I had never been to the New York Guggenheim until last month when I saw the Hilma af Klint exhibit. Seeing her paintings, in some ways felt like a coming home. Born in 1862, Hilma was a spiritual seeker who devoted her life to expressing the mystical realms through painting. Having discovered Theosophy in my early 20s and Anthroposophy years later, Hilma’s paintings resonated something familiar.
There are 5 universal shapes that are archetypes of energy and psyche that humankind shares across time and cultures. They are the circle, square, equal sided cross, triangle and spiral.
I get chills when I see or play with watercolors that allow the flow of color and water to create beautiful unexpected patterns and movement. I especially get that surge of electricity when the watercolors are used in mandala making.
How to deepen and embody personal prayers through journaling, color, calligraphy and paint has been my quest for months.
Instead of 2019 New Year’s resolutions, intentions or goals, this is the year of “becomings”. “Becoming” is not a noun like goal, intention or resolution. It is a life force that gives birth to something new. It is motion and creation that is always growing. It is the active part of “to be”. “Becoming” lives inside of us and calls to our highest self. “Becoming” is not static, but dynamic and full of life both within us and as part of all creation. “Becoming” is flow, change, growing to fulfillment. “Becoming” at its highest is bathed in fierce heart energy, the flow of life, conviction, light, truth and courage.
Winter Solstice, when winter begins, is a time to honor both darkness and light. Winter is womb time, a quiet time of gathering energy within. It is a time of gestation of dreams, hopes and becomings. It is the in-breath needed for the co-creative out-breath expression of life.
Some of my most joyful and deepest creativity has been teaching at the Art & Soul Retreat*at Kanuga in North Carolina. It is a feeling of stepping into a stream so strong and deep that it takes me to a place where my soul feels at home, really at home.
As always the creativity that flows from my monthly Mandala Circles astound me. It inspires my preparing for next August workshop in North Carolina.
Teaching at the annual 5 day Art & Soul Retreat in North Carolina at Kanuga feeds my soul for the entire year. Our classroom cabin in the woods holds a deep and sacred space.
It’s been three weeks of settling into “normal” life after five days of deep creativity. Mandalas helped me settle back into home and garden life.
This is week 5 of a creativity adventure titled “A Drawing, Design or Doodle a Day”
If you missed Week 1 – here is the link
If you missed Week 2 – here is the link
If you missed Week 3 – here is the link
It was a week of inspiration in New Mexico. In Santa Fe I found this beautiful symbol on the statue of Mary in the grounds of the Santa Fe Cathedral Basilica.
I thought it would be a week of drawing dread, instead it turned into a joy to wake up and find something that calls me to be seen, deeply seen.
This is the first day of a creativity adventure titled “A Drawing, Design or Doodle a Day” – Inspired by Nature – Learning to See Creator in Creation
A Month of Drawing, Design or Doodling a Day. I’m very excited about my Kanuga 5 day spiritual art workshop. This is an online preparation.
Birds bring wings to our hearts with their song, movement and beauty. The language of birds, which if understood by humans, has been told in ancient texts to reveal the wisdom of divinity. Perhaps it is the divinity of their beauty that has inspired some of our most famous artists, especially John James Audubon.
Homesick for Mark Making Creativity – Mandalas & Words. I have a longing for the experience of infinity through creating mandalas.
Mandalas for Mother – Earth. Honoring our most important Mother – Earth. Our last Mandala Circle was on Earth Day in April. I lead a guided meditation about the connection of our breath to the rotation of the earth.
Calm of Coloring Mandalas – Silence, Beauty, Fear. I finally made it to the Big Sur Hermitage. It was a roller coaster of peace, beauty and fear.Coloring mandalas calmed me down.
The inspirations were many: a meditation, a stone, the moon, the awakening of spring and a headache. The shared time of creativity brought mandalas and other creative expressions to light during the last mandala circle at my studio.
BE PEACE – DO PEACE. These are words I want to live by, need to live by, now. These mandalas were made a few days after the murder of 17 innocent school children.
