I Vont to KNOW!


Irina Spalko in Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull

As the only woman in a house of three to five males (depending on when my stepsons are visiting), I am often subjected to hours of movies I would never choose myself.  One such movie I have unfortunately had to see numerous times is Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull.  All I can see in this film is the poor green screen effects, bad lighting, and cheap props- especially that crystal skull which looks like a piece of plastic stuffed with aluminum foil.  I’m sure the storyline is sublime.  But, my favorite line in the movie is by Cate Blanchett who plays the Russian Irina Spalko who “vants to know” everything the Crystal Skull has to tell her.  I like to walk around the house sometimes and tell people “I vont to know!”


I created a survey here (it’s only 21 questions) to find out a little bit more about you and how I can SERVE you ! (hint: I’m going to start offering e-courses!)

Here is the link-a-roonie!  Or, you can just fill it out in the little window below.

As a gift for completing it- I will give you a code for 40%, yes 40% off of ANYTHING in my Fine Art America shop!

And thank you, my friends.  Thank you.

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Art Daily

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The exhibit, “Sweet”, by Elisa Contemporary Art, who represents me in nyc, is on in Bridgehampton this July- Aug. 4.  Go out and see it if you are there!  Here’s the article in Art Daily.

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Baby Eli Love

The Latest and Greatest from the Studio! 

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Making Mandalas Video

Making Mandalas- Paula Brett

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Affordable Art Fair

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Kids Make Mandalas

I cried. The art teacher at Kingswood Elementary in Brandon found and read the tbt article about me to all of her students, they emulated my work, and then wrote me the nicest letter. Imitation is the highest form of flattery, for sure!!1932347_10151846176541191_2144891392_n 1898256_10151846176676191_369823444_n 1798761_10151846176621191_1111639708_n

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Fetish (no, not that kind)



noun \ˈfe-tish also ˈfē-\

: a strong and unusual need or desire for something

: a need or desire for an object, body part, or activity for sexual excitement

: an object that is believed to have magical powers

I was talking to my friend and she mentioned that many of my mandalas and ideas for future works are somehow based in fetishes.    Yes, it’s true.  I agree.   Part of the process for me as an artist involves a lot of thinking and considering the WHY behind the work.   Sometimes  it can get in the way of the actual making–  often the work has a mind of it’s own and you can only see it’s meaning after it’s complete.   But for now, let’s think.

In regards to fetish (which is often erroneously used in only a sexual sense), the definition sheds some light on the work for me.  A “strong and unusual need or desire for something”-  yes.  This is part of the paradox for me in using man-made objects in my work.  For me, the mandalas are about bringing a spiritual aspect to consumerism, acquisition, and the constant state of wanting–more, more, more.  I’ve been fascinated with “stuff” for years.  How we covet it, how much we want, why we want it, and how much we produce!  I have a love/hate relationship with things- many times in my life I’ve moved (I think around 25 times) and have either had to pack everything up, or sell it, or some combo.  Once I actually deduced all of my belongings to 6 boxes.  How freeing!  But then, I accumulate again! At the same time, I love design and beautiful objects and see their wonderful purposefulness in our lives.  I see that I have grown up with a bit of a “poverty mentality” and know that it’s ok to want things, to have things, etc.  Fetish, though, may be a bit different, I suppose.  It’s a strong and unusual need or desire for something.  How strong, I guess, is the question. I still think it relates somehow.

The other part of this definition I relate to my work  is “an object that is believed to have magical powers”.  As a little girl, I had a collection of rag dolls that were completely REAL.  I’m sure many girls did this, but I kept up this belief for a bit longer than many of my friends. I called them my “kids”.  They each had specific personalities and I took my little rag doll family very seriously.  In fact, I still have Selina and Joy up in Nolan’s closet, despite their torn limbs and tattered faces.  They still have magical powers up there, I know it!   When I took my first photography class in college, I photographed a lot of objects and my professor made the comment that I portrayed these objects as if they had life. I still give meaning to some special things around my house- I mean, everything has an energy of some sort.  Everything is connected an everything matters, to some extent.  Doesn’t it?

Why am I blogging about this stuff?  Because, why not?  It’s part of the process.  And I want to share it.

Tell me about your relationship to material objects.  Do you covet or abhor?  Or both? Does anything you own have magical powers?

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Digital Mandalas

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“BE who you already are…DO what you want and HAVE anything your heart desires.”


