Feb 21, 2018

Mystical Czech artist, Marie Brozova

About Life, Universe and All…

The luminous Czech artist, Marie Brozova, creator of the wonderful 'Forest Shaman' painting featured on my blog, lives with her husband and seven cats deep in a Czech forest - without electricity or running water. No computers, no cell phones, no TV. Only the silence and the sounds of nature and the spirits. 

  • What did you want to be, when you were a child?I wanted to become an astronomer. Even before I went to school, I was able to find the main constellations in the sky, I knew the names of the biggest stars and I memorized the names of all the satellites of planets in the Solar system. I read in ecstasy, difficult books on astronomy – not that I undestood much, but I intoxicated myself with the exotic terminology. I had long debates with my grandpa about the infinity of the universe and the big bang. But at last I had to go to school and enormous disappointments awaited me – I discovered that I couldn’t think in numbers. Years later, I even failed math in high school. But astronomy has been my passionate hobby. I can’t imagine anything more beautiful than spending the night on the roof with a telescope, watching the starlit sky – looking into the windows of the universe.
  • What influence did your childhood have on your work?The influence was deep and profound. I was raised in love and acceptance. No idea was impossible to carry out and, what is more, my family helped me whatever it might be. My childhood gave me absolute confidenc, that whatever I did was right. Without this confidence, it’s almost impossible to perform art in public.
    My childhood was full of imagination. I had many friends among various ghosts and pixies and, naturally, I felt very a close connection to nature. I saw a smal fairy behind every flower, a faun in every tree that I could talk to. My Mum helped me to discover the world and she taught me to perceive it sensitively and in colors. She managed not only to read fairy-tales from books to me, but she was able to make up a fairy-story about anything interesting I had seen, and she illustrated these stories very skilfully. The drawings we made together comprise my most beauiful childhood memories.
  • Are you human, or an elf?I get this question surprisingly often. People tell me, that I look like an Irish fairy. I admit that, even as a child, I often felt more like an unconcerned onlooker than like a participant among all the swarming and vanity-fair. Since early childhood, I easily plunged into the world of my imagination and completely lost all connection with reality – especially at school. Even now I feel much more comfortable among trees, flowers and stones than among people.
  • What is your zodiac sign?I was born on the the exact moment of the new moon, which means Sun and Moon in conjunction, in the sign of Taurus. That gives a true drawing of my character. I love to discover the beauty of the world with all my senses. I am creative, determined, a stubborn plodder and nothing can discourage me.
  • What do you do when you are not working on your drawings?I´m strollin in woods and across meadows, meeting my friends among trees and stones. I listen to the water in brooks. I fly a kites in strong wind, look into the flames in the camp-fire, cross snow fields, pass across the horizon. Every spring, before the fields and weeds grow, I wake up with my husband early in the morning and we set out on a journey before the sunrise. We follow the sun all day and we always find many beautiful hidden places. And, when it is ugly outside, I like to read books.
  • What books do you like?I prefer strong stories bringing wisdom, told in rich literary language. I love Russian classics, Turgenev, Gogol, Pasternak. And my favorite books? Doctor Zhivago by Pasternak, A Hunter´s Sketches by Turgenev, Evenings on a Farm near Dikanka by Gogol, but also East of Eden by John Steinbeck. In poetry I feel close to old Chinese Poetry, especially the painter-poet Wang Wei and the hermit Han Shan. But there are many other books. Recently I really enjoyed Peter Hoeg’s Miss Smila’s Sense For Snow, or Angela’s Ashes by Francis McCourt.
  • And what music do you listen to?I prefer silence most of all. I never listen to music as a background, it must have some meaning or message. I prefer classical music (Borodin, Tschaikovski), but I also admire exceptional creative personalities, who never repeat themselves, like Paul Simon, Sting, Suzanne Vega. Among Czech musicians, Jaromir Nohavica, Jiri Pavlica, Iva Bittova, Jan Burian.
  • For a number of years you lived with your husband, more or less like hermits in the forest. What has this experience brought to your life?First of all, it gave me the time to find myself. These days people hurry too much, the results of any activity are required too soon. Young people are forced to conform to these requirements before they have the chance to decid, what they would really like to do in their lives. I believe that the most important thing is to learn is to listen to the compass of your heart and then dream a lot about the best journey in your life. Only when you dream something in detail, can you make a dream come true. Following this path, all your activities are full of joy, no matter if the results come as soon as other people expect.
  • Ecology: What does it meant to you?Ecology and enviromentalism are frequently misused terms, because anything can be hidden in it, from militant fanaticism to advertising propaganda. For me, ecology means to live in harmony with nature, not waste, not polute – learn to enjoy a modest life style. When you are overeating and sated with information, you get sleepy and feel no need to create anything.
  • Do you still live without TV?We do and for ten years haven´t missed it. The thread that connects me with the world of my imagination is very thin and fragile. I don´t want to break it by deliberately consuming negative and destructive information about things I have no chance to alter. Awareness, being informed, is one of the great illusions worshipped by modern society.
  • You look optimistic, are you worried sometimes?I am often worried about the arrogant attitudes towards nature taken by so many people. They destroy something which is more valuable and more important than their fleeting lives. I look with a certain amount of desperation at how beautiful countryside is ruined forever by tasteless suburban sprawl.
  • Do you have any role-models in art?I don´t have any leader I would like to follow, but I admire the omnipotent creative talent of architect, ecologist and painter Friedensreich Hundertwasser; the honest love for wood of sculptor Martin Patricny, or drawingsque illustrations of Roberto Innocenti. My heart breaks at the sight of Egon Schiele’s drawings. And I remember from my childhood, ilustrations and animated films by Jiri Trnka. His films The Old Czech Legends and The Midsummer Night were the most wonderful artistic experience when I was small.
  • What conditions do you need for creating your art?Silence, space and peace. And if possible the scenery of my childhood memories – the surroundings of Velke Popovice – where I feel the close connection of earth under my feet and the sky above my head, likean open window to the universe.
  • What is the most important thing for you?Staying sane in the middle of the madness of our times.
  • Are you as patient in other aspects of your life as in your art?Not at all. I am an outrageousdisaster as a housekeeper. It makes me very angry when I cannot handle something, as easily as I do with my coloured pencils. In general I can make things up in my mind better than bring them into reality. But fortunately, my husband is very clever and practical.
  • What is your husband´s attitude towards your artistic profession?He enjoys telling stories about how it is when I wake up in the morning with the idea of a new drawing in my head. He describes vividly how he must feed me and look after me, so I don´t forget to drink. Actually, he prevents me from total exhaustion caused by creative zeal. I am very glad that he helps me with the whole project and supports my creative work in all respects.
  • Do you think that imagination is natural to all the children?Yes, but it must be cultivated from the very beginning. If parents regard imagination as something foolish or tiresome, it withers away and dies very soon. The gift of imagination has become very rare in this world. I often meet mothers who complain about their inability to imagine fairy stories for their children, when they are asked. They are very sad about it.
  • What do you believe in?I am not a religious person. I view all kinds of religions as a symbol of human desire to overcome the fact of death. I can´t see any reasons why one religion should be better than the others. If I believe in anything, then it is the power of a nature that doesn´t need mankind, nor its notions about good and evil.
  • If you met a fairy goldfish who would promise to make your three wishes true, what would they be?
    1. I wish that my beloved land was not destroyed by expanding Prague.
    2. I wish that all people could do what they really wanted to do, because in that case the world would be much more hospitable place for living.
    3. I wish me and my husband could stay sound in body and mind.
  • Do you think that people lack imagination these days?People are bombarded by an avalanche of unwanted information everyday. No wonder that the inner space of a human being is often overloaded and filled with debris. There is no empty room inside inviting the imagination or inspiration. This problem does not afflict only adult overworked people. I am very often visited by children alarmed by their own inability to dream or invent things. Sometimes they are not even able to read a book because they cannot imagine anything beyond the words. The world they are growing up is too perfect, their toys are perfect, and they do not have to dream anything up, to improve anything. They can also have whatever they wish, but stil,l they often feel some longing, they crave for something that was left denied to them. This void seems to be the miraculous gift of imagination that can change even the most ordinary life into an exciting original story.
  • Why do you think the kitsch is so commercially successful?If people could find more harmony and beauty in modern art, they would not have to seek salvation in kitsch. Modern art is beyond grasp of ordinary people, qualities like harmony and beauty are viewed by art experts as something embarrassing and undesirable. Most people think that they do not understand modern art, and I am not surprised, when the art pretends to be a science. Our age is concentrated on technical and scientific progress. In spite of all that I think that viewing art is the matter of human soul, far from logic and reason. When somebody claims to be an art expert understanding everything modern, I cannot help feeling that he is a snob.

