White on White

With Playful Natural Lighting

My creating space has beautiful sunlight throughout the day. The light coming through the windows cast all kinds of shadow designs that create new masterpieces of their own against the textile work. Always in awe of these happenings.

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The beginnings of White on White.

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With Sweet Grace.

Creative Adventures

New Materials, New Beginnings 

Following instincts to explore new materials, I found myself going through my closet to upcycle clothes I no longer wear. My intention was to start a weaving that did not involve a frame, and create freestyle. The process was freeing, organic and filled with discovery – texture, color, loose, tight, clay, fabric, knotting, weaving, smooth, shiny, child-like, balance and reflecting light. I am happy how this textile art turned out and have decided to do a series of three. I’ve begun the second which will be all white. The third will be rainbow.

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There are several aspects I like about this new process, (1) fabric knotting and how it creates a spine down each twine, (2) the way weaving with ribbon and shiny pipe cleaners reflects light, (3) making beads with terra cotta clay and (4) the how each new material ends up being loose or tight, taking on a life of its own.

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This new creative adventure has my mind and heart coming up with many ways to expand this process and collaborate with community. Stay posted for more to come!

With Sweet Grace.

 

 

Celebration Mandala

An Opportunity to Create Together

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The upcoming Celebration Mandala class is being held at the Naperville Art League beginning February 26.

This class is about integrating play, patience, and beauty into the creative process as we focus on balance through color, movement, texture and pattern. Mandala, which means circle, acts as a container for this self-expression. Participants will be introduced to a variety of simple and playful art techniques used for cutting and creating organic shapes and symbols. These organic shapes and symbols are then assembled into a radial formation on a circle made from handmade paper. Handmade paper provided as part of class materials. Stitching and beading are added elements to mount and adorn your mandala. The completed Celebration Mandala is hung from bamboo rods. All class materials provided.

Related posts:
Mandala, Purle & Gold
Seasons change…..

Pieceful Creations

With Sweet Grace.

Creating Big

Within the Circle

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Moving beyond a standard size sheet of paper, going from an 8×8″ paper size to an 24×36″, to create a mandala can be a turn to an unknown world. It stretches our comfort zone. It’s too large, that’s a lot of space to fill, it will take forever, are some of the concerns expressed. Here is an introductory mandala exercise that will ease the jitters of creating large! Mandala Connect-the-Dots. Working with eight or sixteen spokes, the connect-the-dot mandala is designed to act as a guide for drawing, along with allowing for the intuitive process and creativity to flow. Mandala Connect-the-Dots is also for anyone exploring the circle, looking for an expressive art form for meditation, or for creating community connections working together coloring a mandala. Children, teens, adults, watercolors, acrylics, crayons, markers, or colored pencils.

Download Mandala Connect-the-Dots and have the eight or sixteen spoke mandala printed in B/W, 24×36″ at an office supply store such as Home Depot. Here in the U.S. a B/W print is $3.00.

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24×36″ Mandala Connect-the-Dots, sixteen spoke
Mandala drawing connecting the dots with straight and curved lines.
Mandala drawing connecting the dots with straight and curved lines.

Dots to Stars: A creative way to involve children is to turn the dots into stars! With a colored pencil or marker, draw stars over the dots. Connect the stars to create a personal Star Constellation Mandala.

With Sweet Grace.

Mandala, Connect-the-Dots

For YOU to CREATE

Mandala, Connect-the-Dots is an Expressive Arts tool for quieting the mind, focusing, calming anxiety, connecting with our intuitive nature for insights and awareness and for embracing our creative spirit.

Download Mandala, Connect-the-Dots here.

Through my mandala classes I come across those who have never heard of a mandala and would like to know more about what a mandala is.

When providing an explanation I keep it simple at first, mandala means circle. As a spiritual art tool, what ever we create within the mandala acts as a reflection of our inner world in the present moment, and we bring these inner reflections into the physical world for us to see on paper, canvas, fabric, which ever medium we wish to work with. Working with mandalas over a period of time we begin to see patterns, colors and symbols that change to support our growth and life journey. Then I move on to the circle acting as a container for our wholeness, the vast universe that resides within each one of us, and how mandalas are found in all cultures around the world. In wellness settings where I facilitate classes, mandalas are used as a spiritual art tool for quieting the mind, focusing, calming anxiety and connecting with our intuitive nature for insights and awareness. In some classes we create mandalas for celebration and coming together in community. For those who would like to go deeper with their mandala practice, I suggest working with Judith Cornell’s Luminous Mandalas.

