INSPIRATION Feed

Sprouts of Hope.

Plant copy

A few months ago this little plant was completely dry, I thought that it was the end. But at the same time I thought that maybe there was a little chance for it to come to life again. So I decided to take very special care of it. I placed it in a different location where the sun wasn't too aggressive and I treated it as if it was one of my children. My Mom thinks that plants listen to what we say so I said many nice things to it every morning, not with words but with my mind.

Plant detail copy

Imagine my excitement when one day, after a few weeks of special treatment, I saw a tiny green miracle sprouting from my plant. I even called my Mom to share the news. She's really good with plants, she believes that plants have feelings. When my Mom takes care of our garden everything becomes more green and beautiful (this is really true). She thinks that plants and people are not that different, we both need some love to stay alive and happy. 

This little plant is my best teacher right now. I'm learning that when your life seems to "dry out" under extreme experiences, there is always the hidden potential for renewal. Sometimes you don't need a dramatic miracle to experience the "emotional green sprout effect", all you need is a small thing. Like this teeny tiny note that Diego left on my desk the other day :)

I love you note from Diego small

When I saw the note I felt like the little sprouts in the video below :)


About changes, transitions and human nature :)

Sky5

 "They always say time changes things, but you actually have to change them yourself."

Andy Warhol.

Sky 1

"Change your thoughts and you change the world."

Norman Vincent Peale.

Sky 2

"If we're growing, we're always going to be out of our comfort zone."

John Maxwell.

Sky3

"Human nature is a mutable cloud which is always and never the same."

Ralph Waldo Emerson.


Invitation for you.

Room

Room 1

Room2

Room 3

Photos from Architectural Digest magazine.

 Dear friend: I invite you to a tiny-meditation-session in one of the four rooms above. All you need is to pick one of them, jump in there, get comfortable and relax. Let your mind calm down. Breath calmly, let go of everything  and just be.  

After you're finished, please go to the room below. Walk "upstairs" to the comment session and meet me there for tea (yummy cookies will be provided as well). It's important for friends to take a break from craziness once in a while, spend some quality time together and have fun reconnecting.

Room 4


Reaching our full potential.

Human Performance Levels copy

Each one of us has the potential to do great things in every area of our lives. But what keeps us from reaching our full potential sometimes? Some possible answers are: distractions, lack of focus, lack of direction, lack of mental clarity, laziness and most of all, loss of control over ourselves. In other words, we give up the power of making optimal use of that amazing organ called brain.

First, we need a leader: Ourselves. Nodody else can build our own life. If feels wonderful when we become the leader of our own existence. This means being in charge, taking full responsibility for our actions. Then, we need to define what is our main mission in life. What do we want? Defining this clearly, in writing, makes a huge difference. That becomes our map, our mission statement. Then we need a list of concrete actions. And then we need to follow through.

Perfection is not possible, it's not even human, so mistakes will happen. But we can always learn from them. The most important thing in my opinion is to be alert, to see ourselves from the outside in order to evaluate how we're doing so we can decide how we can do better. Time is going to pass by fast, it's very easy to let ourselves go in the wrong direction. That's why we need our brain to be our best friend. Our brain will make sure that we don't get lost, but for that to happen wee need to be in touch with it every single day.

Update: This image is now available on my Etsy store as a print.


Nature is the Most Amazing Artist.

 

DSC_0001green and orange veg
Green veg 1 copy

Close up copy

I just discovered Mr. Romanesco Broccoli at Whole Foods . It was love at first sigh. When I saw this amazing green "sculpture"  I couldn't believe my eyes. So much perfection. I bought the one in the pictures and then I spent a good deal of time studying it in my studio. Isn't this a beautiful creation from Mother Nature? I am totally fascinated.

Wikipedia info about Romanesco Broccoli

(Even the name is beautiful)

The way I ate it didn't require any cooking. The texture was so tender. I just separated the rosettes, put a bit of himalayan salt on them, some fresh grounded pepper, walnut oil, lemon and then I massaged everything with my hands for a couple of minutes. After a few minutes of rest the juices "cooked" the whole thing. It was just amazing! 


The inspiration and The Actual Creation.

Bottle copy

The inspiration:

A photograph that I took of a tiny little bottle and some charming red fruits from my garden.

Red Hand (2011)

The Creation:

A woman ("bottle") which head is decorated with tiny little fruits from her inner garden or emotional world.

There are infinite choices for what it could be put into our personal "containers"; the body container and the mind container. Making good choices is up to us. Think of a vase. Once the flowers in it start going bad, it's better to replace the dirty water with clean one and bring in some fresh flowers. That's more or less how I see the cycle of renewing ourselves inside and out. It's a constant process and a labor of love. It all starts with being aware or ourselves physically and emotionally.


