Sunday, August 31, 2008


lemon cookie mandalaLemon Cookie Mandala - (Summer Circle Series) - © Sue O'Kieffe 2008

Here is a little known fact about me: I prefer lemon to chocolate or vanilla. I love how refreshing, clean and stimulating it is.Did you know lemon essential oil is used to stimulate the mind?

When I created this mandala (so long ago I cant remember what I used as a source image!), it reminded me of a frosted lemon cookie. It also reminded me of a sun...which just happens to be one of my favorite symbols.

So here I am celebrating my 57th birthday! In the coming year I want to learn more about photography (classes start Sept 10th), continue exploring the world of doodles (have you been to My OthEr BLoG yet?), learn more about digital drawing (HeLLo Adobe Illustrator!), and continue to have FUN FUN FUN.

Thank you all for being part of my world, for sharing your inspirations, for honoring my art. Here's to another great year!

~Sue O'Kieffe
Sacred Circle Mandalas

Thursday, August 28, 2008


community spiritCommunity Spirit - © Sue O'Kieffe 2008

Created for a digital art journal challenge. Glad to be working in some way with other artists to work in ways that will push me a little past my comfort zone. I've been wanting to experiment with blending my handmade and digital mandalas and see what I could come up with. I was happy with the results here.

Be sure to check out my analog blog SueDooDleS

Saturday, August 23, 2008


I have begun experimenting with other forms of digital art-making recently through my involvement in the Coach Creative Space. It's been fun to play around using different approaches to making art. I used the photos above to create the image below.

Curves and Splatters - © Sue O'Kieffe 2008

Many thanks to Kim of Laketrees for honoring me and so many other fine creatives on the web with her very thoughtful award.

It's gratifying to be recognized during a time when I am searching ever deeper for inspiration in my art. More about that at another time.

Summer is winding down. On the North Coast of California, autumn is our best time anyway. The light turns golden, the harvest is readied, it actually turns warm and windless. Just a few more weeks. Huzzah!

Many blessings to all of you who come to read, feel inspired, seek to find comfort and healing in your lives, reach for ease and joy and contentment.

May we all be blessed.

Sue O'Kieffe
Sacred Circle Mandalas

Wednesday, August 20, 2008


dancing in the lightDancing in the Light Mandala (Circles of Healing Series) - © Sue O'Kieffe 2006
source image: purple iris

points of light mandalaPoints of Light Mandala - (Circles of Healing Series) - © Sue O'Kieffe 2006
source image: dandelion fluff

Perfect for your meditation or healing center, altar space, therapy office, or that special place in your home, these two limited edition framed 12”x12” mandala prints are available now for the reduced price of $75 each plus shipping and handling and sales tax where applicable. These prices will be offered until the Autumnal Equinox on September 22nd, so this truly is an end of summer sale.

If you are interested in purchasing one of these prints or want more information about my work, please email at the prompt on my blog.

Many blessings,

Sue O’Kieffe

Sacred Circle Mandalas

Saturday, August 16, 2008


As a way of honoring Sacred Life Sundays I like to post photographs of the beauty I find in my world. These photographs were taken on a walk with my friend SueZen on a walking trail not too far from where I live. The Mad River runs parallel to the Pacific Ocean. I'm not sure how it got its name because most of the time the river is pretty calm. One year, during a heavy winter storm, the ocean broke through the sand bars and the river changed course, creating a new mouth. I was fortunate to witness that geological event. Seems SueZen was with me that day, too.

In the summer in late afternoon, you can never be too sure if the day will be foggy or sunny. At 4:30 when I left work the sun was still out. By the time we got out on our walk 45 minutes later, we were engulfed in damp yet cozy fog. There is something about the mystery of fog that I find comforting.

The bumblebee on the thistle had gone dormant from the cold. Im sure when the sun came out again he warmed right up and flew away. I saw two bees in this state of suspended animation on our walk.

Nature is so amazing.

