Tuesday, June 24, 2008


Angel Light Mandala - (Watercolor series) - © Sue O'Kieffe 2008
source image - hydrangea blooms

I love witnessing growth. I have been watching a hydrangea bush go from leafless to new leaves, from buds to first blossoms for the past couple months when I go on my morning walk. Yesterday, I just felt this *come hither* vibe being broadcast my way, like she was wanting to show me all her best energy. And so I took a few candid shots and wondered what would be revealed when I got home.

I just love surprises.

I was also surprised earlier this week when Kelly of Aeten Art honored me with this award. Turns out she and I share lots of common loves...the ones I know of for sure include mandalas, fractals and doodling. Be sure to check her out. Now comes the hard part...saying something about where this award came from in the first place (go here for more info on that), and choosing 5 more blogs...well, you know how it works. So here goes.

I am grateful to Milliande at Visually Witnessing for beginning this Yahoo group for women where we focus on image making and introspective art. Heartfelt thanks also go to Cheryl of Art in Every Day for founding Mandala Oasis, a Yahoo group for mandala makers. I have found such a renewal of my spirit and a deepening in my art during the short time I have been participating in these two groups.

I have just recently discovered Orli's blog, Shine the Divine. I hope you will spend some time visiting her too. Andrea's Artful Eye and unceasing creative energy never ceases to amaze me. And finally, Ms Thalia of Audacia Muliebris, again I must thank you for your cleverness in creating ever more mandala templates for us to use for unending digital mandalizing!

Gosh, I feel like the emcee at the Oscars. Enjoy your angels, dear hearts, and may your creative energies continue to take wing and soar!

Sue O'Kieffe
Sacred Circle Mandalas

Oh, and yes. If you haven't discovered it yet, I hope you will meander over and see what's happening at my sister site SUE DOODLES

Sunday, June 22, 2008


strength in the lightStrength in the Light Mandala - (Circle of Light series) - © Sue O'Kieffe 2008
source image - euphorbia cactus

"You gain strength, courage, and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face... The danger lies in refusing to face the fear, in not daring to come to grips with it... You must make yourself succeed every time. You must do the thing you think you cannot do."~Eleanor Roosevelt

"We can't give what we don't have.
Find your center of strength and love and give it away." ~ Author Unknown

"Let me not pray to be sheltered from dangers but to be fearless in facing them.
Let me not beg for the stilling of my pain but for the heart to conquer it.
Let me not look for allies in life's battlefield but to my own strength.
Let me not crave in anxious fear to be saved but hope for the patience to win my freedom.
Grant me that I may not be a coward, feeling your mercy in my success alone; but let me find the grasp of your hand in my failure." ~ Rabindranath Tagore

Wednesday, June 18, 2008


OASISOasis Mandala - (Circles of Light series) - © Sue O'Kieffe
source image - lithodora

Sometimes we all just need to get away. In the heat of summer, wouldn't a cool pool surrounded by palm trees be just the thing? Lounge in the shade, lots of iced tea and lemonade, a good book, sunblock, the calming sounds of song birds and running water soothing your soul....

I hope you are all having wonderful summers and finding time to relax.


Sue O'Kieffe
Sacred Circle Mandalas

Be sure to visit my sister blog SUE DOODLES!

Saturday, June 14, 2008


quest mandalaQuest Mandala - (Meditation Card series) - © Sue O'Kieffe 2008
source image - Siberian iris

So I was thinking about how, in the Victorian age, flowers were used as a means of communication. Maybe they were a predecessor to Hallmark Cards for expressing feelings for the chronically shy. Or maybe, just maybe, it was because there is something magical and longstanding about the memory of receiving flowers.

Anyway, while I was perusing this website looking at the different, old-fashioned meanings of flowers, I was happy to discover that iris meant Message. I created this particular mandala for my dear friend Brenda, who is about the depart on a spiritual journey in the mountains of Oregon. Brenda is an awesome woman who has been right there with me as I have been on my own journey of artistic development.

Dear Heart, know that I am holding space for youhere as you go to receive your messages. Aho!

