Saturday, June 26, 2010

Changing the Look of my Blog and my Evolving Mandala

The other day I started playing around with the design of this blog, and once again was unable to return to its previous  look, so hence it new look.  I actually like it better now, it feels more airy and open.  So hence welcome to the new look of this page.  Blogger has some new features, and I am eventually going to try to add some extra pages.  But this is enough for now.  All this technology is too much for me, and I need to take breaks from the computer.  

One of the ways I have been retreating and renewing myself, is by the ongoing work on the mandala that I began at our Summer Solstice Mandala retreat.  I have decided to share its process, from the beginning drawing to the place I am at right now.  It is now completed yet, but getting closer.  

Here is the beginning drawing.

With the scale of light being developed.

Color, color and more color.

This is where I stopped drawing at last evening.  I wish I had left more black, but I seem to have a tendency to fill in all the spaces.  That is something I keep reminding myself to work on, not only in my mandalas, but also in my life.  Creating these images, always bring up a metaphor for me, that guides me on my personal growth issues and process.  This mandala is all about honoring, health, growth, new directions and beginnings, as well as loving all the sprouting seeds in my life.  I will post the finished mandala another time.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Summer Solstice - Mandala Workshop Photos

On Sunday Patricia and I facilitated another Mandala Workshop.  It was such a lovely group and a relaxing and healing day of artmaking.  I really enjoyed diving into another mandala.  I was very fortunate to be able to take several long rests, since I am still slowly regaining my stamina from my hip surgery. Patricia held the energy and led the group, while I retreated to my house for a nap in both the a.m. and pm.  That is one of the things that   is wonderful about having a partner to work with, as well teaching in my studio.
Here are some photos of the day.
All together around the tables in my studio.

Practice scale of light mandalas...

Black and white  scale of light mandalas....

I love how individual and totally unique each mandala is.
It was also amazing to witness each mandala transform over time and with color.

  Here are some photos of folks working in process on their mandalas.

and another...
They are all stunning in the white on black at no matter what stage they are at.

Here is Penelope starting to add color to her spider mandala.  
This is my mandala as it continues to evolve..

And now for some color.

Unfortunately this photo of Diana's Mandala came out blurred, but I still want to show it.

Experimenting with the use of color and the white pencils..
Barries Mandala is an honoring of the plants and animals she see's as she walks the trails of sonoma County.

'Christi's Mandala with color added.  

So that is a taste of some of the work done this past Sunday.  A few mandala's were not shown in color, or in the early stages.  But you can see the amazing beauty that emerged in each persons work.  However, the most important part of the experience was the actual process, that each person had as they worked through the day.  That cannot be duplicated by mere photos. The feeling, of depth and connection that comes as we move inward, and just pay attention to balancing and expressing on paper, moment by moment.  Thanks for joining us as we work in the sacred circle. 

Monday, June 14, 2010

Revisting Some of my Encaustic's-La Finestra Primavera

Before I had my surgery, coincidentally, I brought home many of my encaustic paintings that have been hanging at Art and All That Jazz in Healdsburg.  Due to the economy, the owner was revamping and changing the focus of her gallery.  My work has been there, selling and being seen, for about 5 years.

La Finestra Primavera
The springtime Window
11"x14" on cradled hardboard
Now that I am getting better, I have the time to unpack these pieces and decide what their next step in the world will be.  Shaun McNiff, a wonderful studio based art therapist, believes that images are like angels and that they have a life of their own, and stories to tell.  That has always resonated with me, and I have felt that my art has work to do in the world and it is my job to get them out there.  Some of these pieces are being hung all around my house and studio, and others left stored.  So in that light I have decided to show them here, prior to posting them on my etsy store....while I open to another new venue here in Sonoma County, where they can be seen.  

I love the texture in this piece.  It is an homage to Italy and all things Italian.  The archway reminding me of the narrow streets in Italia, the flowers under the window box...and birds...I have em bedded an antique map into the beeswax on the lower left which is decipherable  among all the colors.

I will continue revisting my early encaustics over time.  This painting is available for sale at my store at.  
Please go visit them at my etsy store, for another viewing.  Ciao. Caterina

Friday, June 11, 2010

More Journal Pages and On going Recovery

I often feel  the need to express my ongoing journey with the unknown, wide world out there.  That healing itself is an ongoing process of being in the moment and responding authentically to what is happening inside and out of me. Which is exactly the same process that occurs in the act of creative engagement....the ART PROCESS.  . ...being in the moment, paying attention and letting the story unfold.

I continue to play around in my journal and love to watch the images that show up, so I am honoring them as part of my process, without judgement, and with awe and intrigue.

In my journaling process, it is as if I first set the stage, by painting the backgrounds. In this particular series of pages, I used varying watercolor washes.
Once the background is laid into the paper, the curtain is pulled back, the window opened so to speak, and I  begin to collage around the backgrounds, creating a mood   or a feeling with the collage images that are applied.
Next step: PLAY.. I play around with media, pens, prismacolor pencils, words, letters, rubber stamps and then, more watercolor, until something comes together. Going back and forth from one page to the next, responding visually to what I see and what I feel.
Once INSPIRATION arrives, it is just a matter of filling in the spaces, doodling around and emphasizing one part over another, and I arrive  in   
The Mythic Land of image into story line.
It's that ah ha moment, that is part of the creative process, the part that we seem to long for, but have to muddle through unknown lands,  and critical inner demons to reach.

That is when I really begin to feel nourished by the process, it is as if
The process is like a baby bird playing with a ball, dancing in air.

Using blocks of incongruent connections to make a whole feast of possibilities.

This is the gift of the imagination and the creative process, to nourish us and give us the opportunity to create a Retreat into our own Souls Language, to help to make us whole.

The Art of Encouragement..     
To encourage is to give active help or to raise confidence to the point where one dares to do what is difficult.
And so the images lead us places, open doors and windows, by providing new perspectives, and

posing enigmas..
And the healing journey in my life and art continues to hearten me and offer guidance, even if at first I can't read the story line or understand the purpose.   

To hearten is to put one's heart into or to renew someone's spirit (:heartened by the news of his recovery), and to inspire is to infuse with confidence, resolution.