Friday, October 15, 2010

Why do we do what we do?

I was just reading a post on Lanie Garrity's wonderful blog 14 Secrets to a Happy Artists life,  and one of her posts focused on this question.  It really got me thinking about my life now,  as an artist and as an art therapist.

I was born with a congenital heart condition, and as an only child growing up in Chicago, I spent alot of time alone, often in the hospital, and when not, missing school often, rarely playing outside with other children.

I was pretty lonely, and art became my best friend, my ally, and my constant companion.

I self soothed, created imaginary friends and worlds, and lost myself for hours in lovely fantasy.

This rich inner world, stayed with me my whole life, and after having open heart surgery on my 13th birthday, I threw myself into life and activity.

But artmaking stayed with me, throughout my life and shaped my life into the one it is today.

As a child, I remember often looking down from our third floor window watching the kids in the alley and courtyard, riding bikes, playing with hoola hoops and on the swings.  I felt like an outsider and wanted to belong.

And even though making art made me happy I wanted to do it with others...  Whenever I was sick, my parents would give me another paint by numbers set, or kit for weaving pot holders.  I loved to make different things, use my hands, and build little people out of mushed up toilet paper, making up stories and traveling across the united states in our long hallway with my handmade paper doll friends....

As I fast forward to my life now, I see that I live a life now that allows me to do art with others, share all the different art processes I have learned, and offer   others the opportunity to explore the healing realms of their imagination.

This is a bit more personal that I have been before on this blog, but it seemed to fit for today, so Thank you Lanie  for your wonderful prompt.

Why do you do what you do?     Ciao

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Fall Mandala- Process of a Drawing....

About two weeks ago, myself and my working partner, Patricia Water's, led an Illuminated Mandala workshop, focusing on the change of the seasons, from Summer to Fall.  
We are both facilitators of the late Judith Cornell's Mandala Process.  The workshop was a wonderful day and I have shared the groups process in my last post.  I have finally finished my mandala and am sharing the process of the drawing here.  
This is my original drawing, using white prismacolor pencils on the black paper.
In this second image you can see how I add the scale of light (reversed shading) to the images on my mandala, illuminating the shapes with light.

 In this drawing I have begun to add color, in some cases going over the white and in other areas, leaving the white light uncolored.
 Each step of the way is primarily unplanned, and whenever I do something I don't particularly like, I go with it, letting it take me where the drawing wants to go.  Allowing it to change and evolve organically.
Here is the final pieces, a lot more subdued than the last image, but still illuminated.  The intention of this piece was release as well as trusting the process of life and change to guide me, as we move into the winter, the dark, the unknown of the cycle of life.

This mandala, along with many of my other mandala's will be available as a matted print on my etsy store, for purchase.  Patricia and I take these workshops on the road, so if you are interested please get in touch, here.  Our next scheduled Illuminated Mandala Seasonal workshop will be a New Years Intention Mandala Day in January of 2010. Please check our website at the Creative Arts Studio for updates on the details.