10 Secret Steps That Will Bring Magic To Your Day (Part 1)

Today I realized how soon is Christmas: 8 days left. Till New Year’s Eve – 16 days. Being from Ukraine made me long for a number of other winter holidays: St Nicholas day (Dec 19) and Orthodox Christmas (that is celebrated on Jan 7). In addition to this, there is another amazing date: Winter Solstice (Dec 21). I always found it silly that people get all crazy over the gifts hunt and ‘made-in-china’ decorations. It amuses me that in America you start to see Christmas promotions in November. However, when I was on the evening walk a few days ago I realized something important, I think. I saw a holiday rush as a means to unite people, make them feel like they belong and are a part of something bigger. It is a natural sensation that makes a human being’s life worth it. In the essay ‘The Myth of Sisyphus’, Camus introduces his philosophy of the absurd: man’s futile search for meaning, unity, and clarity in the face of a world devoid of God and eternal truths or values.

Holiday lights

Finding magic in your life is a lot easier than you might think. A traditional ‘fight for the light’ is really not that necessary, while in pursue of magic, buying 25K worth of Christmas decorations to make your house the brightest in a community is an option but far not the only one.

“A star falls from the sky and into your hands. Then it seeps through your veins and swims inside your blood and becomes every part of you. And then you have to put it back into the sky. And it’s the most painful thing you’ll ever have to do and that you’ve ever done. But what’s yours is yours. Whether it’s up in the sky or here in your hands. And one day, it’ll fall from the sky and hit you in the head real hard and that time, you won’t have to put it back in the sky again.”
― C. JoyBell C.

10 secret steps to make magic happen

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1. Start your day with a special kind of coffee

Recipe by Tove Jansson – novelist, painter, illustrator and comic strip author; she is best known as the author of the Moomin books for children.

You’ll need:

ground coffee, milk, honey and cinnamon

How to make:

  • Combine 1/4 cup of milk with 2/4 cup of water. Add 1/2-1 tsp  of honey; stir well.

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  • Add 2 tsp of grind coffee beans (with a little extra tip). Top it with a pinch of cinnamon. One more pinch of cinnamon you add to the fire that cooks your coffee. Let the fire know what awaits it.

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  • Stir while cooking. And when it is about to escape add a little more cinnamon to the coffee to make it calm down.

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What’s the magic:

Life becomes better after you drink it. Things and dreams that avoided coming true would suddenly start to. Other little wonders will start to occur as well!

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2. Buy/download  and start reading The Little Prince by Antonie de Saint-Exupery while drinking that coffee (see step 1)

It’s very short (just 64 pages). The book is translated into more than 250 languages which makes it fourth most-translated book in the world. It was first published in 1943. The Little Prince is a novella by a French writer, poet and pioneering aviator Saint-Exupery. In this story he is thought to have drawn on the aviation experiences in the Sahara Desert.

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The watercolour illustrations that were made by the author add a magic visuals to a poetic tale about a pilot, who is stranded in a desert and meets a young prince who has fallen to Earth from a tiny asteroid.

It was written during the Second World War: France had fallen and Saint-Exupery fled to North America.

Don’t let the cute illustrations fool you, it is much more than a child’s book, although it’s styled as one. It is a voyage of an adult in search of a sincerity and simple childhood-like excitement.

The Little Prince meets a pilot in a desert
A shot of the Paramount Pictures trailer

Where to get it:

  • Buy a printed version at your local book shop. Be old school, books are very cool to hold in your hands and turn over the pages.
  • Buy an e-book on Amazon.
  • Download a free version (pdf, ePUB or Kindle) – no spam, no tricks, this link actually works: http://ebookbees.com/the-little-prince-free-ebook/

3. and 4. Music cures. Dancing too. Get your day moving with a next step. Now we are all different with unique tastes but here’s what I  was writing this article to:

Music really can make magic happen. I love those chill electronics by Moderat (German based group). Even 10 minutes of getting lost in a dance in between day-to-day errands putts a newly polished smile on my face.

FearFree from Маша Пасічник on Vimeo.

