Mandala-Maker, A Solo Exhibition

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You are cordially invited to two artist’s receptions on Friday, Jan 6 or Feb 3, from 5-8 pm.


from Elsah….

I first heard the Sanskrit word “mandala” (meaning sacred circle or container of essence, a compound word deriving from manda, which means essence and the suffix la, meaning container or possessor.) over thirty years ago when I studied with a spiritual school called Niscience. Part of the practices, initiated and taught by Ann Ree Colton, included making mandalas for contemplation and inspiration.

A circle with no ending or beginning, the mandala at first limits you with its boundary circumference, yet sets you free when you surrender to its unfolding within that boundary.

I don’t plan out my mandalas. The only constraint is that a circle shows up somewhere. I allow the mandala to uncover itself. I make mandalas for no particular reason. The “I don’t know” part informs each and every layer.

I originally started making mandalas with colored pencils, progressing to watercolor pencils, gel pens and even acrylic paint on canvas. The digital mandalas started showing up about two years ago. I may have over 200 photoshop layers that come and go before the final version says to me, “I’m done”.

Lately, I have been experimenting with ways of printing them. I use archival paper to print them as giclee prints. I also have printed them on fabric and directly to glass. All these mediums will be shown in this exhibition. I will also show some of my earlier mandalas I made when I was exploring them as a spiritual practice.

Mandalas can be ways to embrace the whole within a circle. We live on a powerful, yet finite, mandala—the earth itself. My deepest hope for people looking at my mandalas is that they will want to draw a circle for themselves and see what shows up…not as an artist but as the divine spirit that breathes via their human form.


The Brandon-Mitchell Gallery is located at the Center for Spiritual Living  at 117 S. Locust Street, Visalia CA 93291.  The Gallery is open Mon-Thurs from 9:30 am – 3:30 pm by ringing the bell at the front door or by appointment at 559.625.2441

transenergizationweb“Transenergization” digital collage mandala © Elsah Cort

Le très Petit Noël returns in December

Some people may remember the Le Petit Noël holiday show
I used to organize in Three Rivers…the last one was 20 years ago!

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On the first weekend in December, I will be hosting a smaller version of this fun event at my art studio. Enjoy sipping mulled cider and shopping for special artisan-made treasures. Watch for more photos coming to showcase the beautiful work….

(Find us on the 1st Saturday Three Rivers map for December 5.)

Many years ago (in another lifetime) I organized a special annual holiday event, called Le Petit Noël, which was held on Thanksgiving Weekend. It was a special time to celebrate wonderful local art and encourage local shopping for Christmas. Now, 20 years later, I am hosting a mini-version of this event at my art studio. Toni Best, who was an artist in the original show, will be showing her amazing gourd art. My dear friend, Marion Hultgren from Atlanta, is bringing exquisite jewelry and some creative ornaments. My sister, Peggy Hunt, will have birdhouses made for real birds. Stephanie Dethlefs is bringing mulling spices (for sampling and buying) and other delicious eatables. I will have some vintage gift tags from the original Le Petit Noël (yes, I saved them) and new mandala cards and my digital collages.

Directions: going east on Highway 198 in Three Rivers, turn right at Skyline Drive (at the Veterans’ Memorial Building). Follow Skyine Drive to end (9/10 of a mile from the highway.) Look for arrow signs to the last driveway on the left just before the end of the road. Path starts at the green arbor and goes straight down to the front door of studio.

Here I Am…

The air is cooler…I feel relieved. The dried up earth all around the house is still painful to see. No amount of watering seems to make a difference (and I am not watering too much). Each plant seems to be hanging on for something moist and soothing to show up. Me, too.

The artists’ reception last night was hard, too. I had to go as one of the artists this time. Grateful to meet people and not easy to converse because the room allows the sounds to crescendo to the ceiling. All the while thoughts of why make this art? Does the world really need more art on walls? What does it all mean? All the while knowing I will probably continue to uncover more images…in fact, one has been on the “photoshop loom” for several days now, struggling to weave layers into a somethings that says, “Here I am.”

This one is from the past, made from the petals of the local endemic wildflowers
grown from same now dry earth. I need to remember this when I feel so dry.

Made about 25-30 years ago and hangs on a wall in my bedroom.

Wildflower Mandala © Elsah Cort

Untitled Mandala, watercolor with poppy and lupine petals, fringepod seeds
© Elsah Cort

Pixel Impressions: group show at Arts Visalia from September 30 – October 30, 2015

 

"Nine Patch" © Elsah Cort“Nine Patch” featuring nine dress quilt digital collages © Elsah Cort

Via artvisalia.org

Arts Visalia is proud to present Pixel Impressions, an exhibition of digital art by six Central California artists. Featuring works by Joan Constable, Elsah Cort, Robert Mertens, Brent Mosley, Wayman Stairs and Susan Thompson, this exhibition highlights the diversity of approaches to digital media each of these artists employ in their creative output.

While Photoshop has long been the standard software utilized by digital artists over the past twenty years, the past few years have brought major new opportunities for creative output as digital cameras have improved and as software developers have produced a steady stream of new applications.

In fact, three of the artists included in the exhibition, Brent Mosley, Wayman Stairs and Susan Thompson, work exclusively with Iphone and Ipad applications. Thompson, who stands among the first generation of exhibiting Photoshop artists, produces work most directly related to traditional photography. Mosley and Stairs produce work of a distinctly surrealistic bent. It is safe to say, however, that in viewing the quality of the the work each of them present in this exhibition, it is almost unbelievalbe to think that it was was created entirely on a phone.

Mertens brings his experience in the arena of commercial textile design into the production of his personal work wherein he uses digital cameras, photoshop, scanners and other digital tools to create images which blend elements of photography, collage, painting, and design. Similarly, Elsah Cort, approaches the digital image with a collage sensibility. Her works impart a sense of richness of history and narrative bound up in the complex layers of visual material. Playful and experimental, Joan Constable also brings a photographic background combined with a collage aesthetic to her works.

The exhibition will be on display from September 30 through October 30 with an opening reception to be held on Friday, October 2nd from 6 to 8 pm. Arts Visalia is located at 214 East Oak Avenue in downtown, Visalia and is open the public Wednesday through Saturday from noon to 5:30 pm.

The Mystery O fReincarnaton" digital collage © Elsah Cort    "Self Seer" digital collage © Elsah Cort

  Digital collages to be shown in this exhibition… © Elsah Cort