Joy in Pandemic times – Scotland is getting ready for Winter

Autumn is almost gone.

Leaves from trees are slowly changing into mush-mash of wet slippery cover on the path walks and trees appear to be more and more naked. I guess I am ready for winter as well.

Tiredness is most present every day, as my body would like to tell me to slow down, reflect.

I have been very busy lately, trying to balance all present in my life. I enjoy all, but I am learning to do just as much I can in a day.

Pandemic times don´t add much.

Do you find yourself sometimes creatively drained?

I do. Days even months of not picking up the pencil. Is it for us to push through or just let it go itself? In my own experience the answer is somewhere in the middle.

My creativity heightened lately and I made myself a promise of drawing every day for one month. It is not easy task to accomplish and as I am writing this story I have already slipped few days trying to catch up now.

Have you ever heard of Ink October Challenge? I am doing it now in November. Hoping to continue on everyday quick sketches even after the challenge. That is for another story though.

As I look out of my window weather is less promising every day. Yet we had quite few beautiful days even little inversion, which I am hoping to experience again. Edinburgh covered in cloud, one suddenly felt as being in the part of Harry Potter Books or Sherlock Holmes stories.

Picking up leaves on the way home, creating fall inside of the flat. Enjoying times with friends. Experiencing that even in times as we live at now there is still a lot to see and experience. I guess we learnt to live with virus, there are restrictions present in the past half of the year and I only can conclude that this time brought a lot of positives into my life as well.

Nature become more important than ever, appreciating every new day being healthy, every meeting with friends. Being grateful for the job I have which allows me get away from not only isolation, but as well away from the fear of the virus, which many experience nowadays.

But enough of talking, let me show you little things which make life so special even in times of pandemics.

What is it you enjoy at the moment?  What makes you happy?

What is autumn like in Scotland?

It was sunny outside, but as soon I stepped out I knew something is different. The air was cold and had this smell which can only mean one thing.

Autumn is here.

Season which covers land in colourful blanket. Fall as they call it in English. Time when we start getting ready for winter. Summer is gone, but not quite just yet. Last bits of sunshine warm soft light early sunsets. Everything is telling me that inevitable is coming.

Winter.

This is time to enjoy and take in all what is left from warmth and light.

Autumn brought me back to life. With all news and restrictions, I felt somewhat drained and influenced more than I would like to be.

Tired.

I forced myself one day to get to see a sunset here in Edinburgh from the hill Arthur Seat. That was a day everything has changed and finally energies started moving different directions.

I threw my jacket and backpack into the grass set the tripod and filmed the sunset. Suddenly I saw inspiration again I felt as energy is moving inside my body and inspiration is rushing into my mind, into my heart.

Still tired I knew that this is turning point. As I watched the sun fall behind the Calton Hill I just wanted to stay in this moment forever.

Yet I packed all again and made my way towards trees where I left my bike waiting quietly for my arrival. Suddenly my heart skipped and I stopped in silent awww. Large ginger creature crossed my path in most gentle way as the animal can do.

´Fox, ´ crossed my mind.

In split second she was gone in the trees where my bike was waiting. I smiled and stood there for a little while longer.

Was it just a dream or did it just happen?

Many years ago when I moved to Edinburgh I used to see foxes for about a year or two. I didn´t understand it back then, thinking it is just many of them here. Which is true as well, but it was as well time when I changed everything, when I let inspiration lead me where I am supposed to go. It was a time, when I fell in love, when I understood more about life than ever before, when I heard my inner calling the loudest. Time when everything shifted.

That time is here again.

I am finding my inspiration, the feeling that this is it I just need to keep going and find the way how to take this inspiration out there. The fox was always a sign of something changing and new exiting beginnings lieng ahead, even though accompanied with possible pain of letting go of old.

I guess that is exactly time I am entering just now and am more curious then ever what does it have in its cards this time.

That was my beginning of the autumn this year. Shift from sadness to inspiration and excitement. After the day I met the fox and watched the sunset colours started appearing in the trees, leafs would dance in the wind and I would see ideas and inspiration absolutely everywhere. I went to explore the old forest were I would just experience these magical moments of connection with nature. I haven´t explored it all yet. It is going to be even more colourful now.

