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Tuesday, 25 October 2011


Well it's October already and it's hard to believe I haven't blogged since June.
I was a bit sidetracked supporting my daughter in her move to Italy and also our son, through a stressful time completing his Year 12 Independent Research Project. I also took on the task of producing the Class 12 Yearbook. All in all a very busy few months.

I have only painted sporadically and in moments of desperation for some respite. I took myself off to a nearby lake and was exceedingly happy when a black swan came and stood in front of me and leisurely cleaned it's feathers while I quickly sketched it.

Life brings moments of tranquility and I found a day to myself, painting, was enough to recharge the old batteries  and give me renewed energy to keep going.

After completing a 'Clear day ' recently, whereby I enjoyed 3 Network spinal entrainments and two breathwork sessions, I was feeling particularly relaxed and in tune with the world.
I woke up at 2.30 am and although I tried to get back to sleep, I couldn't. Eventually I got up and painted an abstract, swirling piece which I am very happy with. The silence of those early hours, when everyone in the house is asleep and I can lose myself in the process has to be some of the most satisfying and peaceful times I experience. I painted this while listening to Alleluia by Robert Glass ( on repeat) ha ha ha .
Prior to this busy period, I had painted a young girl I know and also completed another abstract. All of these are posted today.

Friday, 17 June 2011

White snake Mandala

About 6 years ago I had a dream about a white snake that moved up my body and wrapped itself around my arm. At first I was frightened but then the snake made it known to me that it was a friend. A week later a member of my family also talked about a white snake. I decided to draw one as part of a mandala and chose coloured pencils as the medium. The snake biting itself is known as the Ouroboros and was said to be the first living thing in the Universe. It has many representations - the cyclic nature of birth and death, immortality, renewal, self sufficiency, cycle of rebirth and karma. Jung called it the mandala of Alchemy. I like that!

Friday, 10 June 2011

Dancing Fly with the Red Boots on

An image of two hands with the thumb and forefinger together came into my minds eye one night last week and so I decided to paint it. I had thought of painting a mouse in the space between the hands. Instead I decided to do a meditation and asked what animal, plant or mineral would like to go in the middle. To my suprise, a little fly appeared. I wasn't so enamored with the idea but asked if it was sure and the answer was  a resounding Yes. After I had finished painting and stood back looking at it for a while, it seemed to look like it was dancing and so I painted the little red boots on her to finish it off : )

Monday, 6 June 2011

Hildegard of Bingen

I keep hearing about Hildegard of Bingen ( 1100's) and so researched her a little and was interested to read that she had visions and translated those into music compositions, poetry, mandala's, writing and healing. At one stage when she refused to document these visions and move locations, shown to her in these visions, she became very ill. During these periods she said she learnt a lot about herself and honouring what was essentially given to her through her relationship to God. In the time she lived (1098 - 1179), she influenced many powerful figures in history and still to this day her works are published and performed. To me she is a great female role model even if I don't necessarily share some of her Christian beliefs.

Zen doodleing

I've been reading more on the healing powers of creating mandala's. The process of drawing and painting mandala's, as with all art forms, can have a therapeutic effect on ones body, or not as the case may be. While I was drawing the zen doodle ,I was noticing subtle changes taking place. At some points I felt a little nauseous and at others I felt calm and a sense of well being. Usually I am not so conscious of my body while I am creating as that awareness drops away as I move into the flow, however I decided to experiment with this particular picture and see what I observed. I must say I prefer to lose a sense of my physical being while painting, although it was interesting to check out the physical response to what I was creating. As has been written about by many people, art can heal on many levels and emotionally, mentally and spiritually, I have definitely felt the benefits.
The zen doodling was an intentional drawing in as much as I decided to try this style of creating a focus for the mandala. I think if I had been in a doodling space then it may have flowed more for me but I wasn't and it didn't. I was happy with the result although the process was not as enjoyable. Using visualisations, meditation or dancing before I start to create and then listening to music while painting seems to bring about a holistic experience that leaves me feeling joyous and spent,sated in some way that the zen doodling did not.

Thursday, 19 May 2011

On Reflection

It's been several weeks since I've been back from Bali and in reflection I can see that this wasn't just a trip to do an art retreat. Having never been there before and other travelers I spoke to not mentioning it, I had not thought about the people and the land being so connected, quietly and sometimes not so quietly sacred and powerful. Bali is a walking ritual - from the time I awoke in the early morning till the time I fell in to bed late at night, I witnessed so many examples of thoughtful placement, beauty, order and sweet offerings. At the same time I experienced a very real sense of how tenuous life is, that I needed to be ever present with all I was doing, seeing or experiencing. Stepping out of a Holy Temple onto a road full of chaotic traffic and heckling stall holders, residing among multiple types of insects, barking ghecko's and other unidentified critters, walking on narrow,slippery, mountainous paths with a drop into a valley on one side of me or learning salsa dance steps in a Balinese Jazz club with a group of people I had just met, all seemed to require an equal amount of attentiveness. I can now see that in the last 10-12 years I had lost a lot of confidence from being in a body that was quite often ill or immobile. Facing so many fears and daily challenges in Bali and at the same time enjoying myself immensely, I was able to build a new understanding of my inner resources. Celebrating life in all it's many guises ( including some time each day devoted to exploring painting , colour, creativity and our inner journey ) was a nurturing and joyous thing to do for myself. This was facilitated by Dawn Meader and the planning and flexibility that went into the activities of the art retreat was visible daily. Being in Bali I could feel my heart opening to new awareness and possibilities. It is taking some time to integrate all that took place and I am glad that I had time either side of the actual workshop to acclimatise and adjust to both entering that space and leaving it. It added to the richness of my experience and allowed me some breathing time. I feel so grateful on so many levels.

