March 1, 2012: I am challenging myself to create a mandala every day for sixty days to learn more about myself and the magic of the sacred circle!
"Everything the Power of the World does is done in a circle. The sky is round like a ball, and so are all the stars. The wind, in its greatest power, whirls. Birds make their nests in circles, for theirs is the same religions as ours. The sun comes forth and goes down again in a circle. The moon does the same, and both are round. Even the seasons form a great circle in their changing, and always come back again to where they were. The life of a man is a circle from childhood to childhood, and so it is in everything where power moves. Our tepees were round like the nests of birds, and these were always set in a circle, the nation's hoop, a nest of many nests, where the Great Spirit meant for us to hatch our children." - Black Elk, Black Elk Speaks
Day 1 (3-1-12): "I of the Storm" Watercolor pencil and paint marker.
Inspired by last night's dreams. Both Mitchell and I dreamed of great huge waves in the deep ocean. He flew above them and surfed the crests of the waves. I dreamed I was floating in the water, drifting with the ebb and flow instead of fighting the storm.
Day 2 (3-2-12): "Frosted Wind" Watercolor pencil and paint marker.
A chilly and very windy day changed my plans and allowed me to slow down and catch up on a few things, spend time with good friends and relax unexpectedly. This mandala has frosty glitter on it!
Day 3 (3-3-12): "Cosmic Serpent" Digital collage.
Today I am feeling the magic of the year 2012, Year of the Dragon (I was born in the year of the dragon too!), the return of Quetzalcoatl the Feathered Serpent, mass Kundalini awakening, DNA Activation, cosmic serpent crop circles... Its a big year for shedding our collective skin and being reborn whole: full of vitality, compassion and creativity.
Day 4 (3-4-12): "No Yin Without Yang, No Yang Without Yin" Watercolor pencil
This started as a a mandala of the unity of sunset and sunrise inspired by my drive out to Santa Fe to paint a mural. I had been painting a sunset during sunset today. The other elements of opposition fell into place as I started this mandala. The bird vs. the airplane. The road vs. the river. I was listening to an Alan Watts recording (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S3LJ5HNfNEY) about Yin and Yang. While shading the mountains, I learned that the literal translation for the words Yin and Yang mean the North and South slopes of a mountain. This mandala is a meditation on the inseparability of opposing forces, and the wholeness in all realities.
Day 5 (3-5-12): "Indulgence" Watercolor pencil and paint marker.
Rainbow colors and hexagonal geometry... Because I can! and because it just feels so good :O !! Sometimes you just have to go with what feels the best and leave logic out of it. Indulge in the colors, shapes and sounds that are vibrant and remind you of how grateful you are to be alive.
Day 6 (3-6-12): "Babalú-Ayé" Raffia, string, beans, corn, lentils and cowrie shells on cardboard.
Just finished working on a mural for some new friends who are opening a Cuban restaurant called Babaluu's just south of Santa Fe. I learned a lot about the family's background in Santeria and the many spirits that are important to them, including Babalú-Ayé the orisha of infectious disease and healing. By honoring this Earth spirit, I hope he will keep me and my loved ones in good health!
Day 7 (3-7-12): "Creative Flame" Colored pencil and black paper.
Trying out my new paper and Prismacolor set today! We will be using these materials in the upcoming mandala workshop to bring light and form out of the void. This is the mandala of creativity, a burning flame that devours blank canvas and transforms it into color and life!!
Day 8 (3-8-12): "Womanity" Digital Collage.
Today is International Women's Day. Let's honor She Who Knows, the divine feminine who holds the mystery of transition, the secrets of nurturing, the power to create, the strength to transform, and the wisdom to heal. We have been witnessing a rising of feminine voices among women of all races. They are generations of women who are hearing the call to remember, by retelling ancient stories and weaving a tapestry of new ones. They speak to feminine wisdom in this moment in time--the here and now that affirms what was, what is, what will become... Let us join our Earth Mother in restoring her balance.
Day 9 (3-9-12): "Blooming" Colored pencil on black paper.
A rose, one of nature's perfect mandalas. I'm working up the courage this year to practice realism in my art, something I rarely delve into because the natural universe is already so exquisite I worry that I couldn't do it justice. All of the positive feedback from the community lately has encouraged me not to hold back out of fear of failure. Thank you for this gift!
did the rose
ever open its heart
and give to this world all of its beauty?
It felt the encouragement of light against its being,
otherwise we all remain too
frightened." - poem by Hafiz
Day 10 (3-10-12): "Teo Family Crest" Ink on paper and Photoshop.