Friday, August 15, 2008


revelation mandalasRevelations Mandala -(Reflection Series) - © Sue O'Kieffe 2008
source image: agapanthus (Queen of the Nile)

This mandala speaks to me on a very personal level, an unexpected result from when I began creating it. A couple of weeks ago I was listening to an interview with Bonnie Bell, one of the first artists I discovered making digital mandalas from nature imagery. If you are at all interested in this topic, the interview is well worth the listening time.

Anyway, Bonnie said something about how the nature images almost always pick her instead of her setting out to make mandalas from them. In my own work, I find that to be true. In the analog(handmade) realm of mandala making, I most usually have some goal in mind and I still tend to be more critical of the results (though that is easing up and agapanthusI am allowing myself more room for play). When going through recently photographed flowers, there was something about the soft blue of the agapanthus that really spoke to me. Blue, the color of the 5th chakra, throat, speaking, finding one's voice..speaking up, speaking truth.

I have set an intention of going deeper within myself to grow deeper as an artist. Within I am also finding those places of blockage. I am looking without for more skill and looking within for courage and strength.

When I looked at the finished image I was reminded of the tarot card Wheel of Fortune. Angeles Arrien writes about this card: Wheel of Fortune (enhancing creativity and fortune) - It is the archetype that can allow your life to turn in more fortunate positive directions if you are willing to grow and expand. (TarotHandbook, pg 64-65)

I would love to hear about your own process of growth as an artist. How do you know when it is time to go past where you have been in the past with your art? How do you feel during this period?

Sue O'Kieffe
Sacred Circle Mandalas

Monday, August 11, 2008


Somewhere in my travels in the blogosphere I found this really cool website: this is sand

While I understand the lesson in Tibetan sand mandalas is about the impermanence of nature, I am equally fascinated by the possibility of creating sand mandalas from digital sand. You can read more about the website here

If you go to the website and play, (be is hugely addictive play), click on the grey square in the upper left hand corner.

The following mandalas were created from my sand drawings (how to? save on a pc using the alt+prtscn buttons, then ctrl+v on a new file in your favorite digital imaging program). Im not sure how to save a screen image on a mac.

Have fun!

lotus sunriseLotus Sunrise - (Sand Mandala series) - © Sue O'Kieffe 2008
source image: digital sand

mandala abstractionMandala Abstraction - (Sand Mandala Series) - © Sue O'Kieffe 2008
source image: digital sand

joyous colors
Joyous Colors Mandala (Sand Mandala Series) - © Sue O'Kieffe 2008
source image: digital sand

Synchronously, I just found an interview on ColourLovers (an amazing blog all on its own) with the creators of the This is Sand website

Sue O'Kieffe
Sacred Circle Mandalas

Sunday, August 03, 2008


As the final chapter in my discussion on Angeles Arrien's book Signs of Life, I am offering up a mandala prompt.

  • Draw the circle, square, triangle, spiral and equidistant cross and rank them in preference from one to five.
  • Draw/create a mandala using the symbols in positions 1, 3 and 5
  • If you decide to experiment and have a blog, leave a link in the comments section so we can see your mandala
  • I would love to hear how you felt about your mandala or the process itself.

When I was creating digital mandalas to go with this series, I never really felt like the individual shapes were being isolated that well, so I thought I would do something different (since my favored shape in position 3 is the spiral= change) and draw my mandalas using the square(#1), spiral(#3) and circle(#5).

considering changeConsidering Change (Reflections Series) - © Sue O'Kieffe 2008
neocolor II's, oil pastels, prismacolor gold metallic art marker

Even though the spiral is the central focus of this mandala, it felt equal to the other shapes. Change seemed more like an idea than something that was likely to occur anytime soon.

resisting changeResisting Change - (Reflection Series) - © Sue O'Kieffe 2008
colored markers, black sharpie

The spiral, along with four snakes (symbols of transformation), is contained in the square. The energy of the spiral feels trapped. I am looking for an answer to what looks like resistance.

foundation of changeFoundation of Change - (Reflection Series) - © Sue O'Kieffe 2008
rubber stampings, sharpies, crayons, oil pastels, digital embellishments

I am grounded on a firm foundation. My nature is change, and I willingly embrace it. My life is spacious and free. I am whole.

Sue O'Kieffe
Sacred Circle Mandalas