We shared our creativity honoring the returning light and the time of open hearts. Mandalas #CreativityForTheSoul
As I prepare for teaching my August five-day art workshop in North Carolina at Kanuga*, I am spending time in the dance of drawing, revisiting its joy and terror. Drawing is a dance that unites the essence of what is being drawn with the eyes, heart and hand of the person drawing. That dance takes place when a person sees, truly sees.
Soul of a Nation – American Art in the Age of Black Power
From London to Arkansas and Brooklyn
Today is January 1, 2018. The first full moon, on the first day. The energy of full moon light amplifies what will go forward into the New Year.
Nourishing Mystery – Honoring the Dark – Welcoming the Light. The nourishing mystery, stillness and quiet of this time of year has been celebrated in our recent mandala circles. The quiet of darkness, a time to go within, is essential to the creative expression of light.
A most beautiful book, The Lost Words, reclaims nature words removed from a children’s dictionary. Acorn was replaced with analog.
A Sacred Circle of Creativity workshop was a three-day journey into the mystery and manifestation of our own creativity. I am so thankful to the creative souls who joined me…
A Sacred Circle of Creativity – Boxes of Darkness, Light & Balance
In my recent workshop, A Sacred Circle of Creativity, we explored the cycle of creativity from mystery (darkness) to manifestation (light) and the resulting space of balance (grey).
Can We Speak in English Flowers – Old (1760s) and New (2017)
London to Missouri and Back. Coloring Book and Garden Visits
A Sacred Circle of Creativity – From Mystery to Manifestation & Back Again -Mother Earth, Mandalas, Meditation & Words. My new three-day workshop Oct. 12- 14. The golden pebble journey, as I call it, always takes place when I create a workshop.
Some of the deepest sharing of souls takes place when a very special book group gets together. We call it the Crystal Book Group, named for a location but also for the clarity and power of our sharing. Our sharing includes an art activity that deepens what we have read. We recently created sweetgrass braids and painted stones.
Total Solar Eclipse -In the recent mandala circle gathering we brought our awareness and creativity to this once in a lifetime event. All of us in the circle are fortunate to live in the area of the total solar eclipse.
Sacred Circle of Creativity – Sharing. A nurturing safe embracing place where a deep connection with our own personal truths and source is opened and expressed.
Today I finished planting my garden. It’s the last on the list of the many gardens I work in. Before digging in the dirt I took some mandala photos of the garden and flowers that touch my heart and share my time.
I recently saw Crochet Coral Reef in Santa Cruz, California. It’s an art exhibit that honors women’s brilliance, handicrafts and love of Mother Earth. It is a unique collaboration weaving together math, science, handicraft, environmentalism and community art. It was the discovery that a women’s handicraft could explain and create a physical form for a complex mathematical theory that started the journey of this exhibit.
It was the weekend of Earth Day. A guided meditation connecting Mother Earth to our creative centers started the evening of our mandala circle.
It was a charm* of hummingbirds that called to my son and me as we heard the hum of wings. Although the tulips and daffodils were lovely, the hedge full of humming wings most captured our attention and awe.
Flower Freeze. Tonight winter comes back with 20 degrees F. Spring was here all winter and the flowers grew.
“Deep in their roots, all flowers keep the light.”
For those new to a month for mandalas – please open this link and read the beginning of blog which explains it all. This is the last in the 4 part series LIGHT.
The Light of Creativity. The way we bring our light into the world is through our creativity. Our light shines most brightly when we are centered and connected to the source of our inner light.
The Light of Our Hearts. Our brightest light shines from our hearts.
“Nothing can dim the light that shines from within.” Maya Angelou
There is light from within and light that shines upon us. Our light comes from deep within our soul, from the womb of our being
STANDING UP FOR TRUTH “What you love is the cure” is an African proverb. How can my love for (fill in the blank) cure my life and the world?
