate coincidence. We can have theories but it is only through the practical experience that we arrive at real knowledge. And so it is also for the many people that are suffering today, they have not been given the chance or are unable to acquire the consciousness  or sensibility to understand the importance and value of our environment and how Nature is a fundamental part of our existence if we want to see a better and peaceful world for all, leaving not one soul behind.

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Creativity is Calling

Have you ever felt a spiral of ideas taking control over you that you find it hard to maintain a balance with your everyday activities?

Social interaction is very difficult in these moments, as the mind is continuously occupied imagining designs, paintings, words to be written.100_2760 (1280x900)

 

A conversation could give inspiration to another cloud of ideas. While the person in front of you is talking, you are off in another world. And there is no way the other can understand you unless it has experienced the same movement.

Maybe we are not all the same, but in my experience when the grace of creativity calls me, I have to listen, write it down, make a drawing, record it somehow or it will be lost in subsequent thoughts and actions or conversations.100_2675 (1280x960)

I used to write poems when I was much younger and one day I was quietly admiring a sunset when suddenly the perfect words lit up in my mind but I had nothing to scribble on, no cell phones in those days, so there I was, running through people to get back home as quickly as possible, like I was chased by a thief, just to scribble those perfect words. And having a great laugh of excitement in the process.

Inspiration and creativity are not to be taken for granted, at least in my experience.

When my life became too occupied with living and making ends ‘meet, I would let those words and ideas passing me by, I would say “Give them to someone else that has the time to manifest them and be known.” And little by little they seemed to fade in the background as louder thoughts became a priority.

The inspiration for paintings followed the same path. From immediately recognizing a detail for a painting, by allowing time to the eyes to focus, to slowly losing that capacity for being too busy. My vision did not have a deeper purpose, just watching my surroundings to avoid banging my face on a pole……
Attention was focused on something else.

I recuperated that capacity of vision when I decided to give up such a hectic life for a simpler one, with fewer commodities but more time.

Finally, I had that precious time to spend hours or days observing deeply everything around me. Little by little those simple touching details revealed themselves again, and the way you perceive the world around you changes completely. Flowers were not just flowers, they had personalities, different characters,  a perfect portrait. A simple detail like a touch of frost or a ray of light became a vision to share, for that unique vision produced a beautiful emotion in me which wanted to go out there and be a spark for others.100_2247 (1280x960)

And this is what Art is for me, in whatever expressions. Powerful sparks that generate beautiful emotions in each one of us, making us better people and pushing us to recreate a beautiful world by falling in love and recognizing that beauty around us.

A beautiful photo, a painting, a sculpture, a necklace, a song, a dress anything could become that spark for you.

Inspiration, as well as creativity, is always there wanting to be manifested but what they need is that we give them our full attention and time, and they will show up if you are there to meet them.  Remember never be late, they like punctuality!!  100E2457 (1280x960)

Time to Fly

Sometimes we realize that the reason why our creativity is not flowing freely it is not because we lack ideas or inspiration. There is something else.

What is it that prevents me from expressing my uniqueness?

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As always the answers come to me from Nature. What prevents a plant from flowering or a tree from producing a fruit? Certain environmental conditions need to be met. The Sun, wind, water, minerals and much more.

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Our potential seed of creativity is always there within us and when those perfect conditions are present they give birth to a beautiful flower.  I suppose even Life on Earth would not have occurred without certain specific elements.

I see each one of us like unique flowers, each one with specific needs that need to be discovered to express our whole beauty.

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The first important factor to look into, for me, to understand what blocks us, should be our environment. Most of it is related to our unconscious mind, so the first step is to become aware of our feelings and emotions in relation to what surrounds us. Realize what are those disturbing elements.

Could it be the workplace? Is it comfortable?  Is there enough natural light? Some plants with flowers on the window or around for inspiration. Minds work better when everything is in its place. Everything around us respects a certain structural order and I believe our mind unconsciously are set to recognize it and if a disorder is perceived we tend to be confused without even being aware of it.

Sometimes there are too many interruptions, from people or other activities we are called upon or too much going on in the mind.

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In my situation I realized there were many factors connected to each other, following one another in a circle.

The most important were the interruptions, it would break the concentration and I would find it very hard to get back where I left it, causing stress and dissatisfaction, which would then lead me to nervousness and I would eventually get up and go do something else easier.  This would turn into tiredness, mental fatigue and again a struggle to start the whole process again.

Remember we are at the starting point of the process when you already have to fight against a mental state filled with doubts and fears, low self-esteem, or tiredness, “what is the point of all this”, “my art will never sell” etc. etc. So once you have managed to fight with all your strength the wave of procrastination and negativity and finally get to start, now you have to stop, because….. And so the mental reasoning and excuses come back,  “but…… so and so is more important”. Unconscious that by giving priority to other factors and not that fragile and subtle voice within, leaves an underground resentment that affects our attitude towards life later and eventually our health. The difficult part then becomes how to say NO, knowing that it could offend some people that we love.

I believe the hardest part is to start and maintain a certain schedule of constant work without any interruption for a good amount of time so that our mind gets accustomed to it forming a habit, and that requires a lot of willpower and strength.

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The solution I found in my situation was that I needed to break away from everything. To look at my life from a different perspective and have the time to dedicate myself fully to the creative process, manifesting all those ideas and inspirations and try to embark upon a small activity with these works which could sustain my life.