Options:

  • Here is one more podcast (it is literally called “Music, cure me”) at Ukrainian online radio. (Even though Intro is in Russian, music is not 🙂

https://www.mixcloud.com/widget/iframe/?feed=%2Faristocratsfm%2F%25D0%25BC%25D1%2583%25D0%25B7%25D1%258B%25D0%25BA%25D0%25B0%25D0%25BB%25D0%25B5%25D1%2587%25D0%25B8-%25D1%2581%25D0%25B5%25D0%25B7%25D0%25BE%25D0%25BD-2-%25D1%258D%25D0%25BF%25D0%25B8%25D0%25B7%25D0%25BE%25D0%25B4-12-29112016%2F&hide_cover=1&light=1

  • Feeling more rhythmic? This youtube charnel full of salsa tutorials that are actually very easy to follow fulfills the mood:
  • For a funk mix of electronics this is the way to go:

But seriously go to dancing classes. Literally sign up for tonight’s local class ‘try it out’!! 🙂 It cleans you inside out – body and soul. It took me ages to make this decision. You know how it goes: lack of time, no partner, too expensive, just keep forgetting. It’s all called procrastination – google it! Signing up to classes takes a simple action – just find a school close to you or the one that looks fun, ask a friend, go to yelp, attend evening open dance classes – don’t over think it.

That’s a good movie to get you inspired on the topic (so old – so good):

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5. Seal your wish in an empty bottle of wine.

How to prepare:

          • Buy a bottle of wine (not too expensive, don’t make it too fency, or the wish will think that you are trying to buy it out). It has to be special: pick by nice label picture, or drink the one that a good person gave you, or buy one here – this wine store claims to expose wine to music, that should change its structure and make every cell of your body cheer.

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dandelion wine by Ray Bradbury
That’s another great book to read by the way:)
          • Drink it. Preferably in a beautiful place to charge it with some good memories and share it with some good people, but I’ll tell you secretly – drinking it alone for this cause is fine too (maybe not the whole bottle…and don’t drink and drive, right?).
          • Make a wish, blow it inside the bottle and cork it right away (so that a wish can’t escape).

What’s the magic:

Your wish comes true! Really:) Just be humble and you’ll get 10 times worth of a wish.

To be continued…Saving some for the next magical day!!:)

How you like it? – RAW

Marketing is a common part of our everyday life. Since the establishment of early trade relationships in society, we have learned to present ourselves at the highest value. We still have to ‘market’ ourselves nowadays: when we apply for school or a job (we have to prove our worth at any cost). Food at your local grocery store also participates the competition, and only that, that reaches to the highest standards becomes part of exposition.

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Fall Pampering Harvest

I disagree with and at the same time admire the power, that marketing has on our common sense and the way we perceive objects; the way that marketing strategies are designed to read the target audience’s wishes fascinates me. I wanted to learn all about it.

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‘Human On Display’ – photo by Oleksiy Zubrytsky; model: Olga Balashova; idea: Masha

Marketing is all about creating the unique experience, that stays long in the consumer’s mind. It aims at persuading the buyer, that this is ‘once in a lifetime deal’. At the same time it is based on patterns.

Andy Warhol depicted this process by creating a mass-produced art pieces (that was revolutionary at that time). Andreas Gursky, on the other hand, puts that almost ornamental pattern, straight into your face. His photos swallow the viewer with its infinite details.

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Andy Warhol – Campbell Soup Series
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Andreas Gursky. Chromogenic color print. 6′ 9 1/2″ x 11′ (207 x 337 cm) Lent by the artist, courtesy Matthew Marks Gallery, New York, and Monika Sprüth Galerie, Cologne. ©2001 Andreas Gursky.

I look at the theme of marketing from the point of view of a hypnotized customer. The one that is like a fly attracted to the light; the customer that is in the same way attracted to the product. This is a very powerful force, that is able to completely blind a person.

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‘Problem of Choice’ acrylic painting on canvas by Masha

 

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‘Problem of Choice’ – painting in process
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‘Problem of Choice’ – acrylic painting by Masha
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‘Problem of Choice’ – acrylic painting by Masha
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‘Problem of Choice’ – acrylic painting by Masha

My series started with an observation of the problem of choice we have nowadays. Whereas it seems that our options are endless, we are in fact, just tricked by variety of labels,  that promote the same substance. When you choose between ‘cola’ and ‘fanta’ – it’s ultimately sweet water produced by Coca Cola brand.

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‘Pick Me!’ – acrylic painting by Masha

The first work is called The Problem of Choice. It depicts the average woman anxious at the drink isle. I was inspired with the part of the movie ’99 Francs’.

Later I decided to dig dipper and play with the parallels between marketing of a product and marketing of the person. This theme basically starts with high-end modeling and luxury goods and ends with your next neighbor in the snack aisle of your local grocery store.