Sharing Truth Tea. How I can go forward. A Month for Mandalas. Truth in Kinship – Family, Friends, Community, Creation, Creator.
A Month for Mandalas. There are ways to know and find our truths. Because we are nature, we can find our truths there.
A Month For Mandalas is a time of creative inspiration and expression. TRUTH is the inspiration for this session. Where do we find our own deepest truths, how do we know them and how do we go forward with them? Let your creativity be your guide.
There are many song nature sings that we cannot hear. Each plant, insect, animal and all of creation has its own vibrations.
Monarchs butterflies have their own song. I can’t hear the songs monarchs sing to the plant that it is married to, milkweed.
I am so fortunate to be in a book group that shares the breadth and depth of shared books and our soul’s truths. Our last gathering of the year is a sharing of one poem each.
The Winter Solstice takes place at 4:44 am my time, December 21st.. The longest darkness, the shortest light. A birthing of light that grows.
I was totally delighted when I walked into my daughter-in-law’s kindergarten and first grade classroom recently. There were beautiful mandalas hanging in the air.
I recently created a set of pottery bowls inspired by the beauty of a glaze called Malcolm Davis Shino. Clay and pottery transformed and healed the life of Malcolm Davis after a time of great political turmoil in which he was intimately involved
My heart is broken. A physical pain stabs in my chest. How to heal from the shock? Our amazing country descending into votes for hate…I needed a place and a power to pour my tears. The Mississippi river called.
Once a month I hold a mandala circle at my home art studio. The mandala makers who come to share in this sacred circle of creativity always bring their light of creativity into the world.
The joy of leading and teaching spiritual art workshops is mainly seeing the opening up and blossoming of each participant’s creative expression. This was especially true in August at Kanuga during the Faith, Art & Creative Expression Conference workshop.
It was some times hard to explain what the workshop was about. It was titled Creating Sacred Space In The Garden – Planting Prayers offered at Kanuga during the Faith, Art and Creative Expression conference in late August.
Although it’s a few days past, I want to rename the Harvest Moon, the Persimmon moon. On Sept. 23rd, the day of the full Harvest Moon, I created a persimmon mandala to honor the time of year and the time of sweet harvest.
Creating Sacred Space in Garden -Planting Prayers was the title of the class I taught at Kanuga near Asheville, North Carolina … Sometimes described as a “thin” place, this Episcopal Retreat Center is a space where deep connection and community promotes and nurtures the weaving of faith, art and creativity.
I love how mandalas inspire kids and adults. This blog shares mandalas from children as young as preschoolers to adults as young at heart as any child.
I am getting ready to leave in a few weeks for North Carolina to teach my course “Creating Sacred Space in the Garden” at Kanuga, a spiritual retreat center outside of Asheville.
Our mandala circle took place the night the world found out about the Orlando shootings. The mandala art created was about finding a way to peace, healing and stopping the hate.
These mandalas were created and inspired by a mandala circle of shared creativity and a meditation honoring silence.
I miss making mandalas with art materials. Instead I’ve created some “driveway mandalas”. It is busy springtime when my life and driveway are filled with flowers and plants
My wish and joy is that this online space be an embrace of mandala community and sharing. I have no idea how wide and far this web of Creativity For The Soul spreads. I love to share mandalas created in workshops, circles and sent to me from near and far.
I wrote and illustrated this book in my early twenties. A friendship story based on a time while living in the Pacific Northwest.
For decades I’ve wanted to travel to Esalen, take a workshop and immerse myself in this unique Big Sur land of delights, dreams and depth. The delights are the land, waters, air, light and their gifts. The dreams are the calling from dreamtime at night, and the depth is exploring into […]
There is a calling from soil that brings gardener’s hands into the dirt to grow a garden. There is a calling from clay that brings potter’s and clay artist’s hands into the dirt to transform it into objects that become part of daily life. I can’t resist both callings, so when my hands aren’t digging in garden soil, they are in the clay studio playing and creating with clay …
Soon I’m leaving for a to a place I’ve wanted to go for decades – Esalen in Big Sur, California. There I want to settle into a deeper place in the center of my heart and the center of our earth’s heart.
