Mandala & Symbols of Transformation

mandala first stages mandala tissue


lotus mandala final
This is a small piece (12×12″) as yet untitled that I have been working on over the past week or so. Shown here in its progression. A sweet morning meditation as I continue work on the larger scale series “Where I Stand is Holy” that shines a light on species threatened by climate change. People often ask me how I create my decorative borders. As you can see here, I work out the design on a tissue paper and create the pattern that I will then replicate around the edges. Symbols of transformation continue to appear in my life but this is also representative of our larger collective evolution at this time in our earth’s history.

“Whosoever offers to me with devotion a leaf, a flower, a fruit, or water–that offering of love, of pure heart, I accept” -Bhagavad-Gita.

Honorable Mention Award

Primordial Womb ribbon
Very touched by the recent award for my painting “Primordial Womb” (shown here) from Concordia University and the Oregon Society of Artists. I painted this small 8×8″ cradle board as part of a fundraiser and gala at the University last month. Drawing from my Scottish ancestry, I was once again drawn to the Celtic Tree of Life. And another nest called to me but this time with a robin’s egg. I did some research on the symbolism of the Robin and here’s one shamanic interpretation:

“Robin will incite new growth in all areas of your life, areas that have become stagnant and out-dated. You must believe in yourself as you move forward for if you do, barriers will disappear, and confrontations will be for show only. Robin will show you how to do this with joy in your hearts. Their song is a happy one, reminding you to let go of your personal drama and learn to laugh with life.” Source:

Though I have been feeling some despair of late around the ecological crisis and early Spring here in the PNW, this is another affirmation of my art and soul journey. Signs from Spirit/God appear to us all the all the time if we are still and present. Are you listening?

For love of birds…

Economics of Happiness Conference

EconofHappiness Mandala start

Mandala 2




I had the joy of bringing the Nature Mandala Ceremony to the Economics of Happiness Conference two weeks ago. It was an inspiring weekend of visionaries working together to envision and co-create a new way of being in relationship with each other and the earth. Radical localization on a global scale. Learn more at Local Futures. Local Futures is a non-profit organization dedicated to the revitalization of cultural and biological diversity, and the strengthening of local communities and economies worldwide. I received this affirmation of the ceremony from the program director and conference coordinator:

“It was such a pleasure to watch the mandala emerge over the weekend as the participants worked on it little by little. It had a unifying and creative power that was truly unique and added another layer of connectedness that we haven’t had at previous conferences. We’re very grateful to you for that and it has inspired us to include similar elements at future gatherings.” Kristen Steele, Associate Programs Director, Local Futures/International Society for Ecology and Culture

Still so much to process but honored to contribute my art and beauty making to the gathering. Bow of gratitude to all who co-created this gorgeous offering of beauty in remembrance of our interconnectedness in the web of creation and our solidarity in serving our world. I dedicated our mandala to the ancestors whose presence was invoked all weekend and to the future beings who will benefit from the vision put forward by all who presented and attended. I closed with this poem from Wendell Berry before sweeping up the mandala. For love of the earth!

A Vision

If we will have the wisdom to survive,
to stand like slow-growing trees
on a ruined place, renewing, enriching it,
if we will make our seasons welcome here,
asking not too much of earth or heaven,
then a long time after we are dead
the lives our lives prepare will live here,
their houses strongly placed upon the valley sides,
fields and gardens rich in the windows.
The river will run clear, as we will never know it,
and over, birdsong like a canopy.
On the levels of the hills will be green meadows,
stock bells in noon shade.
On the steeps where greed and ignorance cut down
the old forest, an old forest will stand,
its rich leaf-fall drifting on its roots.
The veins of forgotten springs will have opened.
Families will be singing in the fields.
In their voices they will hear a music risen out of the ground.
They will take nothing from the ground they will not return,
whatever the grief at parting.
Memory, native to this valley, will spread over it like a grove,
and memory will grow into legend,
legend into song,
song into sacrament. The abundance of this place,
the songs of its people and its birds,
will be health and wisdom and indwelling light.
This is no paradisal dream.
Its hardship is it possibility.