Sunday, June 21, 2009


Summer Magic Mandala (Mandalas for Peace series) @Sue O'Kieffe 2009
source image: daylily

There shall be eternal summer in the grateful heart. ~Celia Thaxter

I have wanted to do an art giveaway on my blog for the longest time, and I decided the first day of summer, when the day is brightest and the night is shortest, was the perfect time to do it! (As you know by now, for me it's all about the Light) Of course, for those of you in the Southern Hemisphere, you are now entering into the darkness and mystery of winter. I love that too. So it would seem now is the perfect time, wherever we reside.

(click on image for better details)

The winner will receive his/her choice of one of these 7.5"x7.5" mandalas, which is suitable for framing and printed on archival matte paper using archival ink. Along with the mandala, the winner will also receive an inspirational story about the mandala and a photo of the source image I used to create it. To be eligible for the drawing, this is what you need to do:
  1. Leave a comment in the post that you wish to be entered in the give-away
  2. Email me here if you wish to be added to my newsletter mailing list. Periodically I will be offering discounts on my art that will only be available to my newsletter subscribers. (Of course, be assured that I will never sell or giveaway my mailing list. Your privacy is safe with me)
  3. The give-away will be open until July 1st, at which time I will use to select a winner.
  4. Unfortunately, at this time, the contest is only open to people in the United States. I hope in the future to extend my give-aways to my international friends. That will be so cool!
  5. You are under no obligation to be part of my mailing list to enter the give-away.
Update: I do want to disclose that this give-away is also occuring at my other blog on xanga. I will determine the order of who entered when by date time and date stamp on both blogs. Also, please subscribe to the replies on this blog posting if you don't have any other way for me to contact you, if you should happen to win the drawing!

If you have a blog and feel so inclined, please help me spread the love with a little mention on your site of what I am doing here.

I so love seeing the beginnings of living my dream as a self-sustaining artist starting to take shape, and I love that all of you are part of my dream as well.

Brightest blessings!

~Sue O'Kieffe
Sacred Circle Mandalas


Wednesday, June 17, 2009


Strutting Your Stuff MandalaStrutting Your Stuff Mandala (Mandalas for Peace series) © Sue O'Kieffe 2009
source image - peacock feather

I have been looking for peacock feathers for almost three years. peacock featherI wanted feathers straight from the bird instead of ones that had been handled and processed and had who-knows-what-done to them. I love the story of how the feathers I used for this mandala flew into my life.

I was recently introduced to pediatric physical therapist Jackie Mast, who is joining with Icelandic physiotherapist Anna Katrin Ottesen to put on an international conference Called Healing the Healers in October '09 in Reykjavik, Iceland. I have decided to enter one of my mandalas in their silent art auction that helps raise funds for the healers to come to the conference. During our correspondence Jackie and I shared our mutual love for feathers; Jackie shared with me she had collected peacock feathers when she lived in central California. A few days later I got an email from Jackie asking if she could mail some feathers to me, and voila! here we are.

There is so much I loved about creating this piece. I have been learning how to make Photoshop brushes, a technique that takes a little bit of practice. Veerle has a great tutorial explaining the process. I created all of the brushes I used in this mandala piece for adding the extra texture around the image, and I must say I'm mighty proud of what I have accomplished. When I researched information about peacock medicine, this is what I found:

The peacock reminds us to see the beauty in all aspects of life. Its eerie call sounds similar to a laughing screech and reminds us to laugh with life and not take things so seriously. As it presents itself with confidence and awes us with its beauty it teaches us how to keep the ego under control and to set all vanity aside...By observing the peacock we can learn to strut our stuff with dignity and grace. ~Sayahda
Going further, I learned that the number 5, ruled by Mercury, is a dynamic number that signifies change. Lots of that change stuff going on here as well. In the next few days I will tell you more. It's all good.