From Denise Duffield- Thomas,  Get Rich, Lucky Bitch 

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my mandala art process

Words I’ve been thinking about in conjunction with my mandala series and the process:


Found Object







Surprise and Spontaneity


Conform- Rebel





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The Candalas are going to Dylan’s Candy Bar!

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New York, NY, November 13, 2013- Tampa artist Paula Brett known for her candy mandalas, or as she terms them “candalas”, has teamed up with Dylan’s Candy Bar to have four of her works featured in the famous retail store.

You couldn’t find a more fitting venue for these delightful candy creations. Brett uses various candies to create beautiful patterns and designs that then get professionally photographed, printed on high quality photo paper, and framed in a 40” by 40” white wood frame.
“My candalas are inspired by the sand mandalas created by Tibetan monks—after the sandpainting is finished it’s blown away, symbolizing the impermanence of all things. Instead of sand, these are created out of sugar in candy form. My intention is to arrange everyday sweets in a pattern which becomes sacred, where the delicious turns divine, the enticing now exquisite.” says Brett.

The limited edition candalas can be purchased at Dylan’s Candy Bar for $2150. Her works will be featured in the store from December 2nd through December 31st. Dylan’s is located at 1011 Third Avenue right on the corner of 60th street. Paula will be there herself on December 2nd and 3rd, giving away 100 signed catalogs, taking pictures, discussing her candalas, and even creating some new candalas with customers.

This really is an exciting event and the magnificent candalas are worth seeing in person!

ABOUT PAULA BRETT: From candy mandalas to color-infused paintings, Paula Brett’s broad body of work incorporates various combinations of media dealing with ideas such as ritual, serendipity, and transitory spaces. She has exhibited work in New York City, Chicago, San Francisco, Budapest, Hungary; and Timiosoara, Romania. Paula holds an MFA in Interdisciplinary Arts and Media from Columbia College Chicago.

For further information about Paula Brett’s work including dates and times for her monthly open studio showings, please visit her website at www.paulabrettart.com or email paulabrett@gmail.com.


Contact Information:
Paula Brett
Paula Brett Art
Phone: 917-340-4798
Email: paulabrett@gmail.com
URL: http://www.paulabrettart.com

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For Adult Eyes Only

When I have an idea, I have to run with it.  And that’s exactly what I did!

After I started making the mandalas out of candy, I thought- I want to do this with EVERYTHING!!  Yes!!!!!

And then I thought I should  probably narrow that down.  A bit.  Ideas kept coming and I really wasn’t sure where to go.

Inspiration came from a comment my photographer, Robert Sargent , made when photographing one of my mandalas- “You’re really bringing out my addictions here.”

Hmmm…. a series of mandalas on addictions/addictive behaviors!  Lots of possibilities! Bring the light to the dark!  Merge them… play with the sacred and the profane.

And of course, I had to start with the one I thought would be most fun- SEX!!  And what better way to depict this than through TOYS!

A wonderful local store and staff allowed me to come in and open so many packages and create this mandala out of all of these — things.

So, here’s the first in a series. Not sure exactly where it will lead, but it’s starting!

What do you think??


Sex Toy Mandala, limited edition photograph, various sizes, Paula Brett.








Sex Toy Mandala
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Behind the Candalas

Just as I wrote the title of this post it reminded me that I still really want to see Behind The Candelabra, the HBO movie with Michael Douglas playing Liberace.  As Liberace says, “Too much of a good thing is wonderful.”

Back to the Candalas.  Many people have told me that when they saw these they thought I was just playing around.  And I was.  I mean, that’s how it started.

I was working on a piece for a client that involved painting on boxes of candy  with no need for the contents.   When I removed all of the candy and saw all of that wonderfully colorful sugary stuff in the container, I didn’t want to eat it.  I wanted to make some art with it!  And immediately I turned back to my old friend the Mandala.

According to Wikipedia, Mandalas are: Mandala (Sanskrit: मण्डल Maṇḍala, ‘circle’) is a spiritual and ritual symbol in Hinduism and Buddhism, representing the Universe.[1]  (There is much more to know, but for the sake of brevity, that’s a start.)

Years ago I had heard about Mandalas- the kind that are made in sand by Tibetan Buddhist Monks that take days to create and then are blown away to the show the impermanence of life.  Ever since then I have been fascinated with Mandalas and the concept of  impermanence and have used them in my process or my work. Sand_mandala_tibet_1

So, it seemed only natural to use the candy to create a mandala!  The candy is like the sand and I arrange it onto a piece of paper.  My photographer friend comes over to shoot them and then poof, they are gone!  Only the photograph remains.