Feb 14, 2018


Here is the website of the wonderful meeting group for gay Christians in the Czech republic, Logos. And below is their position statement. Check them out. 

Logos – Gay Christians 
in the Czech Republic

We are an ecumenical fellowship of gay and lesbian Christians and their friends, in which we share our faith in all its diverse manifestations, and try to support participation of our people in their home churches.

Our stance on homosexuality

We are not trying to “cure” sexual and emotional orientation of gays and lesbians. We believe that God accepts us as we are. In the spirit of the gospel of Christ we are trying to bridge the chasm that separates gay and lesbian people from God, and re-establish their severed relationship with Christian churches and religious communities.

We have no ideology

We do not have any binding ideology, nor do we blindly succumb to external ideological influences. In our fellowship, some believe in the legitimacy of homosexual partnership, while others are not convinced about it, and still others sincerely pray in their helplessness to find answers. Our fellowship remains open to all these groups. 

Jan 18, 2018

Call Me By Your Name: Film of the Year

An exquisite love story that defies explanation and refuses to judge or label its characters. Why did they fall in love, why were these two men able to cross the gender lines and love another member of the same sex. The film doesn't answer that question and even challenges us not to ask it. Simply to accept the beautify and power of love where ever and how so ever it manifests itself between human beings. Love is a mystery and all the rest is silence.