Saturday, 10 December 2016

Part 1, Chapter 25, Hostages in a friendly land


"Show no Fear."
Part 1, Chapter 25
Hostages in a friendly land (page 107 of  250)

You, who do not know the story, in seeing this picture what do you see? Perhaps that Maya is a "being of light" who walks through a row of ghostlike soldiers. She has made herself invisible to the human eye and at the same time she made her enemy invisible as well.

Friday, 18 November 2016

What is Insectual about.

 What is Insectual about by Ann Diamond, author

Barbara is a prolific German-born Montreal painter and writer whose work has been shown internationally. 

Her novel (fictionalized autobiography) INSECTUAL is a fascinating colourful spellbinding gripping account of a life lived on three continents spanning the second world war in Nazi Germany and the Belgian Congo at the height of its bloody civil war. 

Arriving in Montreal as a married woman with two children, Maya (the heroine) begins an Odyssey of self-exploration that leads her to unravel the secrets of her childhood as the daughter of a Luftwaffe pilot as Germany was being defeated. 

Her brilliant gifted therapist becomes the focus of her quest to revive her frozen sexuality lying dormant even after years of marriage to a sex addict. This deep contradiction fuels her artistic evolution and also brings her to the brink of psychotic breakdown.

This is a story of healing through art and self-analysis, but also a remarkable journey into the jungles and war zones of the human – and particularly female – spirit coming into conflict with a patriarchal reality that offers no real hope and appears to be collapsing.

INSECTUAL is a brave and terrifying page-turner of a memoir that deserves to be read by many readers. Barbara Sala is her own publisher, but this book is highly marketable to a wide audience. 

Tuesday, 15 November 2016

Inside the Hospital, Part 1, Chapter 23

I original illustration of this book when you purchase Insectual from Amazon and post your review on Amazon. Please send me your selection of the image you would like to have, your email address and your Amazon receipt.  The size of the image is  5 x 7 inches or 13 x 18 cm and the medium ink and charcoal on acid free paper.  Thanks.
Testicles big as Light Bulbs.
Part 1, Chapter 23
Inside the Hospital  (page 102)

     I do not see any symbolism in this drawing, but stark reality. I made the sketch from a photo that I took in 1966 when I visited this village. The people let me take pictures, even invited me to take them. Understandably they were desperate and hungry. The U.N. Team distributed milk and other foods.

Friday, 23 September 2016

Not many babies are travelling, Part 1, Chapter 21

"Not many babies are travelling these days."
Part 1, Chapter 21, page 96

Curiously, the soldiers are inspecting the baby on the tarmac of the Kindu airport. That is history. But in my symbolic world, these soldiers or warriors are saluting the inner child, our creative energy, our inner fountain of love. I am giving to each warrior a name like sorrow, pain, jealousy, envy, vanity, guilt, hate, regrets, righteousness. They are surrounding the baby. They want to be touched by its love in order to be healed, since they are hurting. The warriors are the negative aspects that arise in us and are parts of our psyche that want to be  made whole.

Tuesday, 16 August 2016

Amedea, Part 1 Chapter 20

"A desired pregnancy"

Amedea page 92

This is Maya’s second birth. Her pregnancy is desired and she feels happy. Her baby is floating in her womb and her hand seems to reassure the baby that she is there and loves it. Will it be a boy or a girl? Her belly is as round as the earth. One side lies in darkness, the other is bathed in light. Her breasts are full: Is Mother Earth desiring to be fed as well. A Congolese family is looking on. Maya got married to have her own family. She needs this stability in her adventurous and agitated life.

Thursday, 21 July 2016

Nicholas, Part 1 Chapter 19

"Giving Birth in the Congo"
Part 1 Chapter 19 
Nicholas, Page 90
Maya is giving birth to her first child. Between her legs, out of the dark womb, the head emerges. Our human body is also called the temple of our soul. At the entry of the temple of Luxor in Egypt, the visitor is flanked by two enormous feet. I crowned the mother: she is the birth channel for humanity to enter our physical world. She is surrounded by 5 straw huts. In checking out the symbolic meaning of the number 5, I discovered that this is the number of marriage and stability. Maya married to have some stability in her life. It also means expansion, i.e. breaking through the wall of the square which is number 4 and expand into the surrounding world. 