This week I was introduced to the "mon" or traditional Japanese family crest design. In use since the beginning of the 12th century, these mandalic logos are used to identify respected individuals, families, clans and organizations. The crests usually depict a certain plant, animal, man-made or celestial object. The uses of the crest include the wardrobe and flags worn into battle, custom printing on clothing, fans, umbrellas, fine papers, tapestries, design for carvings and architecture. The designs are beautiful, bold, graphic and strikingly simple. Inspired by looking at hundreds of family crests, I decided to create one for my mother's Malaysian lineage, the Teo family. At her suggestion I used the coconut palm for the theme.
Day 11 (3-11-12): "Rainbow Bridge" Colored pencil on black paper.
This is my meditation on the Circumpolar Rainbow Bridge, as described by José Argüelles. The rainbow bridge is a prophecy spoken of by many different civilizations since ancient times. In Sanskrit it is called antahkarana. It represents the healed earth by means of a bridge connecting the 3rd and 4th (or mundane and spiritual) dimensions. There is a global meditation project focusing on this concept and aiming to create this rainbow bridge in physical and visual reality. They have already had many successes creating rainbows with their collective intention. http://www.noosphereforum.org/earth/antahkarana.html
Day 12 (3-12-12) "Manifestation" Digital Collage.
This mandala is a visual meditation on my dreams for the future in order to help me manifest them. It uses pictures of the things I want to do, the places I want to go, and the life I want to lead. The images are placed within the sacred geometry of the flower of life. This arrangement helps me to see the interrelation of the diverse ideas I hold in my thought. In this design, they appear as a powerful, cohesive and attainable whole. The flower of life reminds me of the divinity in every individual path.
Day 13 (3-13-12): "Rio Grande" Sticks, driftwood and pine cone on sand.
Mitchell and I walked around by the Rio Grande today. It was really beautiful but at the same time so polluted and disrespected, trash everywhere. We left this mandala on the sandbar as a prayer for the Rio to be better taken care of and also all water as it is part of the sacred flow of all life on Earth.
Day 14 (3-14-12): "OM" Fabric paint on corduroy jacket (wrapped around a drum in photo).
All I have to say today is OM...... Riding the waves of life and keeping it all in balance thanks to OM...... Blessed Be.
Day 15 (3-15-12): "Sacred Union" Henna on my lover Mitchell's back.
This mandala came to me very fluidly because the canvas I was painting on was as familiar to me as the back of my own hand. It guided and inspired me to use the imagery of two snakes intertwined in loving embrace and holding their home, symbolized by the New Mexico Zia, in the space they create between them. Behind them is the Sun, whose warmth and light sustains their abundant life together. This design represents a unity of partners, their community, and the Creator.
Day 16 (3-16-12): "Synchronicity" Colored pencil on black paper.
Today I am appreciating the many synchronicities in my life, moments when things that seemed almost impossible became miraculously possible. The people I am blessed to be surrounded with are especially precious miracles that constantly provide me with just what I need to overcome my personal obstacles and thrive. Let go and trust so you can give the Universe more opportunities to give you exactly what your spirit truly needs.
Day 17 (3-17-12): "Oak Seer" Pencil on paper.
Today is St. Patrick's Day, the big day to drink, feast, and celebrate Christianity's dominance in Ireland. According to legend, St. Patrick was honored for banishing all of the snakes from Ireland. As there weren't any snakes on the island to begin with, this myth is actually a metaphor for the eradication of Paganism (symbolized by snakes) with the spread of Christianity. In honor of Ireland's ancient Pagan roots, I made this mandala of a spirited oak tree protected by snakes. The Druid's revered oak and would never cut one down. Supposedly they would only gather to hold counsel underneath the shade of an oak tree. The word Druid roughly translates to "oak seer".
Day 18 (3-18-12): "Blessings" White pencil on black paper.
This mandala came to me after asking the Universe for some help with my "artist's block" tonight. Holding my hands out, palms open, I focused on being receptive to my inner guidance so that I might create a mandala that would teach me about my role as an artist and as the creator of this 60 day challenge. Using Judith Cornell's meditation techniques from her book, "Mandala", I came to the realization that my hands were the symbol for what I was feeling about trusting and being open to receive. The epiphany of this visualization was when I discovered that these open hands are also a symbol for giving. Giving and receiving are the same energy. The best part about this mandala is that I can hold my hands out over the original drawing any time and be reminded of the blessings that I share/enjoy.
Day 19 (3-19-12): "Let Go" Acrylic on paper.