Sue O'Kieffe
Sacred Circle Mandalas


dare mandalaDare - (Circle of Light series) - © Sue O'Kieffe 2008
source image - allium blossom

True life is lived when tiny changes occur ~ Tolstoy
Even God lends a hand to honest boldness ~ Menander
First ponder, then dare ~ Helmuth von Moltke

When I first created this mandala I was struck by the liveliness of the colors. I thought, I would love to wear all of those colors at the same time; but geez, did I dare? When I was a younger girl I loved being vibrant, showing off, all peacocky-like, in stripes and polka dots all at once. What happened to her? Would I dare to be so bold again?

This got me thinking about breaking out of my comfort zone. This isn't dare like "I double dog dare you;" this isn't a peer pressure kind of dare, but a stepping up to the plate of greater authenticity, of truth to Self.

The curious paradox is that when I accept myself just as I am, then I can change. ~ Carl Rogers
Man is made by his belief. As he believes, so he is. ~Bhagavad Gita
Don't worry. Be happy ~ Bobby McFerrin

What holds you back? H'come?
Can you challenge those voices? Fear, self doubt, lack of confidence? Embrace self love and self acceptance?

Yes, I'm talking to you, girl!

Thursday, June 12, 2008


restoration mandalaRestoration Mandala - (Watercolor series) - © Sue O'Kieffe 2008
source image - blue lupine
for poz

She said to me I love this blue lupine, but the rain comes breaks the stalk. I saw the beauty in the blossom and took its photo, knowing the delicate texture and gentle colors would reveal something lupine

She said to me I wonder if I've ever had faith. I reminded her of the lupine. See how the broken can be transformed? Strength and beauty always remains.

Sunday, June 08, 2008


in balance mandalaIn Balance Mandala - (Watercolor Series) - © Sue O'Kieffe
source image - white rhododendron

Everything comes to us that belongs to us if we create the capacity to receive it. ~ Rabindranath Tagore

We can want peace, but unless we are spiritually at peace ourselves, we dont mean it.
It is our thoughts which keep that part of the universe where each of us stand out of or in balance. ~ Little Crow

There are no choices that are really a detour that will take you far from where you're wanting to be -- because your Inner Being is always guiding you to the next, and the next, and the next. So don't be concerned that you may make a fatal choice, because there aren't any of those. You are always finding your balance. It's a never ending process. ~ Abraham Hicks

Now I walk in beauty,
Beauty stands before me
Beauty stands behind me
Above and below me.
~Navajo prayer

I am continuing to play with different approaches to the backgrounds on my artwork. This time I experimented with *grunge brushes* that I downloaded from this site, applying different colors on different layers and then playing with blending modes to get to the desired effect.

Balance...integration...release...transformation...growth...during these challenging times when life calls us to be present, what are we willing to receive? I like the quote from Abraham Hicks above...our soul knows what we want, and like some kind of internal GPS, it will keep us on track.

Saturday, June 07, 2008


What I love most (next to, of course, visiting my friend in Oregon), are all the great little details around her home. Most of these photos were taken on her property. The last two were taken on the way home.

I have been in reclusive mode since returning, but I am around and will be visiting more when my quest for solitude lifts.

Sue O'Kieffe
Sacred Circle Mandalas

Sunday, June 01, 2008


mysteryMystery - (Meditation Cards) - © Sue O'Kieffe 2008

This is my body, this is my blood - Mark 16:22-24 (paraphrased)

...the beauty of the bird, the symbol of the snake, the courage of the pilot, and the wonder of human love will always be touched with mystery ~F. Forrester Church

Love enigmas more than certainties ~ Rob Brezsny

I am back from my trip and am still processing photographs (I took around 300!). Re-entry was a little bumpy and I'm still processing the emotional content of the journey as well. But ohhhh, it was so good to get away, with incredible beauty surrounding me for three days in Southern Oregon.

I am walking a line between wanting to go deep with my art and living on the surface in the material world. Mostly I think this or the other.... is an illusion. Choose my time wisely.

The time is now.

Sue O'Kieffe
Sacred Circle Mandalas