Saturday, 14 May 2016

Part 1 Chapter 17

Thoughts had to be harnessed like horses.
Part 1 Chapter 17

Fantasies  (page 81)
The inner chatter in our brains is overwhelming and creates part of our suffering. Where does this all come from? The experts say this chatter comes from outside of us. These are the constant repetitions, justifications, explanations of what we have learned, analyzed, experienced, seen, felt and stored in our brain.

There are ways of breaking this flow. We have to expose ourselves to positive  vibrations. When I was younger I recited poetry  and that cooled down my inner tortured world.  But I was never free of the darkness. Today  I use the conscious breath that interrupts the flow of thoughts.

So Maya harnesses her thoughts like horses. With her brain power she now controls her world. In the picture the tree is bending and the flowers are drooping to the ground under her will power.  


Monday, 9 May 2016

You are cordially invited to this exhibition in the Quebec Eastern Townships in Coaticook at the Musee Beaulne. The exhibition runs from May 8th to July 3rd, 2016. The vernissage takes place on May 15, from 2:00 to 4:00 pm. I will be there.

 Naïve Art Door to your Heart

You can find on page 177 of my book Insectual the same image in black and white. The painting in acrylics and oil on canvas was inspired by this small sketch. The painting's size is 22 x 28 inches or 56 x 71 cm.

Man in velvet flower Coat.


Thursday, 5 May 2016

Happy Mother's Day

Mother of Twins, (c) B. Sala  18 x 24", collage,

 acrylic on masonite



Sunday, 17 April 2016

Part I Chapter 16

I buried the "Devil"
Burying the "Devil"
Part 1 Chapter 16
She is determined. She is strong. The “Devil” feeling is preventing her from being happy. While sitting in the shade on a rock and watching people push the car out of the sand, she buries the “Devil” into the sand.
As you can see, he is now trapped between the rock and the earth. Her physical brain has become her rock, a strong rock. The repressed “Devil” has no more power over her - so she is convinced - but that doesn’t mean that he is not alive. As his origins are not understood, he is just sinking into her unconscious and now hiding in every cell of her being.  She might have even projected him onto Lorenzo. But for now there is no more suffering. She is proud of her conquest.
Mandala of the "Devil"
Review by Rosie Malezer for Readers' Favorite: 5 Stars *****
The title and cover art of INSECTUAL (The Secret of the Black Butterfly) by Barbara Sala intrigued me. It details the life of Maya – a German woman who describes intimacy and sex as ‘the devil’ – yet has no problems falling in love. After an unwanted pregnancy and abortion, Maya meets and marries Lorenzo, an Italian man who finds Maya enchanting. Due to complications with the birth of her second child with Lorenzo, Maya and the baby are rushed to the hospital. After the birth, she is secreted away just moments before her city comes under fire. When Maya and Lorenzo are finally reunited, Lorenzo confesses his infidelities in a drunken stupor.
Therapy is recommended to Maya in the hopes that it will fix her loathing of sexual acts. Shortly after her therapy sessions commence, Maya realizes that she does not want to stay married to an unfaithful husband. After divorcing Lorenzo, Maya spends many years in therapy, discovering her real inner demons lie with her father who had molested and raped her as a child – traumatic memories which Maya had buried over the years. Most of Barbara Sala’s book INSECTUAL (The Secret of the Black Butterfly) consists of Maya’s therapy sessions, her thoughts, her fears, her dreams and what she chooses to tell her therapist.
It is very well written throughout and the illustrations at the beginning of each segment of the book are quite clever, painting a very clear picture of what Maya is thinking. While the book was very difficult to read in some places due to the content, I am grateful to have read it, as it teaches one of the most incredible lessons a person can learn in life: forgiveness.



Saturday, 19 March 2016

Part 1 Chapter 15. Honeymoon in Germany and Italy

"The Church Bell"
Honeymoon in Germany and Italy
Part 1 Chapter 15

I have changed the colour of the background to my messages. I am reconstructing my blog. Doing this is like living in a house and renovating it at the same time. I invite your feedback.
This image really makes me smile. I did these drawings in 1994. How could I have created such a drawing with 20 spiders as the decoration for the bedspread? 

The 20 spiders have woven this blanket and both husband and wife are trapped under it. The cat is boxed in. The bell of the tower in this Italian village is close by and its sound is shrill and noisy. It seems the blanket wants to fly away, i.e. the 20 spiders. Clothes are piled on the chair. There are sexual symbols. Maya is not hiding her thoughts about sex. She is not prude, but the “insectual” feeling is just too strong and interferes with whatever she does. Maya has remained a child, see the bear’s head on the pot. Goldilocks and the three bears might be enchanting her, a turn away from reality, a flight into fantasy.



