Monday, May 28, 2007

WHAT IS TOO MUCH INFORMATION?

points of lightPoints of Light Mandala - (Healing in Circles series) - © 2006 Sue O'Kieffe

This particular mandala, created from a photograph of a dandelion gone to seed, is an image of mine that seems to draw people in. I, too, like the way where the seeds connect in the circle that they seem to create little points of light.

The other evening I received this comment at my other blog from someone who stumbled upon my work: " I was have [sic] so much problems in my head, but your pictures comfort me. I would like to thank you for posting such great pictures here..."

This is what I believe is the higher calling about my art, that it does bring comfort and sustenance to people who view it. I try not to let my ego get in the way about this. This is the feedback I receive over and over from people who have viewed and purchased my work.

I am in the process of designing my website. I was reading some information at Chris O'Byrne's website about telling stories about our artwork on our website. This got me to thinking about the journey of my art, which is deeply personal. I have wondered if the story of surgery I had last fall to remove a growth on my carotid artery would be a good idea to include in an "About the Artist" page on my website. While I do believe that this tumor, located in an area of my body directly related to expression and communication, has a bearing to my growth as an artist, is it something I really need to include about myself? Even by posting about it here, I am letting my readers know about this very personal issue.

This is a topic I would like to kick around for a bit, and it is something I would appreciate receiving feedback about. I would encourage you to leave me comments, or contact me via email. I do have an email link above.

Thank you for taking the time to read this post and for leaving me your thoughts.

Sunday, May 27, 2007

I've Been Tagged!

Summer Explosion Mandala -(Summer Series) - © Sue O'Kieffe

First of all I wanted to show you my most recent mandala which was created from a picture of a lily that is growing outside the office where I work. I love how it radiates the passion and heat of summer. I have already had someone express an interest in it for a birthday present for herself and for her new home she and her husband are purchasing soon. I think it is a perfect image for a Leo. They are all about shining.

The lovely Diane Clancy has tagged me to write 7 random things about myself. She also tagged every other person I know with an art business blog, so I guess this will end with me but this will still be fun. If someone out there is reading my blog and wants to play, please do, but let me know so I can come read what you wrote!

One of my favorite childhood memories is finding a turtle on the way to school when I was maybe 6. I kept this turtle in my backyard in a box and fed it raw hamburger and named it Pancakes, because that it what its underbelly reminded me of.

I just won (yesterday)the new Adobe Creative Suite. Ask me if Im excited.

My favorite crayon color was when I was 5 was periwinkle. My overall favorite color now is yellow, followed by purple and pink and red and green and gold and blue and teal .....oh who can pick? I like 'em all! I even like lime green.

I have an alter ego who is a clown. Her name is SusieSue. She really likes color. You should see her rainbow striped sox.

I can touch my tongue to my nose and wiggle my ears.

I didn't begin to embrace my artist self until I was in my mid 50's. My mother always said I was a late bloomer.

I have traveled to Italy and Greece, lived in three different states (Minnesota, Iowa and California), traveled through much of the midwest and south and part of the Pacific Northwest. I dream of the desert and traveling to the UK.

I hope you enjoyed reading my 7 random things. I will be around to see what other's might have posted soon.

Monday, May 21, 2007

PRAYER MANDALA

prayer mandala
Prayer Mandala - (Healing in Circles series) - © Sue O'Kieffe 2006

Three weeks ago I returned to working full time outside the home after an extended period working on my art at home. It has been a bit of an adjustment, and for a while I felt very discouraged about working on my art. I have also been feeling a sense of no direction, with so many different things on my plate I want to accomplish and no real idea how to get there.

Recently, both on my blog and on Diane Clancy's blog, I have come across more internet marketing material via the suggestions posted by Chris O'Byrne. His postings took me to his blog. I have decided my next step will be to listen to some of what he has posted via podcast to see if this will help me more closely solidify some of my ideas for my website. The website has proven to be a much more daunting task than I ever imagined, because I know that putting it up is so much more than it looking purty.

I created this particular mandala last fall, and it's the first mandala I created where I filled in the background space. For me it has a sense of both containement and outward direction.

Thank you for taking the time to read my thoughts. I would love for you to share yours with me.

Sunday, May 13, 2007

CREATING BEAUTY FROM THE EVERYDAY

INNER KNOWINGInner Knowing Mandala - (Healing in Circles series) - © Sue O'Kieffe 2007

I have recently begun a new day job in an office located in an industrial park area that actually has nice and well kept landscaping. I keep my camera tucked away in my car, and go on mini photoshoots on my lunch breaks (since it is overcast here much of the time) or after work.

This shrub is part of the local landscaping. After a bit of investigation, I was able to identify it as a variety of dogwood -- Bailey's Red Dogwood, to be exact! This added to my knowledge, because I never knew dogwood blossoms grew in clusters like this. But aside from that, what I liked even more was taking the time to look, really look. How often do we see these shrubs and take them for granted, without ever noticing the subtleties of color or the faint red outline on the leaves?

When I finished this mandala image, I had a deep sense of knowing that part of what I do is create beauty from the everyday and present these everyday occurrences in a more direct and accessible way for the viewer and potential collector. I felt satisfied.

Friday, May 04, 2007

TEA, ANYONE?

into the greenInto the Green Mandala - (Healing in Circles series) - © Sue O'Kieffe 2007

Recently a flower box filled with some of the largest succulent specimens I havespotted succulent ever seen caught my eye. My posting on May 1st was created from the flowers of one of those succulents. This mandala was created from another of those succulents.

When I look at the mandala, I am reminded of some Wedgewood plates that were in my mother's china collection. I see sliced summer tomatoes with cottage cheese and chives and a tall glass of iced tea, a touch of elegance after a day in the garden.

These past couple of weeks I have needed to take some time out to regroup. Unforseen issues needed to be and are still being considered. I acknowledge that art, business, and all of life is a process and things take time. During these times it is good for me to remember the larger picture and also the messages of gratitude I have received from my collectors. It is part of what keeps me motivated.

What do you do to keep the negative energy of discouragement from taking over?

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

MAY DAY

may day revelryMay Day Revelry - (Spring Circles series) - © Sue O'Kieffe 2007

I took a few days off from blogging to regroup and renew my own spirit. Finding this stalk of yellow flowers yesterday springing from one of the largest succulents I have ever seen did much to elevate my mood.yellow succulent flowers They seemed to be having a party, and they called me over to celebrate with them.Of course, I had to create a mandala to mark that time of revelry!

Today is May Day. I think of the festive days of old, when celebrants danced around the maypole and honored the day as a time of fertility after the crops were planted. The seeds have been sown; let 's party and honor our efforts.

May Day has significance for me as well, in that it is a day I have chosen to mark the end of the "beta testing" for my business. I have been blessed with great feedback about my greeting cards. My next step is to be able to provide large orders for wholesale accounts. I have to remind myself over and over that all development comes in baby steps.

I love my art and knowing the positive effects it has on people's spirits. It is that knowledge that keeps me moving forwards.