Mandalas!

This set of mandalas were inspired by the four elements of earth, wind, fire and water. Created by folding a single piece of black paper and cutting it sections at a time, the process can be very meditative as well as the result. After the base is cut, the colored pieces are then layered on top.

I plan to do a short demo on this technique in my studio at tomorrow’s open house, The Building’s World Famous Summer Spectacular. The final four “Element Series” pieces will be on display together before “Earth” gets shipped off to a group show in Massachusetts. I’m thinking of having a workshop on this technique if I can generate enough interest… the process takes patience but the results can be so satisfying!Mandalas in progress

Water in progressMandalas in progress_wind and earth

 

 

lahtia_1_Fire

A Recent Commission

I was recently asked to create something as a gift for a new baby girl’s room. Knowing who the new mother was made it an especially fun and special project. Here are a few photos of the process and final piece!

bird family

The initial sketch.

Bird family in progress

Work in progress.

Bird family in progress 2

Almost finished, just needs final touches.

For Baby Matilda_2014

The final piece!

New Work and Updated Pages!

Well, I’ve finally made some updates to my gallery pages! WordPress makes it easier than I thought. Although I’m sure I will be continually tweaking, at least I now have a better range of work showing in a more interesting layout than before. I’m excited to introduce a couple of recent new pieces. These made their debut at the Seattle Polish Festival a couple of weeks ago.

The one to the right is inspired by a traditional wycinanki style showing forest (“las”) scenes.  I call it the Mushroom Picker. I’ve been wanting to do a larger than usual piece in

The Mushroom Picker (20" x 30")

The Mushroom Picker (20″ x 30″)

this style. This one is 20″ x 30″ (framed to 32″ x 43″), cut from a single sheet of paper. You can check out my FaceBook page to see images of this work in progress.

The one below is inspired by the layered wycinanki of Poland’s Lowicz region. I wanted to create something bursting with color!  In our back yard, we often see screaming jays with their crested heads searching for something to eat. These bold birds decided to stop by for a visit in my garden scene too.

Thanks for checking them out!

Jays Visit the Garden

Jays in the Garden

The Path to Serenity

Last month I created one of my gwiazdy (star)/mandala pieces as a custom order.  I call the final piece “Serenity”, hence the title of this blog. In this post I am sharing some photos showing the process from beginning to end.

There were a few specific requests by the client before starting this project, but otherwise I was left to my own devices. The color palatte needed to be “greens and purples” on white to match some existing accessories. It needed to fit an existing frame, about 25″ x 26″. There were some shapes from some earlier work of mine that were favored. And guiding my final choices were the words “bright” and “serene” that I picked up from our conversations.

Option B

The first thing I did was cut out the base. I ended up creating another one because I decided the first one didn’t quite feel right based on my conversations with the client. My client made the final decision, and she chose the second one as well. Going with my gut pays off!

My next step was to create a color palette that I would use to make the colorful layers in the work. I find that having this decided ahead of time really helps. Now the fun really starts!

I often create and play with several options as I figure out what works. Gluing the final choices onto the base is one of the final steps, because once it is glued, it can be difficult to change later.  Here are a few pictures showing different stages.

Figuring out colors and placement

Ready for layering

Pieces ready for gluing onto base

More ready for gluing to base

Making choices, nothing glued onto base yet

And finally, it’s ready!

Final piece ready for framing!

There are up to ten layers of paper in places, all cut by hand.  To me, the process and final result share a meditative quality.  This piece now provides a bright and serene focal point above a fireplace in a lovely room!