Sunday, 14 February 2016

Chapter 1, 14. A dangerous Night.

"Exhorting money, chickens and beer." 

A Dangerous Night

Part 1 Chapter 14   

The bird is a symbol of peace. Here the little chicken stands in the center of the happenings diffusing the tension.
The soldier with his gun threatens the people, especially as he might be drunk, holding a bottle in his hands. His salary is small and to allow people to continue their journey, he expects a bribe: chicken or eggs or beer.

The chicken is the symbol of life, motherhood, abundance, self sacrifice. It nurtures and protects, chatters and gossips, scratches the earth to discover the truth.

Eggs are symbol of new life, eternal life, wholeness.

While in the Congo I lived through many situations of crisis. I always told myself not to show fear. And nothing bad really happened. Peace be with you too! Happy Valentine!

Review by Fulluri    -  4 stars
This is quite an exciting book written in a unique manner. In fact, a lot of the bitter truths about life can be found here. Consider, for instance, the very opening paragraph of the book: which couple, married or in an otherwise long term relationship, won't be able to relate to the mundaneness and monotony of sex life after the initial fervor is gone?

"Making love. Oh making love! I really hate it. Day in, day out, always the same ritual. I don’t desire it as often as he does. Therefore, we get the passive sessions, when he "rapes" me, and the active sessions, when I play along"


"To me, making love is boring and a waste of time. One housewife once confided to me that eating a steak was much more pleasurable than making love."

Is it any wonder that there is something called 'marital rape' in law books? Is it any wonder that sometimes men and women in long term relationships cheat on each other? The whole book is a very accurate mirror into the mind of a woman who has lost the urge for sex.

Surprisingly enough, a lot changes in the protagonist's life except for one thing: her sexual ardor: she is still frigid, even with a new lover:

"Sexually, I am still a cripple."

Well at least she realizes the reality of sex therapy, thank goodness!

The atmosphere is sometimes chilling and often takes you by surprise; many a times the character's actions themselves are shocking. In one of the chapters ("Abortion") for instance, you are transported from the relatively calm and serene images of refectory and flowers to a comparatively bleaker imagery of cemetery.

The dialogs could have been better, however. A lot of times they are unoriginal, hackneyed or cheesy:

"Hi," it says cheerfully. "I am here, look at me."

"Come, Chérie, sit on me. Give yourself to me," says the little thing. It is trembling."

""Yes, I will perform a proper abortion. But abortion is illegal in this country. That’s why we have to be so prudent."

Considering the effort the author spent on creating extremely relatable, multi-dimensional characters and a page turning plot, if only she had invested just as much effort on the dialogs too, I would have given it five stars.

As it is stands though, it is worth the money due to the unique nature of the plot and very realistically drawn characters. I believe both genders would be able to relate to this book: women, who confuse sex with rape when the relationship gets old and tired, and men, who are frustrated by their wives' increasingly reduced appetite for sex. It even has something to appease the feminist crowd ……..

Monday, 18 January 2016

Part 1,Chapter 13 Adapting to married Life.

January 18. 2016

"A Man drowned in the Congo River."

Adapting to married life

Part 1 Chapter 13

In adapting to her married life, does Maya feel like being swallowed by a crocodile? Will Maya’s husband’s sexual desires destroy her or this marriage? I, like contrasts and that’s why I chose to draw the crocodile in a peaceful setting. I hope she will not fall asleep while sitting so close to the water. I hope she goes on writing her thoughts on paper.
Crocodiles are survivors. They live on land and in the sea, in the conscious and unconscious worlds.  My unconscious seems to be lined with insects of all kinds. These are the archetypes of our fears and it is only through creativity, love, hope, gratitude, friendship and daily occupations that we can avoid these feelings of darkness. I am lucky. I can express all this in images. I can paint. I ventured very deeply into my mind – that is what the book is about. 
In paintings, crocodiles are represented as the monsters of the underworld. During the Middle Ages stuffed crocodiles were chained on the walls of the churches. They represented the devil.

In native American symbology, the crocodile has status and power. It is a creature responsible of creation since it lives on land and in the water. In  the Mayan legends, people born under the sign of the crocodile have access to great power. They are open to new beginnings. Marriage is a new beginning for the heroine of my novel.  How is she going to adjust?