Sunday, December 10, 2006

Sunday, December 03, 2006

Start of the Christmas season

For most Christians, the Christmas season begins on the Sunday closest to November 30th...the Feast Day of Saint Andrew, one of the Twelve Apostles. This Sunday is known as the First Day of Advent.Because the day it begins changes from year to year, so does the length of each Advent season. This year, Advent begins today.
Advent has probably been observed since the fourth century.The word "advent" is Latin for "coming towards" ("ad" meaning "towards" and "ven" or "vent" being the core of the Latin verb "veno," which means "to come"). In this context, Advent refers to the coming of Jesus Christ on Christmas Day. Even as the Christmas season has become more secular -with advertisers urging holiday gift-givers to buy and buy some more - Advent still brings joy and the observance of ancient customs.The four Sundays of advent are often traditionally celebrated with four candles with one to be lit each Sunday. Each candle has a specific meaning associated with different aspects of the Advent story. The first one almost always symbolizes expectant hope sometimes associated with prophecy. The others are organized around as a way to unfold the story and direct attention to the celebrations and worship in the season, such as Peace, Love, Joy. A fifth, white or gold, candle -- called a "Christ Candle" -- is often lit in the center on Christmas Day or used to replace the wreath altogether.
According to old German tradition, on the first Sunday of Advent, the children should write their Christmas letter to the Christ Child. Accompanied by Angels, it is Christkindl...the Christ Child...who will bring the Christmas tree, together with all the good things to be found both on and beneath it.Hmm, but question is, to whom I should write my Christmas letter ? :-)

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Illustration Friday - Invention

When you say invention , the first person I would have in my mind like probably the best inventor has name Leonardo da Vinci (1452-1519). He is best remembered as the painter of the Mona Lisa (1503-1506) and The Last Supper (1495) . But he's almost equally famous for his astonishing multiplicity of talents, he is celebrated as the inventor of extraordinary machines and mechanical devices that entered our culture several centuries after his death : he dabbled in architecture, sculpture, engineering, geology, hydraulics and the military arts, all with success, and in his spare time doodled parachutes and flying machines that resembled inventions of the 19th and 20th centuries. Unfortunately, many of his scientific projects were never completed. He recorded his technical notes and sketches in numerous notebooks. After Leonardo's death, Francesco Melzi, his favourite student, brought many of his manuscripts and drawings back to Italy. In fact, Leonardo's manuscripts are today nothing like the way they appeared and were grouped together during his lifetime. Pompeo Leoni, a sculptor at the court of the King of Spain, split up the original manuscripts, cut and pasted pages and created two separate collections.
One is now called the "Codex Atlanticus". This Codex, kept in the Biblioteca Ambrosiana in Milan, today consists of twelve leather-bound volumes, comprising 1,119 supports which gather together pages of different sizes, contains some of Leonardo's most famous drawings and notes.

There is a my contribution to this week theme , done in sepia ink and with watercolor pencil.
In Leonardo’s day, systems for working at a deep level underwater were already being studied. Leonardo devised a leather diving suit. Cane hoses fixed together by leather joints enabled the diver to breathe through intake/outake valve. Steel spirals were inserted into the joints so as to prevent them from being crushed by the pressure of the water. The tubes used for breathing stuck out of the water and were held in place and protected by a dedicated cork floating device which served as a buoy. Leonardo also came up with webbed gloves and flippers which are very similar to the flippers now used by frogmen.
This photo is from summer 2006 exhibition in Slovak National Museum - Leonardo Da Vinci -curious genius , which was based right on "Codex Atlanticus" (exactly on 68 pages only and 21 models) . It is european project of itinerant exhibition in cooperation with Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Italy and various cultural institutes and UNESCO. It is worth of visiting it !
Leonardo wrote in Italian using a special kind of shorthand that he invented himself. People who study his notebooks have long been puzzled by something else, however. He usually used "mirror writing", starting at the right side of the page and moving to the left. Only when he was writing something intended for other people did he write in the normal direction.This practice contributed to his discoveries and observations remaining unread and undisseminated for centuries after his death.