Come to experience autumn in Scotland with me.

Get an inspiring feeling of Scotland

It´s been about a year ago when I have started my collage book of places which I have visited in Scotland. Each place is special and talks its own story. It is hard to capture feeling by a photo or only words. Art expression is getting closer to the feeling yet still it is not enough. I guess that´s why I have started making videos, to capture the feeling of this country.

Scotland is a magical country. I believe that there is beauty everywhere and I consider my own birth country to be one of the most beautiful I have ever seen. It is true though, that there is something about Scotland. It not only has been tested country throughout centuries but it is very proud country too. Full of stories and dramatic landscape, which makes one’s imagination go wild. No wonder so many writers and artists found their inspiration exactly here.

J.K. Rowling saw Harry Potter behind Edinburgh’s walls. Arthur Conan Doyle saw his Sherlock Holmes solving crimes in dark Edinburgh’s streets. Many artists roamed Scotland for inspiration. Neither science overlooked Scottish potential. Alexander Graham Bell or Alexander Fleming were few important people in history who moved society forward and were raised to their own potential exactly here.

My own experience is that I didn’t know much about Scotland before coming here. I guess that’s a little bit of continental ignorance in me as I would consider UK to be one country even though at school we would learn about centuries hunted and pushed Scottish people by the English crown. It´s all in the past, yet when one lives here long enough there are some differences and tensions still present. Maybe that is for another story.

Today is all about feeling which Scotland can trigger in us. Get a little glimpse of this country and let me take you to places which not only inspired me but left my heart full of joy and excitement. I processed all these feelings through collage book which I am intended continue creating as more I explore around here. It is a great way how to keep my little sketches together as well or capture some thought which the place provoked in me. Enough talking for today, come with me and let me show you a bit of Scotland.

Interesting places in Scotland – Cold North Berwick

Little Scottish town on the east coast called North Berwick holds special place in my heart. When you travel there by train you basically end up on the very end of the world because train rails don´t continue anywhere else.

When I have seen these kind of ´ends of the world´ around Scotland for a first time I was fascinated by them, because in Europe there is always somewhere to continue and very rarely you get ´end of the rail´ station.

At least certainly not in Central Europe.

So very first thing one is exposed to is ´end of the world´ train station.

North Berwick is a beautiful place to visit once being in Scotland. It is tiny town with very atmospheric vibe, because on one main street you get a lot of tiny cute coffee shops and galleries, which create cosy feeling that one would love to live exactly here.

Then you pass through few houses and sea opens up in front of you.

Beautiful long beach with view on two islands, which one of them is very iconic ´Bass Rock´. This island happened to be inspiration for many artists who found themselves in Scotland.

When I was just getting to know arty world it was exactly here when I tried painting real outside object into my sketchbook.

It was my birthday and I had wonderful day in this little town.

Thanks to the painting I made (which wasn´t nothing that special yet special for me) I will always remember the feeling of that day.

Sitting on the beach and painting for a fist time with watercolours outside. I felt very anxious, because my skills weren´t very good and I was just very self-aware of my surroundings not wanting anyone to see what I am painting.

Probably here for a first time I have let go of my fears not caring what the outcome will be. There were very little people around and I had pretty much the place for myself.

It was strange feeling as almost connecting with other artists who sat on that beach and painted very same island in the past.

I think that was a time, when I decided to do whatever I can and continue this new journey which somehow happened to be present in my life.

Artistic journey of self- expression buried deep inside and waiting to be found one day. It was almost symbolic and I perceived that day sitting on the beach in North Berwick as a sign for me to continue besides my anxieties and uneasy feelings of self-doubt, comparing and not understanding why was I even brought on the journey with brush in my hand.

Trying to capture the sea, the colours with very limiting skills of someone who doesn´t even know how to paint. But inner drive and need to capture somehow this moment was much stronger than self-doubt about my artistic skills.

Come have a look with me and visit this tiny little Scottish town which is just so special and if you ever are visiting Scotland – North Berwick should be on your list.

