Mandala prints and cards are available at these stores in Orange County, CA:

Awakenings, Laguna Hills, CA
Visions and Dreams, Costa Mesa, CA
The Sanctuary, Tustin, Ca
Sunburst Sanctuary, Lompoc, Ca


Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Take me Down to Paradox City



A wise woman said last night "Time you enjoy wasting is not wasted time."

This morning, two friends were discussing boundaries and how they impacted their art making. One hates putting time restrictions on that "magic" time of creating art. The other argued that boundaries always exist, and actually help the creative process. They're both right. And that's not the only paradox that making art presents. (And you know, when I talk about creating art, I'm talking about creating your life as well.)

Today I'm thinking about mistakes - the things you're never supposed to make, but can lead to the most delightful creations. The mandala above started out as a traditional Tibetan design, with paint and appliqued paper. I started in the center, and cut some lace paper in a lotus leaf shape, but when I put it on the canvas, the lace paper wouldn't do what I wanted it to. I kept trying, but when I looked at the result, it had more of a hand-made "quilty" feel than a symmetrical, precise look.

So here's the choice point. Get frustrated, rip off the paper, try to get it right next time, OR see what wants to happen and go with it. I decided to go with the quilt idea and had more fun with this mandala than I had had in a long time, because it was new and surprising and I wasn't sure what would come next.

I'm imagining that there was a band of outrageously fun-loving and absolutely loving angels hovering around me, watching me try to put my "precise" lotus petals into place, and cheering "Screw up! Go ahead! Really mess it up! You have no idea what fun it will be if you drop that silly idea of yours and just let loose."

If you've seen my mandalas, you know I love precision and detail, and you'll also see that every once in awhile, I'll do an abstract one, to play and have fun. Some don't turn out at all, but no matter - it was not wasted time.

Friday, December 1, 2006

Getting your (creative) groove on


Remember those song lyrics - "If it feels good, do it; do it if it's what you feel"? Good advice for getting those creative juices flowing. I know it works for some people to commit themselves to sitting at their desk, easel, keyboard, or whatever at a certain time, for a certain time, but that has never worked for me. When I force myself to "be creative," I produce lousy, stilted pieces and I feel lousy while doing it. Then I paint over the piece later.

What works better for me is if I wait, no matter how long, for some sort of inspiration to arise (i.e., not panicking and telling myself that "if I were a real artist, I would ...fill in the blank.") That is honoring "feminine" energy - the idea or the feeling of something wanting to be expressed. Then the "masculine" energy can come in and get it done. It doesn't work so well to have the masculine energy dictate that something must be created and created NOW. (Do all women dislike being told what to do?)

Masuru Emoto - the Japanese scientist featured in the movie What the Bleep shows how water crystals exposed to certain words and phrases change their shape. Crystals exposed to "do it" are misshapen and flat, while crystals exposed to "let's do it" look like pretty little snowflakes. It makes sense, then, that a painting "forced" into existence would look (and feel) different than one "invited" into existence.