Sunday, November 05, 2006

Illustration Friday - Smoke

The topic at Illustration Friday this week is 'smoke'.

Watercolor and woodless color pencil Progresso (both Koh-I-Noor).

Sunday, October 08, 2006

Autumn is here - Grid project

Today was a wonderful sunny day. Inspired by Nina and Renate (they originally inspired by Patty ) I decided to take part in "grid challenge", too. Here it is , my autumn memories from today !
Watercolor & inkpen on Terra 250 g/m2 paper 148x210mm

Friday, September 29, 2006

Illustration Friday - Quiet

This week's topic is Quiet. There are several sketches in my sketchbook which I think are related to this topic.

The first one has origin in Turkey, namely in Alanya, last year. This is old cemetery , right in the middle of the town. Next behind this wall is busy, really crowded beach, but here was divine silence. It was something I was suprised by - this quiet. You can feel it there and I feel it each time I see this picture. There was nothing, only tombs, sun-dried grass, me and quiet.
What is interesting, too, you can see different tombstones used for gender , man and woman. Done in watercolors and watercolors pencils.

Next picture depicted a small pond, somewhere in Slovakia, Tomky, Záhorie. I was on the way to my client when suddenly before my eyes was opened this view .That week, I remember, was very quick and busy, so when I see this view I was overhelmed by peace and quiet of this place. I stopped the car, take out my watercolor kit and made this quick sketch. I am sure I could not find this place today again, but this quiet stay for me in this sketch forever.

The third picture is from Thailand. It was so : When you are on the beach you are target of beach dwellers sellings various things. If you think that if you buy something and it is over - you are wrong! Like flies have some right direction to the pot of honey, these unsuccesfull (until yet) dwellers find way directly to you. I know they are poor and I don´t want be rude, but I know ,too, I cannot save the whole world. So there was some moment I found some thai newspapers you cannot read any word there and found this picture, start drawing it and there was curious thing - they sit around in semicircle and waiting in quiet until I finished . There was something strange, I am no artist who easy draw between unrelated people, but here ... there was no problem, I was concentrated on this picture. By the way, from this moment they don´t disturb me with selling (they want to see my drawings :-) )

Sunday, September 24, 2006

Prague again

Last week including weekend was so busy , so I am back in Prague. There are pictures depicted several "house signs" on Nerudova street.It is for this moment my excuse for EDM challenge "store", because these signs were often signs of shops located in this house , or family names, or something similar.

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Prague weekend

The summer is quite over , so where can I spent last summer weekend ? I am sure I told you sometimes somewhere in this blog : I love Prague. If you will have this possibility , please don´t miss it. Prague is lovely town, especially Old town- but not only there. Your eyes can see this (view to a Prague Castle over the river Vltava) :
Or something like this ( view from Carl´s bridge) :

Or this , in better quality , of course . This is sketch of Carl´s Bridge from opposite site , from Malá Strana , done in watercolor and inkpen.
Buildings on Malá Strana are interesting , too. You can feel history from each and every corner.

From my sketchblock :
This sketch is memory of visiting Dan Landa muzical "Tajemstvi" (Mystery) , which is dark story about curse of family, about love and hate,about paralell quests from past and present, muzical full of knights and werevolves, about mystery game, with dynamic muzic and good artists. And with surprising end.
For afternoon tea (but not only tea) I recommend visit to a probably the best Prague tearoom "U zeleného čaje" ( "At Green Tea") on Nerudova street. Here, in haze of fragrant tea you forget tourist crowded streets outside. As you can see on my jasmin tea picture, you can draw , too.

Last but not least.EDMC #84- Draw a bread. This is a quick sketch from old Czech pub "U provaznice" done with inkpen and PITT pen.

