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.

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.

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


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.