~Sue O'Kieffe


Sunday, June 14, 2009


revitalizing mandalaRevitalizing Mandala (Mandalas for Peace Project) © Sue O'Kieffe 2009
source image: salal

I thank you God for this most amazing day, for the leaping greenly spirits of trees, and for the blue dream of sky and for everything which is natural, which is infinite, which is yes.~ e.e. cummings

I had the pleasure recently of exploring a part of the North Coast of salal source imageCalifornia that I'd never really visited before. I'm not sure how far my friend and I walked to reach Elk's Head, but along the way we actually saw plants new to both of us. Times like that are really a delight. When we reached our destination, we got out our drums and played to the ocean for about 30 minutes. It raised my energy levels, and I have to believe the sea lions, pelicans, gulls, and oyster catchers that were all nearby enjoyed it too.

salal flowersSalal, however, is well known to me. It grows in abundance up and down the west coast. This is another shrub that has a fairylike quality. The flowers remind me of little bells and I will tell you the bees just love them. It made me really happy to see those buzzers gathering up pollen and flying away happy drunk on nectar.

The mandala that I made using the top photograph as source image feels a little dreamy and romantic on the one hand, yet the vibrant lime green background has a revitalizing quality. The 6-rayed mandala is also one of my favorite formations. The number 6 has a vibration of equilibrium and completion, of creativity, beauty, the union of sexual opposites.The Pythagoreans referred to 6 as "the Mother," the Chinese endow the number 6 with the passive receptive qualities of yin (cit. Susanne Fincher Creating Mandalas). For myself, the 6 rayed mandala just makes me go ahhhhhh.

Those ahhh moments speak to me of a peaceful life, open and loving, vibrant, rich, juicy, sustaining, expanding, heartfelt and sharing. This is what I want for myself. This is what I envision for others.

When do you feel the most peaceful inside? What do you feel looking at this mandala? I would love to hear your answers to both questions.


~Sue O'Kieffe
Sacred Circle Mandalas


Monday, June 08, 2009


I met Victoria Ryan 2 years ago when I was involved with the local SBDC's Artists in Flight program. At that time I discovered she was a wealth of information regarding art marketing. I also found out she was honest and forthcoming in her views. I just love people who don't mess around. And besides that, her pastel paintings are to die for. Wouldn't you love to have one of her paintings in your home? How hard would it be to look at this all day?
gardenmeditationGarden Meditation ©Victoria Ryan 2009

Now she and I are meeting up again in the blogosphere. We have been trading skills as I forge ahead with my art business and I try to help her learn about social media 2.0. It was such a happy surprise when Victoria honored me with this Noblesse Oblige Award for blogging.

noblesse oblige awardThe Noblesse Oblige Award is given for the following accomplishments:

1.The blogger manifests exemplary attitude, respecting the nuances of different cultures and beliefs.
2. The blog inspires, strives to encourage and offer solutions.
3. There is a clear purpose at the blog and it is one that fosters a better understanding of social science, politics, economics, the arts, culture, science or belief.
4. The blog is refreshing and creative.
5. The blogger promotes friendship and positive thinking.

The rules are as follows:

1. Create a post with a mention and a link to the blogger who presented the award to you.
2. Display the award conditions.
3. Write a short post about what your blog has thus far achieved.
4. The blogger must present the award to blogs in concurrence with the award conditions.
5. The blogger can display the award at any location on their blog.

It has been a pleasure for me to work with my blog and display my art here because I know that my art inspires and has meaning for so many people. This is satisfying to me as an artist to know that the heart has been touched, opened and has received the beauty I strive to portray in my mandalas; it is far beyond anything I might have once believed I could achieve.

It is with great pleasure that I pass this award on to Laura Bly, a transitions strategist I met on Twitter, who helps women (that would include me!) through the internal experience of the transition period to success and your authentic self!


Thursday, June 04, 2009


fairyland pentagram mandalaFairyland Pentagram Mandala (Mandalas for Peace) ©Sue O'Kieffe 2009
source image: false lily of the valley
false lily of the valley
Do you have a special place in nature where you feel connected to the earth? My special place reminds me of a fairyland when these false lily of the valley flowers are in bloom. I love their heart-shaped leaves. The first time I was ever in this place I felt a deep connection to the nature devas who reside there, and it's someplace I go for renewal both in person and in meditation.

I thought since the flowers have a magical connotation for me that I would use the pentagram as the formation for the mandala. If you aren't familiar with the associations with the pentagram, wikipedia has pretty good information. Fascinating stuff.

I would love to know more about where you feel the most connected to nature.

~Sue O'Kieffe
Sacred Circle Mandalas