Monday, June 6, 2011


Haven't blogged in a while...busy busy end of the school year.  All my educational ministry friends know what I'm talking about!

I have had some time to do some artwork though! 

I did a mandala series.  I used to pray with mandalas a lot and then stepped away from it, but something called me back.  I approach my creative time as prayer.  I don't preplan what I'm going to "make"; in fact, I have no idea what's going to emerge.  This really frees me.  It mutes my perfectionist's voice who often says, "It has to be like _____" and really makes room for the Holy Spirit to enter and do her good work!  My creative time is quiet, sometimes with music...or not.  My artwork usually represents how I'm feeling, what's going on, and how God is speaking to me.  Sometimes, I'm amazed at what emerges! 

What in the heck are mandalas, you ask?  Simply, in Sanskrit it means circle.  I was introduced to it as a means of prayer and conversation early on in my spiritual direction.  Here are some more good resources on mandalas:
  •   Click MANDALA for the wikipedia version. 
  • The mandala project has some great resources. 
  • And my friend, Stella DeVenuta, OSF does some of the most brilliant mandala work--as an artist and as an interpreter/spiritual guide.   
So...I have this mandala series...actually they are not finished yet.  I'd like to add some poetry for each one.  I'd also like to mount them with some sort of colored background and maybe add some more embellishments like fibers or rice paper or something. 

I hesitate putting something up on my blog that is "unfinished" until I was praying the other night and realized that might be my perfectionist talking.   (That's him...with the tie on...LOL)

An aside story...While I was having a rough time in my life, not knowing which end was up half the time.  I created this cartoon book called "On The Inside".  On The Inside is 47 "characters" that are literally on the inside of perfectionist, intuition, frustration, anger, joy...etc.  Each character has a name and a haiku that describes who they are and what they do.  It was a great project; gave me language for things I didn't really understand.  It also was quite amusing and fun to create!  So anyway...that's Percy Perfectionist.

Back to unfinished I decided this was a challenge for me...share a part of myself that's "in process", unpolished, not quite up to my standards...yet.  I watercolored paper and went all crazy with stuff.  Then I ripped it all apart and sewed (those of you who follow my blog that know me...YES I SEWED using a SEWING MACHINE) the pieces back together.  Boom...reflective, prayerful, unfinished mandalas.  I don't have titles or poetry with them yet, just the images.   I have some close-ups of each one so you can see the detail too.  Enjoy!

This is the first one (actually it's the last one created).  It was the ugliest, most putrid painting I've ever seen.  I was going to throw it away!  I resisted and sewed it back together and I felt really drawn to it.  I love the complexity and the layers.  My favorite part is the window with the fibers showing through.  And...there's glitter!  Who doesn't love sparkly?

This one I think is going to be called "I AM's Fire"'s really intense.  But then again, so is the fiery, passion of my I AM. 

This one seems very serene to me.  I like the pockets of white and I'm addicted to salt resist with watercolors.  It just looks so cool (and it's something I can do with my paint phobia)

I saved my favorite for last.  I don't know what I'm going to call this, but this really speaks to me at a deep level.  I've been praying with it for a couple weeks now.  I love the intensity of the colors.  And yet, there's a calmness in parts too.  This was some total Holy Spirit action going on here that's all I know!