Thursday, 21 April 2011

Ubud Bali

Poem 20-4-2011
What a sweet cacophony  
Exotic mix of sounds
all melding intricately 
every sense alive
and tense with expectation
the earth awake and thriving
the land a heated mass of writhing
juicy people, working, walking,
talking, offering, laughing,skypeing
birds are bathing, dogs are sleeping,
butterflies playing and gecko's are dreaming
rain drops splashing ,colour jumping
Life so rich my heart is thumping

Tuesday, 19 April 2011


I arrived last night into this magical, lush rabbit warren called Santra Putra just 10 minutes walk from Ubud village.I'm getting acclimatised and finding my way through the maze of walkways, meeting new people and enjoying the wild, natural environment co existing with a very busy and at the same time laid back Balinese life. More later and photo's as well but for now I am going to get some rest.

Tuesday, 12 April 2011

Autumn Light

Autumn, in the Southern hemisphere, has finally arrived and the garden is breathing a sigh of relief and blossoms are popping up everywhere. Colour and light are changing, softening and somehow intensifying. Theres a cacophony of birdsong in the morning that would wake the dead. After the long, hot, dry summer the sweet smell of the earth and these first rains is a beautiful, heady elixir and pulls me outside to paint or draw.

Sunday, 10 April 2011

Bali here I come

Yesterday I met with some of the women I will be sharing the Bali art retreat with. Preparation has begun in earnest and I am really looking forward to exploring a new place ( for me) and experiencing Balinese culture. Dawn has painted a picture (pun intended) of what we will be doing during the workshop and one of the things is the act of creating  a  temple/shrine based on our own personal gifts - this has stirred my creative juices and I am getting very excited. When I used to mosaic a few years ago I created a few shrines which are hanging in the garden with little ledges for tea candles to sit on. One of them I made for my mother when her own mother died and it hangs in her garden. I felt it was a way to connect because my grandmother is buried in England and so we had our own little ceremony here. I am wanting to not only paint temples and shrines but transfer some of those into pop-up 3D images also. This trip is bringing together 4 of my loves - travel,creating temples and shrines, mandala and pop-up art. I am so ready to experience the joy, nurturing and sacred spaces that make up the whole of this beautiful workshop. I feel, Dawn , through her knowledge and experience, which she so generously shares with us, is guiding me to a place I have been preparing for all my life.

I am so grateful.

Tuesday, 29 March 2011

Mandala Musing

I finished  a mandala I have been working on all week and I am noticing how the act of creating it with placement and colour choice and the actual painting is affecting how I perceive my outer world. I seem to be seeing colour and design in nature in a new way. I'm assuming that all artists have been experiencing this through all time and that maybe as children we experience something like this. I am rediscovering parts of myself and awakening awareness of my world, even to the point of noticing mandala's on my skin, in my breakfast or looking into someones elses eyes. It's a bit like when I liked a particular car design a few years ago and then I started seeing those sort of cars everywhere I looked. Prior to that I had not noticed them at all. I love that mandala's are everywhere and in everything, in every atom. Beauty appears even in something I perceive as ugly. How funny is that?

Wednesday, 23 March 2011

Playing with Blog site design

I've just spent a couple of hours navigating around the blog site design tools and changing the look of the page. Time flies when you have no idea of what you are doing. Steep learning curve. Enough of this. I am off to finish a mandala I started yesterday. The house is quiet and it's time to attune to that. I've added some links to websites you might like to browse.

Monday, 21 March 2011



 This is my first intro to Blogging . This Blog will preview art I am exploring and creating and be a place I can post songs and poetry and travel updates. I am visiting Ubud in Bali, for the first time, on the 18th April and attending a 6 day art workshop with Dawn Meader ( wonderful woman artist ).
I first became interested in Mandala's and Mandala art about 20 years ago when I lived in Denmark, in the south of WA. I remember doing some Mandala art and feeling very intimidated by my lack of artistic ability ( based on what I perceived art and artists to be). I dabbled a bit and then left it alone. A few years later I created a Mandala as part of a womans circle I was attending. I don't think I had the awareness then to notice how happy I feel when I am working on mandala's. I framed that piece in an old clock face and it is still hanging on our lounge room wall. A few years later I purchased a lovely book on mandala by Bailey Cunningham called Mandala Journey to the Centre and this title was the inspiration for my Blog name. I was also gifted two Mandala colouring in books which I would sit and colour from time to time.
Throughout the following years I  experimented with Mandala in sand art, mosaic and several other mediums. It was always present and yet somehow in the background and never fully acknowledged as the central element of life that it is. Present in all creation. So, now I am finally acknowledging it and placing it at the centre of my daily life and exploration into art. I derive an immense amount of pleasure and an upsurging of joy in my being when I notice mandala's myriad forms in nature and then translate that into art pieces which are so much fun to create.

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