Creative Surgery

When I was a little girl my Mom used to work in a hospital. I thought that it was a magic place. We didn't have any real toys back then because Mom's salary wasn't enough for such luxury. But we had plenty of "hospital toys" like tiny bottles, plastic instruments and all kinds of curious objects. I have vivid memories of my brother Alex and I playing science with our special toys. 

Surgical instruments 

In the past, I sometimes wanted to be a surgeon. I imagined myself in front of a large table full of shiny and beautiful medical instruments. I also remember myself memorizing a small book about what to do in case of different emergencies. One day at the beach, I helped a man who had just cut his foot with a broken bottle buried in the sand. Nobody knew what to do. The man was bleeding a lot and screaming. I immediately did what my mind remembered from the book (using the man's t-shirt) so the bleeding eventually stopped. By the time the ambulance arrived the grateful gentleman was a lot calmer. I will never forget how proud of myself I felt. 

Then, one day my sister Ileana took me to her art school for a tour. I couldn't believe my eyes. She took me to the ceramic studio, the engraving studio, the painting studio... For the first time in my life I saw tons of brushes, pencils, tiny tubes of paints, blades of all sizes, wooden instruments...it was better than  a hospital! I realized that artists had as many "toys" as surgeons. I fell in love with the place. Who could imagine that years later I was going to become one more student in that magic place.

Studio table small

As an artist, I enjoy my creative instruments as much as I enjoy creating art. There is nothing more special in the beginning of a project than setting up the table. That little ritual is the same as the surgeon that is about to do an important operation. 

"Operating" on a peace of clay, a blank canvas or a piece of paper, requires the skills of a surgeon. But in the case of art, the surgeon deals with an abstract problem, something that is very personal, unique and exists only in the artist's mind. As creative people, we have the urge to bring something into light, something that nobody else can see. Sometimes it feels like an emergency, other times it doesn't, it depends on our lever of inspiration.

But setting up the table is not the first step in the creative process. Before making something concrete with my hands I first go through a whole surgical process inside the mind. Art never starts in the material world but inside us. I think that in order to create meaningful things we need to keep our mind awake. Thought is the food of creative people. Then, when the physical work is finished we can experience pride, the same pride that I felt when I helped the man on the beach. It's like something important has been accomplished. Creating meaningful art is like stopping a bleeding wound in the creator's mind.

 To me, the process of creating art is fascinating. I cannot clearly explain it, I only make attempts to describe how it feels in my personal experience. But apart from what I wrote in this post I suspect that surgeons are artists as well. Specially the one that operated on my brother Rene last year. My respects to him and to every surgeon who puts lots of thought into the responsibility that means to operate on a human body. Saving a person's life in a dangerous situation is to me the ultimate work of art.

 


Obstacles.

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 "Life's challenges are not supposed to paralyze you, they're supposed to help you discover who you are." ~Bernice Johnson Reagon~

 

Girl2 small

 

It's important to understand that obstacles are part of life. They are everywhere, testing you all the time. I learned that important lesson many years ago. At some point I even started feeling curious about what was going to be the next obstacle on my list.

 Yesterday, on the last day of 2010 I encountered an obstacle. It took me totally by surprise, it hit me on the face with both hands. I couldn't even stop my tears from coming out, but then my mind knew exactly what to do so the tears stopped and I smiled again :)

 

Door and girl small

 

What happened had to do with Rojo. It turned out that the electric installation for my dear kiln costs an amount of money that is prohibited for me right now. About twice what I payed for the kiln itself. 

But there is always a solution for every problem and a key for every locked door. So, after the electrician left feeling disappointed and sorry at the same time I called my brother Alex in Florida. He will do the installation for me, for free. I just need to wait until he comes to California, right now he has lots of work in Miami. So, the solution to this particular problem is: patience.

I wanted my first post of 2011 to be about the very thing that each one of us will encounter this year: Obstacles. The world is going through a deep economic crisis that it affecting us all in one way or another. We need to be wise spenders and smart planners. That's when imagination becomes our most valuable possession.

This is a good year to get to know ourselves better as we face different obstacles. Let's not get negative or scared when new obstacles show up. Instead, let's be ready, strong and positive so they don't have a negative effect on our spirit. The most important thing to keep in mind is that when a door closes, it doesn't mean that we have to close our mind as well. There is a particular door that should remain permanently open: The door to imagination and creativity. That tiny door is the mother of all doors on planet Earth. Please, let's keep that in mind.

Happy New Year, my friend!

Elsita :)