in response to criticism from a master of theology.
*the beguines were a christian lay religious community most active during the 13th and 14th centuries, comprised of women who dedicated their lives to jesus. semi-monastic in nature, they took no formal vows, but lived out their lives in prayer, personal spiritual development, caring for the poor and other acts of charity.
have you ever wanted to learn how to draw a mandala? then head on over to guada's circle, where she is offering a free class based on the classic "seed of life" pattern. i came to know of guada (guadalupe brizuela cabal), through the willowing website, and have really enjoyed her work and her generous spirit. she also has a youtube channel where you can check out some of her other art.
this video is best viewed in full screen. if you are not able to view it on my blog, you can watch it here on youtube. creation two ways is a creative response to some of the material i am currently engaging with in an online course, women on the threshold, offered through abbey of the arts. enjoy!
i have a new baby...blog, that is! i have been feeling like i needed to return this one to its intended purpose - that being mandalas, but i've branched out creatively speaking, and wanted another place where i could explore a different kind of art, as well. over time i will be migrating the art on this blog that is not mandala-specific to the new one. so if you begin to notice some images missing, you'll know they've been moved to the other site.
the new blog is called: sacred alter and yes, that's alter with an "e." if you visit, you'll see why...and of course i hope you will visit. :-)
the mandala below came about as a creative response to the current course i'm taking through abbey of the arts, called women on the threshold. this has been a year filled with thresholds for me personally - and not all of them have been easy to cross...in fact, most of them have been very hard...and i find it very difficult to be creative when things are tough. through participating in this class, however, i'm finding the creative juices are flowing again...and i am ever so grateful for that.
i am currently involved in an online class via abbey of the arts called women on the threshold. as with any course i've ever been a part of at the abbey, the journey through the material takes me places i never dreamed i could go.
this past week, we were invited to do "gush art" (the focus is on process, not product) while listening to a piece of music of our choosing. this first image (layers) is what came through. i was very aware of that big red gash...which for me symbolized a very deep wound - the deepest kind of wound that affects body, mind and spirit.
in my artwork in general these days, i find i do not want to be limited to one medium...one mode of creating, so i took layers into some image editing software and did some "digital gush art" using it as the source image. thus this...
became this...phoenix rising. when taken into another realm, the deep wound transforms into something else entirely...a healing, of sorts, occurs.
in art, as in life, when the invitation to step across a threshold comes, transformation happens...limitations fall away as you taste freedom, and suddenly you realize you can never go back, indeed, never want to go back to the way things were before.
the song i listened to (i will be free by cindy morgan) while creating these pieces is one i've known and loved for many years. it has always held special meaning for me...even more so now. it was not until today, however, that i saw the video for it. talk about crossing a threshold!
when you do things from your soul, you feel a river moving in you, a joy. when actions come from another section, the feeling disappears. don't let others lead you. they may be blind or, worse, vultures. reach for the rope of god. and what is that? putting aside self-will. because of willfulness people sit in jail, the trapped bird's wings are tied, fish sizzle in the skillet. ...you've seen a magistrate inflict visible punishment. now see the invisible. if you could leave your selfishness, you would see how you've been torturing your soul. we are born and live inside black water in a well. how could we know what an open field of sunlight is? Don't insist on going where you think you want to go. ask the way to the spring. your living pieces will form a harmony. there is a moving palace that floats in the air with balconies and clear water flowing through, infinity everywhere, yet contained under a single tent.
recently, i have been part of a collaborative art experience where each participant creates one blade for what will eventually become one complete fan. this first blade was my contribution to that effort.
i found the experience so enjoyable, however, that i went on to create two more, just for fun.
seems as though i have been bitten by the fan blade bug - and happily so!
i'm not sure what the finished project will look like, but i am certain it will be FAN-TAS-TIC!
i first heard jacob moon's music over ten years ago, and have been a fan ever since. this song, in particular, made a tremendous impact on me from the first moment i heard it, so i was really excited to find a new live version of it today, and thought it would pair well with this image. if you enjoy this song, you can check out more of jacob's music here.
everything is gestation and then bringing forth. to let each impression and each germ of a feeling come to completion quite in itself, in the dark, in the inexpressible, the unconscious, beyond the reach of one's own understanding, and await with deep humility and patience the birth-hour of a new clarity: that alone is living the artist's life - in understanding as in work.
gratitude unlocks the fullness of life. it turns what we have into enough, and more. it turns denial into acceptance, chaos to order, confusion to clarity. it can turn a meal into a feast, a house into a home, a stranger into a friend. gratitude makes sense of your past, brings peace for today, and creates a vision for tomorrow.
i'm still working my way through life book 2012, and also recently began an online lenten pilgrimage via abbey of the arts. the coupling of those two things, along with some other projects i'm involved in, has resulted in some interesting (to me, anyway!) artwork. i wish i had words to express the riptide of emotion these classes are stirring up in me, but words are in short supply these days. in the meantime, i'll just let the art do the talking.
my painting for week 6 of life book 2012 was done using the paint over collage technique. the theme for this month (february) is "celebrating the achievements in our life." for a perfectionist like me, that is not an easy task, but i forged ahead and was quite surprised by what emerged. life book is turning out to be quite the eye-opener.
(laughter is the best medicine, 9" x 12" mixed media)
at the height
is flung into a
-jean houston (b. 1937)
this is a page from my life book 2012 project. this week's assignment was to do a self-portrait using a black and white photo-copy of a favorite picture of yourself. i was really scrambling to find a fairly recent (and half-way decent) photo of myself. they're rare as hen's teeth because generally i loathe having my picture taken. however, this one was snapped before i could protest and it catches me in the act of laughing - something you'll find me doing quite frequently - and, as those who know me will attest, often at the oddest moments.
for this portrait, i collaged the image onto a sheet of watercolor paper, then painted over it using caran d'arche neocolor II's (aka crayons for grown-ups!) as well as some watered down acrylic paints. once that was done, i scanned the painting and played with it digitally, giving myself a cool punk hair-do.
I am a contemplative artist, combining traditional mediums and digital technology to create unique images. I have two blogs: A Magic Mom and Her Mandalas, dedicated primarily to the art form of the mandala, and The Sacred Alter, which focuses on what I can only describe as "art birthed from the soul." I hope you will enjoy visiting both.