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