Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear by Elizabeth Gilbert – A 27-min Summary

big magic

“Big Magic is a celebration of a creative life…Gilbert’s love of creativity is infectious, and there’s a lot of great advice in this sunny book…Gilbert doesn’t just call for aspiring artists to speak their truth, however daffy that may appear to others; she is showing them how.”
—Washington Post

“In [Gilbert’s] first foray into full-on self-help [she] shares intimate glimpses into the life of a world-famous creative, complete with bouts of paralyzing fear and frustration, in an attempt to coax the rest of us into walking through the world just a little bit braver.”

“Elizabeth Gilbert is my new spirit animal… I have profoundly changed my approach to creating since I read this book.”
—Huffington Post

Book details:

Publisher: Riverhead Books (September 22, 2015)
Publication Date: September 22, 2015
Sold by: Penguin Group (USA) LLC
Genre: Self-Help, Creativity, Personal Growth, Motivational, Personal Success


Elizabeth M. Gilbert (born July 18, 1969) is an American author, essayist, short story writer, biographer, novelist and memoirist. She is best known for her 2006 memoir, Eat, Pray, Love, which as of December 2010 has spent 199 weeks on the New York Times Best Seller list, and was also made into a film by the same name in 2010.

Writer Elizabeth Gilbert on her new book “Big Magic” – q on cbc

Also check out this great TED talk: Elizabeth Gilbert on nurturing creativity

Continue reading “Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear by Elizabeth Gilbert – A 27-min Summary”

Milan travel – 2013 (update)


  1. Hard Edges
  2. Plan
  3. Google maps
  4. “Best of Milan + Last Supper” tour
  5. – 20 Great Things to do in Milan (with my comments)
  6. Bob Dylan concert
  7. Churches & Palaces
  8. Museums & selected artwork

Hard Edges:

  • Destination: Milan – Italy
  • Time: arrive @ Hotel; Friday around 14:00 – November 01, leave Monday from Hotel around 1030
  • Hotel: = Hotel XXII Marzo
  • Main focus: Walking around, Leonardo da Vinci’s Last Supper, Bob Dylan concert, Football match, Brera Art Gallery, Sforza Castle, food & wine, +++
  • Social circumstances: Group of ~7 people traveling together.
  • Guide & Tours: Dark Rome tours


Continue reading “Milan travel – 2013 (update)”

Today: Rembrandt passed away in 1669

Rembrandt_van_Rijn_-_Self-Portrait_-_Google_Art_ProjectSelf-Portrait with Beret and Turned-Up Collar (1659) by Rembrandt

The Power of Art – Rembrandt (BBC):

From Wikipedia:   

Birth name Rembrant Harmenszoon van Rijn
Born 15 July 1606
Leiden, Dutch Republic (now Netherlands)
Died 4 October 1669 (aged 63)
Amsterdam, Dutch Republic (now Netherlands)
Nationality Dutch
Field Painting, Printmaking
Movement Dutch Golden Age
Works The Anatomy Lesson of Dr. Nicolaes Tulp, 1632
Belshazzar’s Feast, 1635
The Night Watch, 1642
Bathsheba at Her Bath, 1654
Syndics of the Drapers’ Guild, 1662

Continue reading “Today: Rembrandt passed away in 1669”

Museum: Victoria & Albert Museum – London

I plan to visit this lovely museum on October 31… so I need to plan ahead..

From Wikipedia:

The Victoria and Albert Museum (often abbreviated as the V&A), is the world’s largest museum of decorative arts and design, housing a permanent collection of over 4.5 million objects. Named after Prince Albert and Queen Victoria, it was founded in 1852, and has since grown to cover 12.5 acres (51,000 m2) and 145 galleries. Its collection spans 5,000 years of art, from ancient times to the present day, in virtually every medium, from the cultures of Europe, North America, Asia and North Africa. The museum is a non-departmental public body sponsored by the Department for Culture, Media and Sport.

One of the highlights is John Constables “Salisbury Cathedral from the Bishop’s Grounds”

Set in the Brompton district of the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea, neighbouring institutions include the Natural History Museum and Science Museum, the V&A is located in what is termed London’s “Albertopolis“, an area of immense cultural, scientific and educational importance. Since 2001, the museum has embarked on a major £150m renovation programme, which has seen a major overhaul of the departments, including the introduction of newer galleries, gardens, shops and visitor facilities. Following in similar vein to other national British museums, entrance to the museum has been free since 2001.