Exploring Trossachs National Park – Scotland

Last year I made myself a promise that I will explore nature of Scotland much more than I have been doing until now. There have been few years when I just didn´t get much out of Edinburgh for various reasons from luck of money to studies responsibilities or work commitments. Last year was a turning point for me where I realised that nature is the place where I feel the most home. I did few trips either with friends or on my own to highlands, bought some hiking gear and at least few times tried it out.

This year was meant to be year of long distance hikes.

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2020 had a different plan though, first half of the year we were stuck home in our neighbourhoods and when finally, was hiking and wild camping allowed I was coming back to work. So I have started exploring Pentlands close by mountains where I have been so many times since I moved here that they feel as my second home. It is amazing that just half an hour away is whole new world far away from the city.

Pentlands story is for another time though as today I would like to come back in memories when I had a chance to visit Trossachs National Park. Come along with me on the journey…

I was so excited to take my big backpack and just spend few days in Highlands. I didn´t gain enough courage to do wild camping so I thought taking it slowly and just stay in a hostel and do some one day trips around to get to know the area a little because one day I would like to hike 4 days long distance hiking road around here. What I tried was my kitchen equipment if it is actually working and if I am able to get it working.

What I love about solo hiking is that there is an opportunity to take everything in undistracted by other people.

I love nature trips with friends who have a similar way of hiking, but sometimes probably from artistic and inspirational influence I just need to be alone and listen carefully to the silent voice of nature which can get lost in conversations with others.

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Very often I am most lucky to get inspiration keep it inside and be able to take it out later when I hike and observe nature on my own. I guess these are two polarities which need to be balanced. Experience nature with others on outside level and then experience it alone on inside level. For me at least one doesn´t go without the other.

Trossachs welcomed me greatly.

It was nice and sunny most of days just when I was leaving and had no more hikes planed it started raining. There is something special about this area.

Mystical forests and plain bold mountains creates just the right contrast.

I love the feeling entering mountains where all you see are mountains for kilometres and kilometres in distance. It makes me feel free and all I would love to do is just run and never stop. Sometimes it almost feels as the body is a limit which gets tired, cold and hungry but deep inside there is this free spirit which longs for freedom of the mountains.

I was stunned by the beauty around here. Not only the village Callendar where I was staying was the most beautiful tiny village with river crossing through and mountains on its backdoor but the whole area resembled something very special.

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As I walked through the forests nature showed me beautiful places and moments where light just played with the colours of trees and I happened to be in the right moment in the right place to enjoy it.

Few seconds later the moment passed and I stood there grateful for being showed such a beauty.

I guess that´s where is the believe in forest creatures who protect and guard the land is coming from, because this kind of moments and encounters are way too special to be merely coincidence. And I do love keeping this child like part full of imagination present inside of me.

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Trossachs and Callander are on my future bucket list once again because this time I got a tiny glimpse of the beauty of this Mountain range. On the way back I have visited Doune Castle which is very special place as well. Maybe you got to know it from Outlander series or Monty Python and Holy Grale. Castle was under reconstruction so I didn´t get to see it in its full beauty yet still the magnificence of the place and secretes hidden in the castle walls were still present.

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I loved creating the collage once I got back home where I used my sketches from the trip and kept the feeling these mountains gave me forever – to see how it worked out watch the video above.

Have you ever visited Trossachs National Park in Scotland or would you like to? What was your experience? Is nature your inspiration as well?

Fairy Hunt

When I moved here what I was most taken by were stories about mythical creatures and fairies srill fairly lalive among the people. They are very proud for this heritage which I find fascinating and somewhat similar to my own culture where many fairy tales about mythical creatures still live among the people. Maybe not in such extend as here yet I remember stories to be told as a child or attending events and festivities closely connected with old traditions.

With all this mythical knowledge once you see the beautiful nature here or wherever else there you can let your imagination go and meet fairy behind the trees.

I have few stories of my own while frowing up. There used to be a tree close to my parent’s field. I spent hours talking to it and back then I believed it is talking back to me. Sounds crazy right? Yet I don´t think it was that crazy at all, because as much I learnt there are different parts of our personalities and probably this one was one of them projected by my ´child me´ into a tree. I gave her even a name – Agatha. It certainly was my good wise fairy always providing comfort and good advice.

My mum taught me hug trees when I was little, because they carry beautiful energy from the source. Every time we would go to the forest she would hug trees I would follow until I entered ´cool´ age and found that to be somewhat crazy. I am realizing just now how much these small rituals meant and how they created my strong connection to life, nature and everything alive.

Walking through a beautiful forest thinking that there are tiny creatures protecting its beauty gives me joy and reassurance that not all is lost yet that nature will always find a way. Little painting I did here inspired by nature was very free flow illustration of possible worries and yet freedom of the fairies. It´s more of a study then final piece yet I enjoyed every second of the painting. Come with me for a little fairy hunt today.

Do you have any fairy stories of your own? I would be happy to hear 🙂

Scotland – artists inspiration

Sometimes we happen to be in place we haven´t maybe even indented to be. Once a friend told me that Edinburgh or even Scotland is calling its people. I have heard so many stories of people who happened to come to Edinburgh not knowing why they came just they felt that´s the place they need to go to.

I haven´t really intended coming here it was more of an only option back then and I would probably choose completely different destination, but life made it the way that I appeared here. Slowly I have started to understand that this is a place where I am going to be for quite some time and that it will mean a lot to me.

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I often wondered why Edinburgh, why Scotland as either was a place I would ever see myself belonging. Yet it happened to be right place for my upcoming path which grew tall in my heart and became my second home. I even learned that I must have lived here before (if you believe in past lives). It feels as I have already lived a lifetime looking back to over a decade of my adult life. So many experiences and so many things shaped who I am today.

Here I found sanctuary, safe place to find my true calling but as well a lot of pain and heartbreak. Here I experienced the wildest emotional shifts to face almost every single bit of my personality bits I didn’t want to face or would of like. That is part of the journey though isn´t it? Without everything we experience we wouldn´t be who we are today.

It took me years to find confidence and understand that art is the only path I can take, only title I am comfortable with and only thing I would truly like to keep throughout my life. I can do and probably will do many other jobs but even if it´s meant to be for sake of taking out things which inspired me and they won´t go nowhere else than on this blog that is enough and I feel as I followed that inner calling.

Today I am on artistic journey.

The place where I live is full of inspiration which I just would love to take in and out for others to enjoy. In reality every place is full of inspiration and as long I can remember I could always see it everywhere. I still don´t always know how to take it out but that´s the beauty of the process.

I live in the city yet I am mostly inspired by nature. There is no option for me at the moment to live anywhere else or closer to the nature where I hear my true calling, so rather than soak myself in the pity of it, I have decided to take inspiration from where I am at. By slow baby steps I am getting closer.

Apart of painting and drawing I have started creating videos about my inspiration not only for art but to live creative life because I believe we all are artists in some way we just need to allow ourselves to see it within us.

It is only a beginning of things which inspire me here in Scotland but I tried to grasp a tiny bit. I am still learning to really understand video making and the technology I have doesn´t allow me to truly make it the way I´d like it to be, but baby steps.

Let me bring you small part of the beauty I see and was blessed to enjoy.

Scotland, did we make it?

They say seventh year is the critical one for relationship. The year when you either get married or break up. I can´t really say from the romantic experience just yet but there is one relationship which kinda reflects that.

It has been seven years since I moved to Scotland.

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Hidden inspiration of scottish borders

Do you know that feeling that you are somewhere and you think that you know it there and yet still something can truly surprise you?

That´s why I love Scotland. It is beautiful green country where nature shows itself in its fullest. Every time I go somewhere I am stunned by its beauty. Always I found hidden treaures of this country and little suprises which inspire my soul.

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Hiking skottish highlands with 20kg backpack. Is it possible?

Breath taking mountains wilderness and nothing just nature around is why I love hiking. It can be overwhelming sometimes but same time it´s one of those things which make you realise you´re alive.

Once you look from top of the mountain around feeling almost as a part of clouds and heaven. Do you know that feeling? Not just slight rush through your body and stomach, proudness of what you have just managed to climb but as well that feeling of freedom, being part of something much bigger which seems to be almost reachable on the top of the mountain or you can almost smell it in the air surrounding the mountain lake.

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