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Salmon on display at the local store – photo

My friends (who so generously volunteered their time and effort) and I organized a photo shoot that would depict a ‘person on display – raw’. We brought a blown-up pool to the photo studio and filled it with 200 kg (440 lb) of ice. I was trying to stylize the models and their positions similar to those in the raw meat and fish section.

Two most adventurous models I ever had were Alina and Olga Balashova. Olga was the first art curator, who picked my artwork, piled among other things in corridors of the Art Academy, for the huge contemporary art show in Kiev. It happened so that we started talking about art and then I just asked if she would want to volunteer as a model for these new series, I am working on. The fact she agreed was a pretty big deal for me at the time! And looking back at those photos I still can not appreciate it enough!

Watch Olga’s art lectures on Vimeo and read more of Olga’s articles dedicated to the contemporary art here. (UA/RU)

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For the photo of ‘meat’ I actually splashed that red-colored acrylic paint all over the model.

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Couple of the models didn’t show up. My friend had to drive my old manual stick ford car (that was lacking right mirror and would die every time you stop) to pick up the substitution. These were two guys whom she saw for the first time. They made their way back to the studio and brought a bottle of vodka. I also had to substitute one model. The ice was beyond cold. I can not admire enough the dedication with which Alina and Olga laid in that pool, waiting for our next command.

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Final pics looked like this:

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And here are the paintings that came out of them:

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‘Meat’ – acrylic painting; ‘Human on Display’ Series
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‘Fish’ – acrylic painting; ‘Human on Display’ series
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‘Meat-1’ – acrylic painting; ‘Human on Display’ series
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‘Fish-1’ – acrylic painting

 

Check out more of my paintings at Createdbymash.com!

And follow me on Instagram 🙂

Cheers,

Masha!

 

Sky Is The Limit painting creation process

Sky Is The Limit – is the painting that was created at a very special part of my life. I am an artist and was painting for as long as I can remember myself. However after graduating from my art academy I was close to realization that I might be not that good at painting and maybe I will achieve more in promoting art (more of a PR/marketing sector of the industry). I also got involved in advertising and contemporary ballet. In fact, I even developed the whole ballet performance project (Sweet Expiration), that I took to NYC to try to raise funds for its production. Little did I know that was the trip that took me away from home country Ukraine for good.

Ballet performance never was produced. I ended up moving to Arizona. The day my plane landed on the US soil, the national revolution had started in Ukraine. I didn’t paint for two years. Then I started that “so west coast” common routine of doing yoga in the morning at a gym, followed by those super overpriced kale smoothies.

 

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I discovered that my yoga group instructor at the Village gym was a massage therapist. My spine is far from perfect and running/snowboarding etc. really don’t help. So I set up an appointment. She was great. I felt like I could breathe again (that magic was the massage, she gave). That day we agreed for a barter: I paint her a painting and she gives me massage sessions worth of the painting cost. I got intrigued to fit her place and concept of it with the painting I will make for her. I came across the Bolivian salt flats pictures. Then, I read all those stories about the biggest one of them – Salar de Uyuni.

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It is the world’s biggest salt flat desert. And just a few times a year, during a rainy season, it get’s covered by few inches of water. That is enough to make it the world’s biggest mirror. In fact, it’s so perfect, it is used to calibrate satellites. The beauty of it (how I imagine it) has curved into my consciousness for a while now. I read multiple blogs on how to travel there. It is definitely on my bucket list. Among the best ones seemed to be this:

Source: Salt of The Earth, Cycling Bolivia’s Salars – BIKEPACKING.com

Deserts like that, are often used for setting speed records (due absence of obstacles). I saw this bike. It all suddenly came together: the Bolivian salt flat desert and Tour of Italy (Giro d’Italia – pro-cycling bike race) that I was obsessing over recently (as it was the end of May, and I was watching this race live).

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I made the first painting, that inspired me to proceed with the whole series. My yoga instructor loved it. I quit yoga classes and smoothies very soon, and never saw her again. But she appeared in my life in the perfect time to kickstart my painting process.

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There is also a great song Sky Is The Limit by Notorious B.I.G. The actual painting was titled in its name. It still hangs in my bedroom – looking for the right buyer. But it is definitely one of the most special for me.

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The final version of the painting is here.

See more of original art at my website: Createdbymasha.com and follow me on Instagram @createdbymasha. Also please feel free to comment and subscribe to my blog. Looking forward to hearing from you!

Cheers!

Masha