Making this mandala was an awesome experience of letting go of expectations, restrictions, and all other perceived limitations. My geometric art is so often very precise and carefully designed with my own guidelines. This mandala, on the other hand, was just natural and fun to make with no worries of the outcome. It is free-flowing movement and sound; like music and dance except with a paintbrush.
Day 20 (3-20-12): "Medicine Star Wheel" Acrylic on paper. This mandala is based on the traditional Native American medicine wheel, an homage to the great cycles of life and the four sacred divisions. These four categories represent the 4 directions, 4 seasons, 4 stages in life, 4 colors that represent the different races. Black Elk is quoted as saying, “Black is for the west where the thunder beings send us rain. White is for the north, where the great white cleansing wind comes. Red is for the east where springs the light and the morning star. Yellow is for the south, where summer comes along with the power to grow.” At the center of the wheel I added the traditional Plains Indian star design known best through its use on Lakota star quilts. It is a recognition of our connection to the celestial bodies and these stars as being our passageway into the afterlife. The points around the star represent individuals being held together by their community at the center. Everywhere you look, in every culture and every point in time, the mandala is used as a metaphor for interconnectedness with all life and the Creator. Happy Spring Equinox! Another seasonal cycle in the cycle of life.
Day 21 (3-21-12): "Electric Calm" Sharpie and highlighter on paper.
Today my work took me way out of my usual element. I worked a trade show all day at the Albuquerque Convention Center and had to act like a proper business professional and a convincing salesperson. It was very far from who I really am, and my regular work at the store, but I pulled it off. The buzzing fluorescent lights and steady flow of deal-hungry retailers from around the country brought me a little closer than I would like to be to a world of material goods, money and business. During the down time, I sat and made this mandala with the only materials I had on hand. I think I would have gone crazy today if it weren't for making this piece of art. I sure got some strange looks from the other vendors and buyers!
Day 22 (3-22-12): "Remember Your Greatness" colored pencil on paper.
Today I made a purchase I am super excited about!!!! I bought a Fimo clay sculpture of an elephant from Kris Anderson, an artist who lives in Bali. It is incredibly gorgeous and inspiring and once I saw it, it called to me to take it home with me, so I did. The sculpture inspired me to do this mandala. It is an elephant mandala even though it doesn't directly portray an elephant. It reminded me of this awesome article (I highly recommend reading it: http://www.realitysandwich.com/elephants_please_dont_go) I read after incredible experiences hanging out with the elephants in Malaysia and Thailand. The gist of the article is that elephant energy is a reminder to us humans to claim our "largeness" and "greatness". Sadly, elephants are endangered because of our destructive habits. I find this quote from the article very moving, it is a message from the elephants that was given to the author during meditation. The elephants say, "Don't imagine that we are helpless to save ourselves. We can manipulate reality in ways you cannot begin to imagine. We are leaving because the way you treat us says that you don't want us. If our gifts are not welcome to you, we will bow out."
Day 23 (3-23-12): "You Are What You Eat" Romaine, mixed spring greens, sunflower sprouts, cucumber, tomato, carrot, sunflower seeds, goji berries and egg.
Today, Mitchell and I are on our fifth day of a 28 day cleanse where we are eliminating toxic food and household items and replacing them with fresh organic healthy foods. We are feeling great and eating lots of salads and green smoothies! Here is my mandala of the day, and Mitchell's lunch. Yumm!
Day 24 (3-24-12): "Cosmic Planet" Digital collage.
This mandala shows planet Earth interlaced with an image of the Universe in honor of our celestial heritage. We all come from the stars and our planet is a part of something much bigger than we can even comprehend. As vast as the endless unknown can seem to be, there is a positive and binding life-force energy that exists throughout the entire cosmos. In this mandala it is represented through the geometry overlaid on the image.
♥ Avesa! (Sanskrit for 'Hail to the infinite unknown!)
Day 25 (3-25-12): "Rhythms of Life" Acrylic on pine cone.
Nature, my greatest inspiration, uses the fibonacci sequence in many of its beautiful expressions. This is a sequence of numbers where each number is the sum of the previous two: 1, 1, 2, 3, 5, 8, 13, 21, 34, 55, 89, etc. In the spiral geometry of many plants, such as pine cones, sunflowers, and pineapples, the fibonacci sequence can be found. In this particular pine cone, there are 13 recognizable spirals rotating counter-clockwise. You can see the motion of this set of spirals in the painted areas. Rotating clockwise, and a little harder to spot since I didn't paint these, are a set of 8 spirals. Eight and thirteen are two consecutive fibonacci numbers. Sometimes this will manifest as 5 and 8, 21 and 34, or another consecutive pair. But it will always follow that pattern of back to back fibanacci numbers rotating in opposition to one another. To me, this is nature's metaphor for the importance of referring to information from the past in order to achieve forward evolution.
