Mandorla Making

After twenty plus years of making contemplative mandalas, I am drawn to the intersection of circles and the overlapping form called the mandorla.

  circles are screwed together

acrylic  experiment begins

 mandorla is defined, sort of

bronze-gold trim appears

Title: Alignment (at the center of the Milky Way)

This mandorla, and two others, are on exhibit at Arts Visalia January 6-29, as part of the Studio Tour artists’ group show called “The Creative Life.”

About Elsah

4 responses to “Mandorla Making

  • Mike Klug

    Dear Elsa: I am writing to ask if I could use your photo of a mandorla captioned “mandorla is defined, sort of” in a power point presentation. I give talks about sacred art and architecture at Iowa City’s senior center and local churches. I’ve entitled one of the talks “Mandorlas in our Midst.” It explores the symbolic connections between sacred structures in Iowa and the U.S. with the gothic cathedrals of Europe. Your mandorla caught my attention because it overlays symbolic colors on the geometric symbol. I look forward to hearing from you.
    Mike Klug, Iowa City, IA

    • thedeeperwell


      Yes, you can use it in your power point talk, if you make sure that the following information is attached to the slide:
      (My name is spelled correctly as Elsah Cort)
      Title of artwork: Alignment (at the center of the Milky Way)
      acrylic, metallic paint on canvas, © Elsah Cort

      I chose the colors deliberately as a blending of the polarities here (masculine/feminine, yang/yin, red/blue et. al.) I have been making mandala images for many, many years, and a few years ago connected with the overlapping circles and the mandorla as an art form.

      I am also a retired “senior”. I am retired as a nurse, but not as an artist and bed and breakfast host. I live near Sequoia National Park in a very small town.

      Are you going to record the talk? I would like to hear it and link to it from my website, blog and facebook art page.

      What is your regular email address? website?

      Elsah Cort

      • Mike Klug

        Thank you Elsah. I will attribute the photo as you instructed.

        Your choice of colors for the mandorla was perfect. They reminded me of the red and blue at Chatres Cathedral in France. Red is dominant in the background of the north rose window, with Mary at its center, on the “female” side of the church. Blue predominates in the opposite south rose, with Christ at its center, on the “male” side. When the sun shines brightly there, the blues and reds combine to suffuse the place with a beautiful purplish hue. Given that purple or violet is the first color in the rainbow/light spectrum, I think of it as the color of the beginning and transcendence of those male/female, earth/heaven, and light/dark divisions. That’s why your photo jumped out at me from Google Images!

        About my talk, our City Channel recorded it when I delivered it at the Senior Center for the first time. That was a little more than a year ago. I’ll find out if there’s a link and, if there is one, send it to you. I have no website, but that’s on my “to do” list. My email address is Thank you again. I promise to put your photo to good use!



        Elsah: The Johnson County Senior Center has a link to my “Mandorlas in our Midst” presentation. Here’s the link:

        By way of background, one of the Senior Center TV volunteers videotaped my powerpoint presentation. Since I forgot to include a mandorla slide, he added one that I would like to replace with your Milky Way creation. Finally, this was my first time delivering this talk. It is a bit rough around the edges. And with that disclaimer, I hope you enjoy it. Take good care and thank you again for giving me permission to use your photo.


        Mike Klug 1803 C Street Iowa City, IA 52245 319-338-3809 (home) 319-541-4208 (cellular)

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