So with help from family and friends and more effort to gather all my courage and overcome fears,  I have finally managed to fly to Portugal where I am now for a while able to concentrate exclusively on making my dream come true and share with you bit by bit my thoughts and experiences.

I would love to know how do you deal with unblocking your creativity. Why don’t you share your thoughts below? Thank you.

Nature will save you!

100_2126 (800x544)So you wake up in the morning thinking you will be going to do all the things you have planned the night before. But your head is a bit foggy, and motivation is on the low.

You had so many ideas to put into practice, but this morning neither your mind or body wants to do anything.

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This is the moment to make a re-connection to Nature again and let her wake us up.

Slowly we have breakfast, prepare some rice for our flying friends that come and visit us every day. We go outside and thank the Sun and the Blue Sky for their presence and close our eyes to feel the warmth of the rays caressing our cheeks.

We sit in front of the computer, trying to focus on those projects, but today it seems like it is not the right day again. You want to do, but something is blocking you.

100_1450 (800x776)I look up, and here they come, the birds family that have got used to come and eat every day. They are so beautiful. They know what to do always, it does not matter at what time I put the food out, they always know and come flying from everywhere. It is only us that get lost in a million thoughts and distractions. Sometimes it seems that we are running around in circles when the only single thing we have to do is make one step in the right direction and we are on track.

I was able to catch quick pictures of them and then I remembered how many pictures I had to edit and finally found the right step to move forward. Something I enjoy.

Put earplugs and go to 1.fm and play one of my favorite station, Destination SPA for relaxation, and as soon as I start looking at each picture, I am into Nature and into another dimension. Listening and looking at so much beauty and perfection, aligns my whole being up to that frequency, and suddenly you know what to do, and everything comes easy without a struggle.100_2137 (600x800)

I suppose it is an act of falling in love with what I see, and that love is the force that allows the creation of something positive which then can be shared with the rest of the world.

 

Without that single right step, which has led to the birth of that feeling within me, there would be nothing, and I would still be running in circles, turning further away from my creativity, being occupied with something else that does not really fulfill me but was easier to do.

I needed the inspiration 100_2027 (800x600)to write this post. So picked up the camera and went outside for a long walk. The light was magical, Nature was celebrating all around me. Little by little, confused and negative thoughts would slowly fade away, obeying to the silence. And without searching or thinking, ideas started appearing, like happy pigeons leaving me messages from beyond.100_2011

Nature saves me every day, if I let her. If I am humble enough to spend precious time observing her in silence. She teaches us everything we need to know. The birds, the clouds, the little ants, the flowers and everything else, all respect an invisible order and rhythm that automatically calms our mind, regenerates us and softly indicates the path to follow.

 

The rest depends on us, she gives us the energy, the push, the enthusiasm. The more we listen to her and do what feels right, the clearer will be our goal and how to achieve it.100_2013 (800x796)

One step at a time.
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Discovering Photography

What a great way to express one’s creativity. Since I was a child, painting has been my medium. Everything around me was a vision to be expressed through paints on canvas. Photography never crossed my mind.

100_1493 (1024x768)But I had not been painting for awhile and this energy, this unknown force within, that each one of us have, was crying to express itself somehow.
There was a little digital compact camera lying around that nobody was using, so one day I started taking pictures of each flower that was appearing around the house. The first reason was that I wanted to show my mom, with whom we had been looking after these plants, and then to keep records of these special moments of flowering that sometimes did not repeat itself, either because the plant after flowering would die, or for whatever reason the next year it would not flower, or not in the same way.

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Therefore the desire to capture that unique moment, that special vision, with that special light, that only my eyes could see. I wanted to frame it there, so I could later relive it over and over again, share it with others and eventually use it for a painting. And with the camera it was so easy. I could take picture after picture until I got it right, or until the image in the camera was what my eyes were focusing on.

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And so little by little I have been learning to use the camera, and picture after picture arrive at the desired result.

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I never thought photography could fulfilled me so much. Painting for me was something completely different. Nature has always been my inspiration and expressing it on canvas gave it another meaning, another perspective. At least the way I paint, or used to on canvas. I could not make an exact copy, my own personal style would always predominate, willingly or unwillingly, taking me beyond the original vision.
There are of course many example over the history of Art of exceptional artists that have been able to express unique moments on canvas just like a photo, and there are many today too, and that is so remarkable, because it is not easy at all.

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And maybe that is why I am falling in love with photography now, because what I am not able to express through a paint, I am now able to do it with ease and fun through a camera, at least as an amateur. Giving me a chance to learn something completely new.

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The moment I have had this revelation came suddenly. With all the pictures of the flowers I was taking, I decided to use them as a background theme on the desktop computer so my mother could look at them with a big screen one by one, like a movie.
One day I was sitting in front of the computer and these pictures started shuffling through and looking at them in such detail really amazed me. Some pictures were so beautiful, they just made my heart jump, even more than when I had looked upon that same image live for the first time. And that gave me the incentive to do more, and the more I do the more I want to. It is really magical.

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I will eventually continue painting because it is a totally different experience, but for the moment photography is unlocking my creativity, allowing it to express itself freely.

There are so many outstanding pictures around, highlighting every aspect of Nature that I find impossible not to be grateful to all those that work so hard to achieve such beautiful images, allowing each one of us to appreciate this great Planet of ours in all its glory.

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You can see more pictures in Portfolio.