Expression from the Other Side

Non-dominant hand wants to come out and play!

Simplicity and play are two facets of pure soulful expression that I like to share with others through many art forms and processes.  The seed for this art process was planted back in November when visiting a local vendor fair. I purchased several origami star bursts from a young boy who had his own vendor table (next to his mom’s!) using colorful post-its as his paper source. Yes to supporting a young budding artist!

Origami Star Bursts

The motion, colors and 16 rays kept the curiosity flowing and led me to the next step – painting these star bursts using a new tool I’ve wanted to explore for an upcoming art event. The tool is called a sponge stick and many artists use these for blending charcoal and pastels, they are also used for crafts. Let’s see what happens when we use watercolor paints! Once I started making marks on the paper a texture appeared that brought on a feeling of new birth, something wanting to come forth from the painterly marks. The space between the painterly marks became the space between each thought and breath, a graceful dance and meditation. Now on to sharing this process with others.

sponge sticks

star bursts

But wait! Let’s add another element, painting with our non-dominant hand! Yes to gifts from the universe, a recent fall and wrist fracture of my dominant hand – this art process has allowed me, and my left side, to express movement and change while staying in the present moment, exploring new patterns with different color pallets and simply being open to process. Creating in this way has always empowered me in service to working with others. This time around with love, compassion and purpose heightened to a new level of awareness. I am grateful for this.

We are all conduits of pure Source energy where creativity and natural forces of nature flow.  Bring on your expression from the other side.

With Sweet Grace.

 

 

Celebration Mandala

An Opportunity to Create Together

celebration mandala

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

mandala

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.

18x24
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, Purple & Gold

Beauty in Motion with Many Moons

Purple & Gold Mandala

The newest in a series of mandalas where intention, play, construction, introspection and beauty come together. Each mandala begins with an intention, and then the play begins, creating a variety of artworks using different mediums and techniques. Each mandala’s intention acts as a guide through creating the shapes to use for all the artwork and arranging the shapes in patterns and design. After the mandala pieces are laid out the paper colors are chosen for the circle and backing and beads are added to flow with the whole. Every shape that gets glued down, along with every stitch and bead is gratitude in motion.

The intention for this mandala is our connection to water and many moons, as in storytelling – many moons ago….

Mandala assembly
Shapes are laid out and the paper color and beads are ready for the final step. Size: 20″x20″
bamboo is used for hanging
Bamboo is used for hanging. Cord or cup hooks can be used to support the bamboo.

Mandala Series
https://naturessweetgrace.wordpress.com/2014/09/22/seasons-change/

The magnificent mandalas in this series bring vibrance, peace and beauty to any environment. Contact Nature’s Sweet Grace to have a mandala created for your business or home.  Workshops or week-end retreats are also available.

With Sweet Grace.

Ageless Grace and Musical Vibrations

F. Chopin, Valse, Opus 64-No. 2

My neighbor, 82 years young, is a classical piano teacher. She’s been teaching for 50 years! I have the pleasure of listening to her play almost everyday…through the walls. Sound and musical vibrations travel! She lives on the second floor back apartment and I live on the first floor front apartment. When I hear her play, usually late afternoon, I stop what I am doing and listen, taking in every note and graceful touch of the piano keys.

Recently I saw my neighbor (choosing to stay anonymous) as she was leaving and I was entering our building. I expressed to her how much I enjoy her classical piano music and asked if I could take a video of her playing and share it on Nature’s Sweet Grace blog. She agreed. The intentions for creating this video also ties in with a fitness & wellness program I take part in called Ageless Grace, Timeless Fitness for the Body and Brain which is based on the science of neuroplasticity. Her piano playing is a beautiful expression of Ageless Grace and the body, mind & spirit connection.

Music is what I love. When playing classical piano you use the brain and the whole body – head, shoulders, arms, hands, fingers all the way down to the feet.

Get to know your neighbors. You never know what gifts and talents they are ready to share with you. Enjoy F. Chopin, Valse, Opus 64-No. 2!

With Sweet Grace.

Friendship Art


Connection Through Our Gifts

Keara-community-web-2
Illustrator Keara McGraw – Gifting Artwork to Friends
Keara-community-web-1
Illustrations on their own are strong, heART felt and beautiful.

Four friends are to each receive a flower illustration. The magic happens when Keara arranges the four illustrations together and adds the color. The color addition creates a new collective art piece symbolically illustrating that each recipient and illustrator are connected and part of a whole. A powerful representation of how artistry, friendship and meaning come together through our gifts and talents we share with the world.

See more of what Keara is up to at kearamcgrawcreative.com.

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.