Spring is almost here. There are a few flowers blooming in St. Louis now. Their small flowers are a joy, but their small size sometimes isn’t enough.
Teaching at Kanuga F.A.C.E conference. Little did I know it would be a life-changing journey to my own and other’s deep creative heARTs.
Mandalas and meditation were shared during my last mandala circle at my home studio. The circle of sharing also goes out into the world and comes back via the internet. Here are some shared mandalas created from near and far.
I want the new year to be an inspiration to remember what calls to me from the depths of my soul. Reminders help me listen to what feels right on the deepest level, what brings joy and what stirs to action.
My books group, which is really a friendship circle of the deepest kind, shares poems every December. The poems are put together as works of art, which we give each other as gifts.
In this time of increasing light, let your inner light shine brightly. A Month for Mandalas, session two was about connection to nature’s elements. This is the last connection to the elements – fire.
A Month for Mandalas, session two, is about connection to nature’s elements. Here are the mandalas honoring and becoming one with air and earth.
A Month for Mandalas, session two, which ended a few weeks ago, was about connection to nature’s elements. Here are the mandalas honoring and connecting with water.
A Month for Mandalas – Loving Water
Planting Mandalas, Mindfullness & Prayers – Connection to Creativity & Nature.
Each week is inspired by one of the four elements: earth, air, fire and water. Water is this week’s inspiration.
Loving Fire – A Month For Mandalas. This is the third week of A Month for Mandalas – Session Two – Planting Mandalas, Mindfullness & Prayers – Connection to Creativity & Nature.
A Month For Mandalas – Loving Air. Air is this week’s inspiration. In ancient India there was a way of connecting breath to the earth with the basic unit of time being 4 seconds or one prana.
Loving Earth – A Month for Mandalas. The earth is our mother. It is our home, the home to all creatures who live on its surface. We are one with this earth. Planting Mandalas, Mindfullness & Prayers – Connection to Creativity & Nature.
Planting Mandalas, Mindfullness & Prayers – Connection to Creativity & Nature.This is the invitation and a beginning for A Month for Mandalas – Session 2. This blog explains what it is all about.
There are Wild Things going on in my garden and in the downtown Saint Louis Library. There are celebrations and exhibits of the book Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak . Wild Things have invaded my garden too.
Here is a book made of round mandala pages and a special mandala box. I made these as examples of what I will be teaching next summer at the 2016 F.A.C.E. (faith, art and creative expression) Conference.
The last mandala circle get together was about an hour away at the home and prairie of Christine and Gary. The ten acres of restored and loved prairie and woods are called “Earth Mirrors”. It’s a mirror into the soul and long history of the land and those who care and cared for it.
I’m back home after an incredible journey that was deep and wide. A journey that opened new doors of creativity, community and connection. Sometimes it is hard to get grounded after such an experience. For me, it is spending time in the garden that gives me grounding and welcomes me home.
I leave in less than a week for Kanuga near Asheville, North Carolina to teach a week-long course titled “Entering the Sacred Through Images, Words, Nature & Gardens”. Kanuga is a 1400 acre Episcopal retreat center. I can’t wait.
I love creating mandalas on paper, but I also love putting these images on other surfaces. Shrinky Dinks are a plastic that shrinks to 1/3 its original size when it is “baked” in the oven
The mandalas I’ve recently created will be part of a larger series. The theme is “Hands of Energy Mandalas”. Just as each finger has its unique print, the unique energy of each person can be portrayed in their hands.
I can’t keep my hands out of the dirt, whether gardens or clay. The clay sings and talks to my hands. I am centered when I play with clay.
In years past I’ve received emails from the Missouri Botanical Gardens saying “the sacred lotus are blooming”. I haven’t seen the email yet this year. I hope it isn’t too late. Lotus is one of my favorite plants. Not only for its beauty, but for its spiritual meanings.
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