In the middle of May, the Mandala class participated in an art show at Hart Senior Center. I’m guessing that more than 100 people stopped by to see the work, talk to the artists and have some refreshments. This was a big deal for our artists, a great turnout from the local community and certainly the high point of the year so far. We’re already planning another event for the holiday season.
Meanwhile, I’ve held one series of mandala art classes at Colonial Heights library with a follow-up series set for July. Local libraries are great supporters of the arts and sponsor these classes free to the public.
I also began a new monthly class at Hart Center I’ve called Adventures in Art, sort of a combination of art history and open studio. Our first artist was Georgia O’Keeffe. We learned a little about her life and artistic vision, than made some art in her style. Next month we’ll feature Piet Mondrian, followed by Jackson Pollock in August. We had a really good response to the class and I’m hoping it will continue to draw in (no pun) more interest.
I’ve been putting out feelers for some new places to teach and have classes set for later in the summer at the Asian Community Center and in the fall at University Art Store in Sacramento.
I originally planned my curriculum as a once-a-week for four weeks class but am finding that I need to rearrange, at times, the way I’ve organized things. For example, I’m breaking down the Mandala topics differently and rather than approaching it as skill levels I’m looking at it as ‘types’ of mandalas; i.e. geometric mandalas, natural mandalas, and meditative mandalas.
I was surprised to find that rearranging them opened up some new ways to look at how I am teaching so it is very exciting. Also, I am putting together a workshop format for longer, one-day events.
In the midst of all this teaching I decided to put more effort into my website and start selling directly from here. This site will now focus exclusively on the mandala work, with the ink wash painting featured on the MarieTaylorArt.wordpress.com site.
My thinking was that although I love teaching I don’t know how long this forward movement will last – or I will. I was 72 last birthday and although I feel fine, I have to acknowledge I may not be able to continue this work in a few years, so I want to have alternate sources of communication and income.
I have to remind myself to carve out some personal time to continue with my own mandala practice. In creating mandalas it seems that every few months there is a new wrinkle to explore – maybe something in design or maybe color. At the bottom of the page is some recent work.
I’ll keep these on my studio walls for a month or two just to make sure they are complete and have nothing more to say, then I will add them to the for sale gallery. In some kind of crazy way it’s like raising puppies and you don’t want to let them go until they are stable (or I am!).
Now that I’ve got this tighter focus on what is going on in my art life, I’ll write shorter and more frequent blogs and not another l-o-n-g one like this.