First of all I got to work with Lu Shorthose in the luscious woods of the Surrey Wildlife Trust. Lu runs the wildlife education section of Nower Woods and we had the pleasure of working with a wonderful group of mixed age people who came sketching for the day. It was truly glorious weather, my overall sense of the day, was the stillness of the lakes, the soft swoop of dragonflies and the dappled shadows under the trees and the amount of times I got lost in the woods ! People made a great collection of " zoom in " sketches out and about, then we pulled those all together in the teaching room, to make a lovely landscape " portrait " which combined all of the magical small moments observed during the day.
Mandalas in Hampshire
The next day I found myself at the Weyhill Forge, in the intriguing Eve's Garden studio that belongs to local artist, Christine Dodd. Christine also used to live in Hong Kong and we had once upon a time shared a studio on Lamma Island.
We worked with 14 wonderful mandala artistes that day, some even from Hong Kong and the group included a fabulous weaving of friends and even family from many chapters of my life. In this day long workshop, focus was amazing and people managed to learn the mandala technique and to make a small canvas painting. I am still receiving pictures of people's further art adventures in that group !
Hollow Spaces in Liverpool
I am delighted to say that I had an another chance to work with Erin Faith Allen and Orly Avinieri through the Call of the Wild Soul group in Liverpool. We spent 3 days being guided by Orly to look at the notion of Hollow Spaces in our lives, to interpret that as we wished and to create a series of textured journal pages in response to poetry, visits and visual techniques. To meet with my other lovely Call of the Wild Soul sisters on this project was thoroughly nourishing and we loved getting to know Liverpool !
Red Doors : Artful Journey
On returning to Hong Kong I continued in the vein of collaboration and worked with Martha Collard at her new Red Doors studio in Wong Chuk Hang. Martha has made a labyrinth on the floor in her light and lovely space, and so after sharing our Gaytri Mantra chant at the start, Martha guided everyone to walk the labyrinth pondering a question of the day. We then used a prepared background to learn the 8 x point Mandala technique on a background depicting the sanskrit version of the Gaytri Mantra. Mindfully executing repeated motifs, people soon became absorbed in the rhythm of creating their very own mandala. Martha treated us all then to a short gong bath, a profound conclusion to a day of circles.
I feel the need to express how much I love the fact that when workshops end.......the creative techniques that people have picked up can lead people in all kinds of directions!!
I'd like to introduce two mandala artists who have thoroughly immersed themselves in their own creative experiments, take a peek !
Ripples across the Ocean
These amazing images are created by the wonderful 80 year old Shirley Brockie who lives in New Zealand, her daughter Sarah Brockie came along on one of our Mandala Journey Weekends last year and then sent our Twinking H2O paints and Mandala booklet to her mum who has picked up the creative techniques and developed many of her own interpretations of the circle theme, she now has that mandala habit and continues to explored the technique in so very beautiful many ways !
Ripples through Hong Kong
Lastly, I'd like to introduce you to Jenny Stocksen who attended the Artful Journey workshop at Red Doors Studio. Jenny left the workshop that day and continued at home, and the next and the next day and the next ! She even got her daughters and husband mandala making and wrote these words to me:
I signed up for your workshop just to try something new, I had no idea what I was getting myself into. The last three days have been a wonderful journey through creativity and self discovery. I'm also happy to have found a great way of dealing with jet lag. Working on a Mandala keeps me happily awake during the day so I can sleep at night. Hardly any of the usual pain and struggle. So grateful! I just couldn't help myself;) I started and couldn't stop.
How utterly perfect, the creativity seeds lies with us all and often times it is just a question of finding an access key to enable those seeds to blossom forth.....this mandala making technique offers a wonderful open structure which allows people creative freedom and the confidence to absolutely burst into creativity !!
What a scrumptious and delightful summer of creative moments shared with so many wonderful people !
Until next time my friends
keep creating and sending me your amazing images!