Through these mandala explanations and introductions I find myself asking, how can I keep the creation process simple for those new to mandalas and wanting to incorporate the mandala into their personal practice. This question brought forth the creation of PDF tutorials for everyone to download from Nature’s Sweet Grace tutorial page, Seed Meditations, Embracing MandalaArtfully Scrappin’ Mandala, and the newest PDF Mandala, Connect-the-Dots. Download Mandala, Connect-the-Dots now to have for your personal practice or share with others through your work place.

The term connect-the-dots has been with me ever since I heard (Apple CEO) Steve Jobs’ Stanford University’s commencement speech. He talks about his life and how it was the journey from A to C to G, etc, that brought him to where he is in the present. And that journey is worth living.

With Sweet Grace.

Seed Meditation

Complementary Therapies Series
Wellness House, Hinsdale, IL

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Tuesday, February 3, 6:30-8:00pm

This Seed Meditation evening is one of four different Wellness House evening programs being offered as part of a Complementary Therapies Series for those living with cancer.

Seed Meditation is an Expressive Arts tool used for calming the mind, centering our focus and enriching our creative spirit.

I welcome you to join me for this evening to learn more about Seed Meditationmindfulness, beginning a daily practice, and take part in creating a personal Seed Meditation.

The four evening programs are Emotional Freedom Technique, Reiki & Energy Work, Seed Meditation and Acupuncture. The programs are an opportunity to have your questions answered about complementary therapies available through the Wellness House that can help manage side effects.

With Sweet Grace.

Painting Our Cosmos

With Spectacular Swirling Patterns

What started out as Art Play is now a galactic exploration into the birth of stars, nebulas, flow lines, fractals, spiral motion, and The Great Attractor. From this exploration, Painting Our Cosmos came to be — a simple and fun way to create your own cloud of gas and dust within a galaxy of wonderment.

After a star is born….

over the next few million years, winds blow the surrounding gas into spectacular swirling patterns. It blows away the gas, it blows away the dust, and lets us see this beautiful new thing, this place where the star was born.
How Stars are Formed and Born

nebula (a massive cloud of gas and dust in outer space) is sometimes the birthplace of stars. The Orion Nebula where new stars — a youthful million years old — are still forming is a great example. Google nebula images and be wowed by the display of colors and swirling patterns.

Left: Rosette Nebula, Right: Orion Nebula

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Painting Our Cosmos

What you’ll need to get started:

  • Two sheets of glass or plexiglass (use plexiglass when working with kids).       At least 3/8″ to 1/4″ thick for durability. The glass in the video is 19″ in diameter. The two sheets are repurposed for Art Play. The glass came from being used as table tops.
  • Acrylic paints or tempera paints, including several metallic paints.
  • Large sheets of paper or art board that cover the glass, black captures the cosmos and space.
  • Sink or tub with water for cleaning along with rags.
  • Your curious and playful nature!

The Process:

  • Squirt dabs of paint on the first sheet of glass, three to five colors.
  • Place the second sheet of glass on top and watch the colors mush together.
  • Swirl the top glass clockwise about 3/4 of the way around. The more you move the glass in the circular motion, the more the colors blend and sometimes over blend. It’s all about process. Experiment with different circular motions, 180 to 360 degrees or more, and see what resonates to your liking.
  • Separate the glass carefully, there will be suction from the paint. It is helpful to have the top glass be off center from the bottom glass so you have an edge to grab.
  • Make a print from each glass. Pat down lightly with your hands, yet firm enough to make a nice print. I find when using a roller the paint smears.
  • Use different colored paper. Have fun! Yes, it’s possible to make two prints from the same sheet of glass.
  • Name your creation.
  • Clean glass and start all over!

Before cleaning the glass take a look at the texture and colors. Both on the glass and paper you’ll see where the paint makes extraordinary branching patterns. Nature in action here! Both the spiral motion of rotating the glass, and the branching patterns from the paint are patterns found in nature (e.g., spiral-sunflower, pine cone, fingerprint; branching-rivers, tree branches, lightening) and in galaxies.

Cheers to the birth of new stars!

With Sweet Grace.