Day 26 (3-26-12): "Ganja Mandala" Digital collage.
I don't care what anybody says; I know that cannabis is an amazing natural herb, with miraculous healing capabilities as well as mind expanding potential. It has been a blessing in my life, aiding in my emotional balance, relaxation, inspiration, and overall health. When used safely, this can be a very beneficial medicine and spiritual tool. The hemp plant is also a nutritious food, a useful fiber, and a renewable energy source among many other things. There is so much valuable information to learn from this plant, and yet it is demonized in our culture. It is considered a dangerous drug, a "weed", a crime to cultivate. Personally, I am sick and tired of all of the injustice such misconceptions have caused. Meanwhile, there is a synthetic cannabanoid called "Spice" that IS legal. A local woman I met today told me about her very stable and responsible friend who tried smoking this chemical composition and became temporarily psychotic, shot himself and came very close to losing his life. I'm devastated about this story, and wish people would just embrace the natural God-given plant rather than try to replace it with some new untested chemical cocktail. All in favor of a HEMP/GANJA REVOLUTION!?
Day 27 (3-7-12): "Fairylight" Colored pencil on black paper.
From our perception, she looks just like a flitting speck of light. Despite her size, this fairy is a big reminder of the enthusiastic support of the spirit world and its many magical beings. I've been wanting to make a fairy mandala because I used to draw fairies a lot when I was much younger. I haven't drawn them in a long time, but I remember they were always so much fun for me. Little magical people with radiant auras and trails of fairy dust behind them. Now I guess I am seeing them again, in my mind's eye at least, because I've been wanting to draw and paint them. Hope to work with the fairy people much more in the near future :)
Day 28 (3-28-12): "Radiant Truth" Sculpey clay. Inspired by the amazing warmth of today's sun, this mandala is an expression of that radiance. It is made with nine rays, or petals in honor of this magical number. Nine symbolizes harmony, perfection and, according to Hebrew belief, immutable Truth. The ancient Greeks, Egyptians, and Chinese among many other cultures recognized it as a sacred number. The Mayan stepped pyramids typically featured nine layers that must be ascended to reach the top. Enneagram diagrams are centered around the nine different personality archetypes. Even the Bible says that there are nine Fruits of the Spirit, symbolized by the nine pointed star.
Day 29 (3-29-12): "Golden Memory" Paper cutout with photoshopped photo.
This is actually a photo from what was probably the most joy filled moment I have ever experienced. Mitchell and I were in Bagan, Burma exploring hundreds of temples by horse carriage and at the end of the long day we opted out of a sunset boat ride up the river with a bunch of silly tourists who wore plastic bags on their feet so as not to catch any foreign diseases. Instead, we hung out on the banks and made friends with the most beautiful, happy local children you could ever imagine. They were overjoyed that we wanted to hang out with them. Mitchell and I became kids again and we all played and laughed by the river as the sun went down. I remember the kids, proud to show off their English skills, all repeatedly yelling "Sunset! Sunset! Sunset! Beautiful! " I can't remember a happier or more beautiful memory than that sunset.
Day 30 (3-30-12): "Gratitude" Watercolor on paper and digital collage.
This collage incorporates three of my watercolor paintings, each a different emotion of water. Together they form a delicately balanced trinity. For me it is a reminder of the consciousness in water and how it is affected by its environment which includes all thoughts and actions. If you haven't seen the amazing work of Dr. Masaru Emoto from Japan, you need to. He studies the effects of thought on water crystals. The water samples that are projected emotions of love, appreciation and celebration come out as gorgeous mandalic crystals, while the samples that receive negative emotions look grey, murky and disharmonious. Send LOVE to all of the Earth's precious water!!! Thank You! Thank You! Thank You!
Day 31 (3-31-12): "Progress" Photoshop assemblage.
This mandala is actually part of a logo that I just finished designing for the PROUT Research Institute, a branch of a larger organization called the PROUT Institute. According to their website (http://www.proutinstitute.org/), "Progressive Utilization Theory or PROUT is a socio-economic theory intended to create equitable opportunity for every human being to fully develop and constructively express their potentialities, while maintaining a sustainable harmony between the human society and the natural world. " This design features a Japanese family crest at its center with a chrysanthemum for its theme. Chrysanthemums are celebrated in Japan as a symbol of perfection and health. Around the flowers are a balance of 9 upward-pointing, or masculine, triangles and 9 downward-pointing, chalice shapes, or feminine triangles. For me this has been a wonderful project because it is creative and also helps out a wonderful organization that I fully support. Completing this logo is a mark of progress for me in my creative career as a graphic designer.
