Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Sue O'Kieffe's Artist Statement

points of light mandalaPoints of Light Mandala - (Healing in Circles series) - © Sue O'Kieffe 2007


The most beautiful thing we can experience is the mysterious. It is the source of all true art and all science. He to whom this emotion is a stranger, who can no longer pause to wonder and stand rapt in awe, is as good as dead: his eyes are closed. ~ Albert Einstein

For as long as I can remember I have been drawn to the minute, the magical and the mysterious. As a child I loved to get nose to nose with nature, marveling at shiny rocks and iridescent feathers. I began making art when I was three years old by rubbing closed eyelids with tiny fists and feeling captivated by the colors I created. That was how I created my first mandala. It wasn’t until 2005, with a runaway passion for all things digital, that I had a vision of creating this spiritual art form using a computer as my brush and Photoshop as my box of colors.

Mandala is a Sanskrit word that means whole world or sacred circle. Often referred to as the Circle of Life, mandalas represent wholeness and are used in many forms, in many cultural and spiritual traditions, as symbols for healing, prayer and meditation.

dancing in the light mandalaDancing in the Light Mandala - (Healing in Circles series) - © Sue O'Kieffe 2007

I still find myself nose to nose with the natural world, shooting photos of beauty I find in my surroundings … an iris surviving in a street corner garden, an unexpected passionflower vine growing wild among blackberries, a simple dandelion gone to seed. When I import these images into my computer for mandala making, my intent is to honor the beauty I see everyday that others may not notice. Nature has a story to tell and I am its conduit. The process of mandala making is a mystery, as I let the images guide me. I manipulate the imagery intuitively and let it unfold from the recognizable to the transformed.

To say we live in challenging times is both an understatement and a cliché. I don’t exactly know why the mandala form brings comfort and solace to those who are drawn to it, but I know that it does. May you see whatever you see in these circles of light and wholeness I feel compelled to create.

~Sue O’Kieffe


So this is what it's all about for me. I'm getting really excited to share my intent with the local art community on Saturday at The Ink People in Eureka, CA


Deb Kirkeeide said...

What a beautiful statement. You have such a way of expressing yourself with your words and your art. Good luck with your show.

dianeclancy said...

Hi Sue,

This is a wonderful artist statement - very moving and gives wonderful insight into you!!

Good going!!

~ Diane Clancy

John M. Mora said...

Wonderful art statement - very impressed with words, sentiment, everyhting.

Teri said...

Just a beautiful statement!!!

Anonymous said...

That's fantastic, Sue. You captured so well in words what you do with your art.

I'll see you this weekend at The Ink People!

Debi said...

I enjoyed reading your artist statement very much. You articulate -- in words and in art -- your sense of wonder and mystery so well.

Bobbie said...

Your artist's statement says, so very well, what you are and how you see the world. Every artist should have one of these.

Irene said...

What a great statement. You should have it engraved forever on your blog somewhere. It really makes you understand the why and the wherefore.

artandtea said...

Sue, your work is truly amazing and your artist statement describes it so eloquently.
Thank you for sharing your beautiful view of the world.

marianne said...

beautiful words accompanied by beautiful mandalas

Ann Christine Dennison said...

A wonderful statement....
and a beautiful mandala!
I agree there is something very soothing and healing about mandala's, they are truly magical.

Miriam said...

You have done a great job with the artist statement! I'm always a miserable failure at that...but this one gives me food for thought. And I have to tell you...I was just walking the dog the other day and enjoying him pulling me as I kept my eyes shut and looked at the patterns the sun made, and the peace that surrounded me. I was thinking about trying to replicate that in a painting. I so understand where you are coming from w/ your art. Thanks for this! P.S. Did the blog feed thing ever work for you? I have bloglines and think I fixed it up right...but I'm still confused. Royce told me bloglines was the same thing...was he right? And in case I didn't mention...all this computer stuff takes me twice as long because I'm constantly interrupted by my four year old. ;) Peace! Miriam

Thalia said...

Oh that top one is "just" dandelion fluff. It looks like a star being made.