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Illustration Friday - farm

My contribution to Illustration Friday´s topic of this week "farm". Here is depicted salaš , place where in Slovakia on hill´s meadows was sheeps and cattle for long period of the year, in english probably sheep-cote. Shepherd´s hut , this small wooden house, has name koliba. Shepherds (valasi) and boss (bača) not only take care for sheeps (favourite meal of bears and wolves) but in next door sheep´s chees diary make a various products from sheep´s milk, mostly bryndza , which is a special type of soft sheep cheese, absolutly necessary for slovak national meal Bryndzové halušky (some type of potato gnocchi) ! Fabulous is oštiepok, hard sheep cheese, dry smoked .
It was hard work,but adventure & romantic in one. When I was 5 years old, I run away from home because I want to be a bača :-)

The picture is pen&ink, watercolor pencils and watercolors.

Saturday, September 02, 2006

Theatrical masks from Myra

In this post I return to Myra, ancient town of Lycia (now in Turkey). As you know from previous post, the facade of the Roman amphitheatre in Myra was richly decorated with theatrical masks and mythological scenes.Now it is in ruins and everywhere around are lying stones with faces, most of them not damaged, very artistic and nice.

Thursday, August 31, 2006

Back from the Land of Half-Moon

The last two summer weeks we usually spent in Turkey, on so called Turkish Riviera on the coast of Mediterranean Sea .This year in Kemer , which was formerly small town, now seaside resort .One of the major attractions of Kemer is it´s natural beauty.
Flag of Turkeyrose hotelThe clean sea, forests and the Taurus mountains combine here in harmony.But more, the area around is full of ancient cities and archeologicals points of interests. So, you can imagine, there was no time for boring on my holiday.

As a very favourite part of my holiday is a tasting of turkish cuisine. I must admit, there is no meal you could not give thumbs up . Gözleme is a savory Turkish pastry made by rolling dough with a thin roller and repeatedly folding it. It is filled, and browned in a pan.

Next pictures are from sunken city of Kekova, an ancient town, which was destroyed by an earthquake during the second century A.D. You can see see parts of houses through glass bottoms of boats . Very impressive !
Kekova tomb
Next town I visited, Myra, was one of the six most important cities of ancient Lycia and eventually was made the capital of the Roman province of Lycia. As a result of Arab raids, earthquakes, and the flooding of the Myrros stream, the city became largely abandoned.The ruins of Myra consist of an impressive necropolis and adjacent well preserved Roman theatre and are located at about 1.5 km north of present day Kale - Demre. The Roman theatre is large with 35 consecutive rows of seats. The facade of the amphitheatre was richly decorated with theatrical masks and mythological scenes. To the west of the theatre the steep cliff is honeycombed with closely packed tombs, most of them of the Lycian house-type.
In early Christian times, Myra was the metropolis of Lycia. The town is traditionally associated with Saint Paul, who changed ships in its harbor. Saint Nicholas of Myra was a bishop of Myra in the 4th century, he had a reputation for secret gift-giving, but is now commonly known as Santa Claus. The earliest church of St. Nicholas at Myra was built in the 6th century.

In 1863 Czar Alexander II of Russia bought the building and started to have it restored, but the work was never finished. In 1963 the eastern and southern sides of the church was excavated, in 1968 the former burial of St. Nicholas was roofed over. The floor of the church is made of opus sectile, a mosaic of coloured marble, and there are some remains of wall-paintings. A Greek marble sarcophagus had been reused to bury the Saint, but his bones were stolen in 1087 by merchants from Bari, and now held in the cathedral of that city.

Karpuzkaldiran Waterfall , is approx. 40 meters high and the water gushes down onto the massive rocks with great force.This waterfall is located in Antalya, near Lara.Don´t worry, there was still plenty of time for sea and sun, and for some drawings, too. Despite of bomb attacks in near Antalya and annoying Russian tourists in hotel, it was fun-tastic time again.