Day 32 (4-1-12): "Interdimensional Navigation System" Pencil and colored pencil on paper.
An incredible breakthrough in interdimensional understanding by Henry Jake Foreman, this mandala shows several perspectives on the concept. The central three (or more!?) dimensional shape is essentially a cube with stepped pyramids ascending from each of its six faces (only three visible from this perspective). Simultaneously, these six faces have mirrored pyramids descending inwards, joining at the small central cube. This shape can be explored in so many different ways, it is probably endless. In just a few minutes of play I discovered 9 unique perspectives of this figure. I even found the Fibonacci Sequence in the shape of the spirals it creates! I have a feeling the further exploration of the Interdimensional Navigation System will be a deep and enlightening journey....
Day 33 (4-2-12): "Abundant Sri Yantra" Brush tip marker on paper and Photoshop.
The ancient symbol in the center, known as the Sri Yantra, is a Hindu meditation tool for bringing balance, abundance, and peace into one's life. It is also said to be a visual representation of the sound "OM". Sri means "wealth" and Yantra means "Instrument". It is the source of attaining all worldly desires and fulfilling all wishes through inner cosmic power and mental strength. I created this mandala today for my dad, one of my greatest heroes. He had a really rough day and I just wanted to send him some love and appreciation. I thought this symbol would be appropriate because he is one of the most generous people I know; and generosity and abundance are, of course, two sides of the same coin.
Day 34 (4-3-12): "Take Responsibility" Paint marker, colored pencil and brush tip marker on paper.
My lesson today was about being a grown-up and taking responsibility. Unforeseen circumstances put a lot of extra weight on my shoulders today. I had to "step up to the plate" and take care of what needed to be done. This opportunity allowed me to see for myself that I am strong, intelligent, and dependable enough to handle just about any situation. This little mandala is a meditation on that feeling of empowerment and self-worth that comes from taking responsibility. Hopefully it is a feeling we can all enjoy as a result of taking responsibility for ourselves, one another and working hard for the betterment of all life on this planet.
Day 35 (4-4-12): "Scribble Mandala" Scribble on wall.
HAH! This is how I feel about the rules today. :-D Ah... now I feel a lot better! I am very frustrated with authority right now, so I'm taking it out on this picture that we took of a wall in Malaysia. I always wanted to do this in real life when I walked past this sign near my mom's old apartment. Didn't have the guts to do it, but at least I have Photoshop for that. Some of the signs in foreign countries are hilarious...
Day 36 (4-5-12): "Tuff Lion" Marker on paper and Photoshop.
This design is for my friend Tuff, inspired by his incredible music. Hopefully these will be printed on t-shirts, stickers, and other Tuff Lion merchandise in the near future. I love how this lion's expression came out, he seems to be righteously roaring for joy!
Day 37 (4-6-12): "Pinwheel Box" Origami paper.
Today I was gifted a little box with a lid that looked just like this. I was determined to learn how to make one myself. I found a tutorial online, and 16 sheets of origami paper later (and with Mitchell's help!) had a completed box with lid! It was a really cool process to see how the individual pieces are so simple and identical, but when joined together they create an intricate and beautiful three dimensional object. I can't imagine what it must have been like to be the person who discovered that these particular folds create this functional mandalic form. I love working with geometry and origami is a great way to discover the variations that begin with a simple square flat plane. Now I just have to figure out what I am going to stash in this little box...
Day 38 (4-7-12) "Mama Zhenya" Watercolor pencil on pregnant belly!
Painted this today at the lovely Zhenya Radharani's blessing way ceremony. Such a beautiful community of people surround this child, he/she is so incredibly blessed! The image on her belly is Mother Earth surrounded by a lattice of protective white light and nine lotus petals. Lotus flowers are revered in Hindu mythology as symbols of divine birth and creativity, the pure true soul, the being which lives in turbid waters yet rises up and blossoms to the point of enlightenment. This radiant earth momma (Zhenya!) is the microcosm of the planet Earth momma who is constantly birthing new life. Wishes of love and abundant health to all mommas everywhere ♥
Day 39 (4-8-12): "Egg of Spring" Acrylic and marker on egg.
The tradition of painting eggs in the springtime goes back thousands of years in many different cultures. The oldest known decorated egg was found to be 60,000 years old from South Africa. The tradition carries on from ancient Egypt and Babylonia to modern day Easter egg hunting celebrations. There are some interesting perspectives on this tradition. One frightful story tells of the egg being laid by the Queen of Heaven and in her honor pagan priests dyed it in the blood of sacrificed babies. According to the "Pharmacratic Inquisition" the hidden eggs are a metaphor for magic mushrooms hidden in the grass under trees where children were sent out to gather them. While there are many stories about the ancient tradition of bright-colored eggs in the springtime, my opinion is that it has remained a popular custom because the egg is universally known as a symbol of nature's fertility and miraculous ability to generate new life. Similarly we see this rebirth and creation begin again every spring. The pairing of eggs and spring is very old and will continue for generations to come.
Day 40 (4-9-12): "Humandala" Friends on grass :)
Happy 24th birthday, Graciela Sedillo Lopez! It was a wonderful celebration today at the park. We experimented with making several humandalas, but this is my favorite because everyone looks really happy and content. It was really fun to make these formations as a group and try out everybody's ideas for new patterns. I am so used to doing mandalas alone, but it was really refreshing today to have the cooperation, new perspectives and laughter of a beautiful collective of people. I look forward to taking part in many more humandalas and seeing what new and interesting shapes we can make!
Day 41 (4-10-12): "Integration" Digital composition.
Integration is defined as "the act of combining or adding parts to make a unified whole." This is pretty much what I am trying to do with my life right now. It is also what I do when I make a mandala. Let's integrate our lives into the collective whole of the Earth!
Day 42 (4-11-12): "Blissful Radiance" Digital assemblage.
Blissful Radiance is my dear friend Elizabeth's company. She creates her own natural mineral-based skin health and beauty products and aromatherapy essential oils. She also creates labyrinths and shares her wisdom about them through workshops. This mandala is stage one of discovering the essence of Blissful Radiance and transforming it into a company logo that is infused with love and light. For me a logo is more than just a symbol to delineate a business. I believe a logo can contain the essence of its owner and can work magic if it is created with intention. It can draw in the clients who will most benefit from the services of the person or organization it represents. It can be a visual prayer for the business to succeed and benefit the community in a meaningful way. This mandala is on the road to becoming a powerful symbol to help propel Blissful Radiance towards its full potential!
Day 43 (4-12-12): "Recycled Tire Arm Band" Bicycle tire inner tubes with turquoise beads.
This armband is made out of used rubber tubes generously donated to me from the Bike Co-op in Nob Hill. I've been making feather earrings out of this material for awhile now, and just branched off today into new territory. The geometry in the center of the band was cut using a leather hole punch. The design is inspired from a gorgeous fractal pattern crop circle that I've always admired.
Day 44 (4-13-12): "Tortuga Mandala" Latex paint on stucco wall.
Today, Friday the 13th, Mitchell and I painted this mural at Tortuga Gallery. It has 13 points around the circle in honor of this magical and lucky number which infuses the spiritual with the material world. The turtle is a symbol for pacing oneself and acting with intention and purpose when the time is right. The dark area at the bottom is the metaphorical darkness before the light which the turtle has passed through before entering into the radiant center of wholeness.
Day 45 (4-14-12): "Banner of Peace, Love, and Culture" Latex paints on hemp canvas flag.
This flag was made for Karuna Colectiva, a local node of the Planet Art Network (http://www.planetartnetwork.info/home.html). The three circles in the middle are from the Banner of Peace, which is the official flag in use around the world by members of the Planet Art Network and World Thirteen Moon Calendar Change Peace Movement. It is displayed at all events, gatherings, and centers which promote natural time and planetary peace. The banner uses a deep red or magenta color to symbolize the color of our one blood, which is the same for all peoples. The top circle represents spirituality and encompasses the truth of all religions, that we can all unite regardless of our distinct beliefs. The two circles on the bottom represent art and science. Usually the banner contains a red circle that surrounds the three spheres. It represents culture, the unity of art, science, and spirituality. This version replaces that circle with a red, gold, and green Circumpolar Rainbow Bridge around the Earth. Also overlaid is the sacred geometry of the Flower of Life.
Day 46 (4-15-12): "Oh My God" Straws and hot glue.
I love the ecstatic feeling of discovery that brings me to gasp, "Oh my God!" This is what continues to happen as I explore this three dimensional figure. This sculpture has to be experienced interactively for its dynamic expression to be truly perceived. Every angle you turn it on gives you a completely different geometric pattern. This is a very square perspective of the shape, but when you spin it vertically or horizontally 45 degrees you will see a series of hexagons nestled inside one another. There are countless ways to look at this shape. This is a continuation of the idea from Mandala #32 called "Interdimensional Navigation System". It is my perception of what the inside of that shape looks like. I was going to put the outer pyramids on it too, but didn't do my calculations very thoughtfully and it would be too big to get out the door! I might have to continue this as an outdoor project...
Day 47 (4-16-12): "Ayahuasca Retreat Center" Watercolor pencil on paper.
One of the goals of Karuna Colectiva, the local node of the Planet Art Network, is to create a sustainable ayahuasca retreat space in the Amazon rainforest. The building will be made with finest traditional thatched hut-style building technique, with modern architecture and sacred geometries included. The main space will be a beautiful wide open temple where ceremonies can be held as well as music events, workshops, and other large gatherings. The outdoor space will include lots of gardens, livestock, an outdoor kitchen, and peaceful areas for meditation. At least 9 bungalows with private porches will surround the property for guests to come and stay throughout the year. This retreat center will be created with the participation and advice of the locals in order to benefit the community as much as possible. The goal of Karuna Colectiva is to have this space built and ready for retreats in 5 years. Can't wait. See you there!!!
Day 48 (4-17-12): "Between Two Worlds" Digital collage of original photo and painting.
The original photo is of a sunflower from my garden a few summers ago and the painting is an old one that was based on the photo. Here, I combined the two to represent the balance of reality and simulation. This dichotomy can be seen throughout our lives. Nature vs. man-made environments, ancient vs. modern, organic vs. technological, spending real time with friends vs. Facebook... We are constantly finding the balance and the beauty in opposing paradigms in our lives. Take no reality for granted. All are real.
Day 49 (4-18-12): "Metatron's Zodiac" Flourescent acrylic on canvas under black light.
The nineteen-glyph circle of the "Mayan Zodiac" synchronistically presented itself to me more than once the last couple of days, so I felt called to paint it. So far in my research, explanation of this "zodiac" and its history is vague and likely to be a modernized explanation of an ancient system. So in recognition of the ancient melded with the modern technological perspective, I made my own variation of the design which includes the famous sacred geometry known as Metatron's Cube. It is derived from the Flower of Life (or vice versa!). Contemplation of the underlying symmetries in these shapes can lead to the spontaneous opening of the doors of consciousness. I highly suggest taking the time to use a compass and straightedge to draw these geometries yourself. You will be amazed.
Day 50 (4-19-12): "Snowflake" Cut and woven t-shirt.
At my work (Guerrilla Graphix) I am constantly surrounded by hundreds of t-shirts of all different kinds. Once in awhile I get inspired to re-fashion them into original new styles. This is the first time I have attempted this weave technique and the first time cutting a mandala into a t-shirt. The design needs some refining still, but its pretty cool for a first try. I definitely want to play with this technique some more, its very simple but looks complex once finished. This one came out looking like its own unique snowflake.
Day 51 (4-20-12): "Forest Goddess Altar"
This mandalic arrangement was made while camping in Ponderosa Friday night. I wanted to make a buddha out of stones in the little opening at the base of a burnt out tree, but she came out looking more like a buddhess!
Day 52 (4-21-12): "Radiance" Flourescent acrylic on masonite.
This painting is in progress, started awhile ago and not yet finished. I started it a few months ago as a live painting at Tipper, a Sub Culture show at the El Rey Theater.
Day 53 (4-22-12): "Chaos & Order" Colored pencil and ink on paper.
The design highlights seemingly chaotic triangle shapes coming together to create a harmonious cohesive whole in the center, the Seed of Life. It is drawn on a 2.5" by 3.5" Artist Trading Card or ATC drawing surface. There are several events and websites (http://www.illustratedatcs.com/info/monthly_ATCs_2010.html) where artists from around the world can swap their miniature designs with one another, or collectors can find their favorites. Check it out! There is a ton of really cool art :)
Day 54 (4-23-12): "Cycle of Life" Shells, beads, beans and feathers on leather with hair clip.
A little costume piece for belly dance and other dress-up occasions, this hair clip will be a reminder of the bigger picture, spirituality, and the cycles of life and death.
Day 55 (4-24-12): "Chakra Mandala" Colored pencil, ink and paint marker on paper.
I've had this design in mind for a long time, but haven't begun to work with it until just now. I was inspired by the wonderful Shirley Maclaine and her Open Eyed Chakra Meditation video on youtube (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vifdc29eTKw). I am still fleshing out the concept of the chakras connecting into a radiant mandala, one day I'll put in more time and make a detailed painting. For now, here is the idea. The heart chakra in green is at the center. Around that the next lower and higher chakras, the solar plexus and throat, join in a sort of yin yang shape. The next ring is the joining of third eye and sacral chakras in orange and violet. And finally the outer ring is the root and crown joined in balanced motion. Down the middle an s-like curve snakes between the chakra points just like the curling kundalini energy that flows through them. Radiant white light beams out of the heart and through all of the different colored layers.
Day 56 (4-25-12): "Alibi" Collage of newspaper clippings.
What's your alibi? I've got mine, I've been doing nothing but making mandalas for the past 56 days and this whole album is the proof :) This mandala is compiled from images from last week's Alibi newspaper. I absolutely love the cover image designed by artist Jeff Drew. It caught my eye right away, and fortunately I wound up with a whole stack of leftover Alibi's from last week and was able to use them for this collage.
Day 57 (4-26-12): "Music Mandala" Paper cutout with colored pencil on vinyl record.
Today I am proud to announce I've finally finished what I started. This is a commissioned piece for a good friend who asked for a "Music Mandala" more than a year ago (maybe 2 years!?). With some projects I have a really bad problem of starting them and getting 90% finished and then just leaving them for weeks, months, and in this case years without finishing. I don't know why. Sometimes I just don't know what the next step is. Sometimes I really like the piece and don't want the process to come to an end. This one was a little of both. But the procrastination was definitely making me feel guilty for a really long time and it feels great to finally have this project complete and ready to deliver to its owner. The mandala contains the essence of music and sound vibrations. Specifically country, rock, Cuban, reggae, punk and bluegrass. I listened to all of these at some point while creating this.
Day 58 (4-27-12): "Keepers of Time" Digital collage.
This year I am doing the graphic design for the official Keepers of Time 13 Moon Peace & Prosperity World Calendar! I don't know much about this calendar system, but I am learning bit by bit. Around the outer circle are the 20 glyphs for the Solar Tribes. These are archetypes that we rotate through every 20 days (kin). Each resonates with its own purpose and frequency and we all are born on one of those days and carry with us that signature throughout our lives. The seven symbols in the center on top of the Hunab Ku (galactic core of the universe which all things come from and return to) are the Seven Radial Plasmas. These seven signs correspond to the seven days of the week and the seven chakras. Each day of the week has a different chakra beginning with Dali (crown), then to Seli (root), Gamma (third eye), Kali (sacral), Alpha (throat), Limi (solar plexus), and finally Silio (heart). Coincidentally this is a lot like the chakra mandala design I made a few of days ago which starts at the heart and then goes to the next lower then higher chakras back and fourth radiating outwards rather than the conventional bottom to top sequence. Check out www.lawoftime.org for lots of wonderful resources for learning about this calendar system!
Day 59 (4-28-12): "Purification of the Night" Digital Collage.
I was talking with a friend yesterday about animal spirit guides. Mine include the bear, blue whale and elephant. He told me that we have at least one guide in each animal category: mammal, reptile, avian, fish or water animal, etc. I had never considered all of these before and specifically I felt like I ought to have a bird guide, but had never really had any special connection with any. I forgot about this and went about my day. Then last night I had a very vivid dream that I walked into this huge beautiful atrium with glass windows all around and plants everywhere. Right when I walked in there was an owl perched straight ahead of me staring directly into my eyes. It was so vivid and stunning I felt like I was looking at it in waking life. Then to my left just a few feet away, I saw a huge black vulture with outstretched wings and I reached up and touched its feet. Today as I started on my mandala, I was only going to use the owl because I thought of it as a more beautiful creature, known for its wisdom and reign over the night which is my power time. My first reaction to the vulture was disgust and I didn't want to share that part of my dream. But after reading up a little bit, I discovered that this scavenger is a powerful symbol of the balance of Earth's natural energies and cycles. The scientific name for the turkey vulture is Cathartes Aura which means Golden Purifier because it purifies the landscape and environment in it's own natural way, ensuring the continued health and life of other living things. The vulture is a promise that all hardship is temporary and necessary for a higher purpose. I've come to terms now with the vulture part of myself and I am ready to learn from its wisdom.
Day 60 (4-29-12) "NYC"
Made using the Kaleidocam photography app on my phone. First night of my trip to New York City. On the roof with a glass of wine. Grateful. Complete.