I really see these as sacred as well as silly and fun.  The candy- it’s on one hand so innocuous and child-like and yummy, and on the other hand it’s just junk food full of artificial colors and wax and who knows what.  I like that dichotomy. The mandala is like a prayer, a meditation, a divine design, a portal to the wisdom of the universe.  The two coming together create a third thing- something totally different, making the profane sacred, the delicious divine, the enticing now exquisite.

Let me know what you think of these mandalas.  I’d love to know! Oh yes, and they are all available for purchase in my SHOP!

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Lake of Forgiveness


Tricia with “Lake of Forgiveness”


Where to begin with this one?  Oh, Lake of Forgiveness, how I struggled.

This painting started about 3 years ago as so many do – with the spirit of  experimentation.  This time  I was experimenting with some new media, gels, etc.
and thought it would be fun to play with fabric collage in the underpainting.  (It’s  basically invisible now, but under so many layers of paint, strewn across the horizon line are some fabric violets that were the original impetus for the painting. )  How many times did I not know where in the world to take this piece?  Probably a hundred, at least.  I would paint, stop, look, paint some more, then stop again and look.  The  piece was going nowhere.  So, I put it away for another time.

The painting cycled through many more overhauls until I just got sick of it and finally resolved to make something happen. So, I went to my standby- the clear landscape.  I know that when I’m lost, it’s good for me to focus on something- and often that’s a horizon line- where the sky meets the earth or water.  But even after I decided on the subject, we (the canvas and I) went round and round again.  Sometimes paintings are just “difficult”, they  don’t want to be resolved so quickly.

I can honestly say that when I titled the painting, “Lake of Forgiveness”, I still wasn’t sure if it was finished.  But when my collector saw it’s most recent incarnation paired with the title, she knew she had to have it.

Lake of Forgiveness.  For Tricia it means one thing.  She loves it because  it’s a beautiful visual reminder of  how we all need to let go of whatever we hold onto, hold against, hold over, or hold far away.  For me, it’s the same, really.  Forgiveness is something that I struggle with daily, with others and especially with myself.  Allowing myself to be more tolerant of my own humanity and a little less critical of my flaws.  Allowing it to not be perfect all the time, allowing myself to make mistakes and still love myself and love those mistakes.

That canvas and I had a lot of forgiving to do of each other until I finally gave it a title and deemed it finished.  The struggle was long.  But that’s what a practice offers- the opportunity to struggle through something and come out the other side- with whatever the lesson holds.  Painting isn’t just about making pretty pictures for me.  It’s a practice that work with that continues to take me to the other side- where peace resides.

And now I hit the ball to your court:  Where can you do some forgiving? And then share.  Why, you ask?  Because it’s courageous to share.  And life is now.

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30 Days of Gratitude in One Day

Here’s my list-

I am grateful for:

1. Being a new mommy and all of the trials, tribulations and joys that come with it.
2. Living in a place where it’s like paradise in the winter.
3. Having creative talent and being able to express it in many forms.
4. My wonderful friends who are there for me whenever I need them.
5. My husband who, even though he sometimes drives me crazy, completely loves me. And I him.
6. Being able to sit and type out this list.
7. Being a stepmom to 2 boys who I get the privilege to watch grow.
8. My wonderful family and all of the characters we are.
9. Other new mom friends who share the journey with me.
10. My yoga practice and how much it helps me to relax and breathe and open to the present moment.
11. Living in a beautiful house that I had the opportunity to remodel with all of my own choices.
12. Living in a country where I have so many freedoms.
13. Having a studio where I get to play and create and dream.
14. My sweet kitty who taught me how to love animals.
15. My car- it carries lots of stuff and takes me lots of places! ( I lived without a car for 10 years and didn’t miss it, but now I need one.)
16. Having a blog and a website where I can share my art.
17. Learning about natural eating and living and how it has impacted my life.
18. Knowing that my attitude makes a huge difference in how my day goes.
19. Putting the above into practice as often as possible.
20. I’m thankful that there is such a thing as the arts- music, dance, theatre, visual, all of which make life so much better.
21. Radio shows.
22. Good TV.
23. KCRW radio
24. the internet! (remember before the internet?)
25. my awesome phone and all of the amazing technology on it- actually just technology in general.
26. Seeing beauty in everything.
27. My healthy body and mind and spirit-
28. The fact that the landscaping in our yard is pretty much done- and we did it ourselves!
29. The angels who look after me everyday.
30. Being connected to a higher power and trusting the path I am led.

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