The Victoria and Albert Museum is located at
Cromwell Road, London SW7 2RL

Some highlights:

  • The Three Graces – Canova (1814-17)
    … away on loan.. bu-hu… 🙁
  • “Salisbury Cathedral from the Bishop’s Grounds” – John Constable (1823)

    Salisbury Cathedral from the Bishop’s Grounds is an 1823 painting by the nineteenth-century landscape painter John Constable (1776–1837). This timeless image of England’s most famous medieval church is one of his most celebrated works, and was commissioned by one of his closest friends, John Fisher, The Bishop of Salisbury. Constable visited Salisbury in 1820 and made a series of oil sketches of the cathedral, which served as the model for this composition.
  • The Day Dream – Dante Gabriel Rossetti (1880)

    The sitter for this painting was Jane Morris, the wife of William Morris, who often posed for Rossetti. At the time this was painted Rossetti was involved in an illicit love affair with Jane. He shows her sitting in the branches of a sycamore tree and holding a sprig of honeysuckle. This sweet-smelling climbing plant symbolised the bonds of love for the Victorians, and Rossetti may have included it here as a subtle reference to the relationship between artist and model. Rossetti was also a poet, and the title relates to his poem of the same name which ends:
    She dreams; till now on her forgotten book
    Drops the forgotten blossom from her hand.
  • The Raphael Cartoons – Raphael (1515-16)
    The Raphael Cartoons are seven large cartoons for tapestries, belonging to the British Royal Collection but since 1865 on loan to theVictoria and Albert Museum in London, designed by the High Renaissance painter Raphael in 1515–16 and showing scenes from the Gospels and Acts of the Apostles. They are the only surviving members of a set of ten cartoons commissioned by Pope Leo X for tapestries for the Sistine Chapel in the Vatican Palace, which are still (on special occasions) hung below Michelangelo’s famous ceiling. Reproduced in the form of prints, they rivalled Michelangelo’s ceiling as the most famous and influential designs of the Renaissance, and were well known to all artists of the Renaissance and Baroque. Admiration of them reached its highest pitch in the 18th and 19th centuries; they were described as “the Parthenon sculptures of modern art”.
  • Neptune & Triton – Bernini (1622-23)
    Neptune and Triton is an early sculpture by the Italian artist Gian Lorenzo Bernini. It is housed in the Victoria and Albert Museum of London and was executed c. 1622–1623. Carved from marble, it stands 182.2 cm (71.7 in) in height.

  • Samson Slaying a Philistine – Giambologna (ca.1562)
    The sculpture of Samson Slaying a Philistine is the earliest of the great marble groups by Giambologna (1529-1608), sculptor to theMedici Grand Dukes of Tuscany, and the only substantial work by the artist to have left Italy. It was commissioned in about 1562, byFrancesco de Medici for a fountain in Florence, but was later sent as a gift to Spain. The group was presented to the Prince of Wales, later King Charles I, in 1623 while he was in Spain negotiating a marriage contract, and it soon became the most famous Italian sculpture in England. On its arrival in England it was given to the king’s favourite, the Duke of Buckingham, and subsequently changed hands three times before coming to the Victoria and Albert Museum in 1954.
  • Theseus and the Minotaur – Canova (1782)
    The legendary Greek hero Theseus sits astride the minotaur whom he has just killed. Coils of thread used by Theseus to retrace his steps from the minotaur’s lair can be seen by the minotaur’s left leg. This was one of Canova’s earliest completed works after he left Venice to settle in Rome, in 1781. The massive block of marble from which this group was carved was given to Canova by his patron Girolamo Zulian, who was Venetian ambassador in Rome. Zulian gave Canova the choice of subject for the work, and he decided on one of the stories from Ovid’s Metamorphoses.


Habit #2 – Choose experiences over material goods

I know that for some people this might not be the right way towards more happiness, but for most of us…. it is.

Here is a quote from a great book (see books section):

Want to buy happiness? Then spend you hard-earned cash on experiences. Go out for a meal. Go to a concert, movie, or the theater. Go on vacation. Go and learn how to pole dance. Go play paintball. Go bungee jumping. In fact, get involved in anything that provides an opportunity to do things with others, and tell even more people about it afterward. When it comes to happiness, remember, it is experiences that represent really good value for the money.
Richard Wiseman – 59 Seconds Think a Little, Change a Lot

Richard Wiseman base all his advice on (usually numerous) studies..

My favorite experiences are travel, concerts & visiting great museums/buildings (all easily combined).

This Habit has many spin-off habits involving: Journaling, systematic reflection & review time, Simple living, and more…. I will come back to all of them on later posts.

Let’s enjoy one of George Carlin’s best…. STUFF: