"What we see depends mainly on what we look for." ~Sir John Lubbock

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Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Water Mandala

I'd like to share something with you that is a wonderful tool for your creativity tool box! You may already know that I'm a nature-inspired/nature-lovin' creativity coach (shameless self-promoting links here http://www.thenaturecoach.net/, and here http://www.thenaturecoach.blogspot.com/).

I love connecting my art with nature and vice-versa, and I especially love to encourage others to do so as well. At my "Your Nature" blog in the link above, I ask visitors to create a water mandala: ...pour water (recycled pasta or plant water even better!) into a wide, shallow bowl or extra large plant saucer. Collect older flowers from your garden, along with a variety of leaves. Gently float petals and leaves in a pattern or arrangment that emerges from your inner nature. After a day or two, remove the petals and leaves and pour your mandala water over some plants.

As an example of how easy and calming this exercise can be, I created one today from an seriously shriveling bouquet of beautfiul roses that my honey surprised me with three weeks ago--like I said, they were seriously shriveling by now!

Here is the series of moods my mandala took on as I worked off some very nervous energy from a phone call I had made just prior--and yes, by the end of the mandala petal play, I felt like a new, calm and warmly creative person :) I loved feeling the silky texture of the petals and allowing spontaneous designs to emerge.

Do give it a try!

Thursday, March 4, 2010

"Tortoise Medicine"

The desert tortoise is one of 12 reptiles threatened by global warming, according to the Center for Biological Diversity. They were once as numerous as 1,000 torts per square mile in the Mojave Desert. Loss of habitat and raven predation are immediate threats but biologist believe global warming/climate change could add disease, fire, predation & new habitat threats.

This is my piece I submitted to the Climate Change and the California Desert art contest/show. My first time doing this, I am excited and nervous—the other submissions are incredibly wonderful, artistic, beautiful. But I’m very excited to be a part of something so environmentally important, as an artist! A big step for me.

The original piece I had planned on submitting exceded the size limit—it felt like the perfect fit, but once I received the details for entries I realized it was going to be too big, and scaling down wasn’t an option. I was crushed! After a loving pep talk from my hubby, I thought, maybe I’m supposed to submit something else? I decided to go for it again, and try to get another piece in on time—crazy!!! Forcing myself to take this opportunity under a deadline was a source of inspiration in itself, and the entire process evolved into “Tortoise Medicine” which was born exactly when it was meant to be, as my grandma told me. It was fun to create something in direct response to the guidelines, as far as the theme; as I worked on it, the concept morphed and soon evolved into many layers of climate change-related symbology for me. Such fun!

I am told our works will be on exhibit intermixed with the Hi-Desert Nature Museum’s Reduce, Reuse, Recycle art exhibit. I can’t wait to visit it, the chance to see my art in a place I love and in the company of other found artists. Pretty cool experience already! (Despite the nerves LOL) I will be sure to update, “win or lose” although it’s already a win for me that I finally jumped in as a full-fledge artist :)

If you’re a Coachella Valley/High Desert local, go to this event! The show runs through April 24, 2010. It’s a lot of fun, very inspiring!

Found bike wheel; found auto parts/washers (embedded in hatchlings); found toaster oven knob; scrap wire; quartz crystal, can lids; stone beads; clay; acrylic

UPDATE: I am thrilled to report that I received an Honorable Mention! There were 21 amazing artists who participated, 1st, 2nd, and 3rd cash awards, and 3 HM's! I also got to meet some wonderful new friends and can't wait to be a part of other events likes this!