Full/Fill

Full/Fill is large scale mandala project using shopping carts from big box stores arranged in parking lots and photographed with a drone. "Through the use of the shopping cart, an item that is both utilitarian and a designed marketing tool, I examine relationships between consumption as a necessity, consumerism as an activity and the psychology and spirituality behind the need to 'fill our carts'." - Paula Brett

 

Make a Mandala!

Mandalas: an art form, therapeutic tool, spiritual practice, and a gift. 

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Ever wanted to:

  • Tap into your creative side without fear of "doing it wrong"?
  • Create a unique piece of art made by you, that is frame-worthy to hang in your home?
  • Focus on something you are working on in your life  and have it shift almost magically?
  • Enjoy yourself in a community of like-minded people all creating together?
  • Have some (more) FUN in your life?

Yes, yes and more Yes??

Then I personally invite you to my first-ever Mandala Making Workshop!

November 19, 2014, 7-10pm

$110 includes all supplies, materials, and a 20x24" print of your work

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This second workshop is LIVE.  I am offering it at my studio in Tampa, Florida.  (Do not fret if you are not in my neck of the woods, I plan to offer this as an e-course in the very near future).

Get on the WAIT LIST for the c-course HERE!

In this workshop you will be led to make a fabulous creation by yours truly.

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I'm Paula Brett and I'm an artist, teacher, and divine mischief-maker.  I believe that even the most left-brained person on earth has an inner artist.  We are born with the ability to express ourselves, yet somehow along the way most of us get a little shut down.  I believe in exercising those parts of us that we may have closed off  just to see what wonderful things can happen when we OPEN!  We all have eyes to behold beauty and we all have hands that can create beauty.  Why not use them for this purpose?

My official Bio: 

From color-infused paintings and  candy mandalas to video self-portraits, Paula Brett’s broad body of work incorporates various combinations of media dealing with ideas such as created identity, coincidence, ritual, and transitory spaces.  Paula has has exhibited work in New York City, Chicago, San Francisco, Florida, Budapest, Hungary; and Timiosoara, Romania.  (That's just a stone's throw from Transylvania, for the geographically challenged.)

Most recently her Candy Mandalas were exhibited at the New York City's famous Dylan's Candy Bar.  She is represented by Elisa Contemporary Art in NYC and by Jules' Place in Boston, MA.  Brett's work is collected internationally and is included in private collections featuring Damien Hirst and  Hiroshi Sugimoto. Paula holds an BS in Art Education from the University of Georgia and an MFA in Interdisciplinary Arts and Media from Columbia College Chicago. She currently resides in Tampa, Florida where she creates and teaches art, mothers two little boys, tries to keep up her yoga practice and be a good friend to her husband.

Paula is also an art instructor with 15 years of experience.  She has taught in pre-schools, elementary, and high schools as well as colleges and museums in many cities including: Atlanta, Chicago, Moscow, Budapest, and New York City.  Paula has been awarded several teaching grants as well as Top Visual Arts Student for the State of Georgia. After a stint abroad at the Anglo-American International School of Moscow, she moved to Budapest where she helped to spearhead two programs- the Arts Administration Program at the International Business School + Oxford Brookes University and the Docent Training Program for the Ludwig Museum.  At the same time, she started her own studio teaching drawing and painting to expats.

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 WHAT IS A MANDALA?

Mandala is as Sanskrit word: manda= essence, la=within; it is a circle that contains the essence. The mandala symbolizes the laws of the universe and, since man is a microcosm of the universe, many cultures believe that the mandala also symbolizes the human soul. I was first intrigued by Mandalas when I saw a documentary about the Tibetan Buddhist Monks who make elaborate Mandalas on the ground with sand. They are essentially prayers that take days to create.  When they are complete, they are blown away- showing the impermanence of life.

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In this Mandala Making Workshop, you will create your very own mandalas using the materials of your choice.  The objects will be arranged on the floor and then professionally photographed for you to keep an artful record of your creation.  Making a mandala is a meditative act that focuses energy where the maker chooses.  The objects, colors and design all come together with the intention of the maker to create a very powerful piece of art as well as a kind of transformation for the creator.

woodenlollies        2005-circles-of-healing-installation-view       yellowcandycloseup

The Mandala Making Workshop includes:

  • a sacred space for you to create your beautifully designed mandala

  • so many materials to create- candy, crystals and rocks, small toys, crafty items, paper, paint, flowers, odd objects, etc.

  • a large, full-color print (20x24") of your gorgeous mandala professionally photographed and edited (This alone is worth the price of admission!)

  • delicious hors d'oeuvres and fine, fine wine

  • a group of like-minded folk makin' mandalas

  • your guide and experienced mandala maker to help you make it STUNNING!

Wednesday, November 19th

7-10 pm

Space is limited to 8!  Sign up today to secure your space!

To register, CLICK the button below!

 

***I personally GUARANTEE you will love what you make.  There really is no way to make something wrong or ugly.  I promise.***
 

For the cost of a trip to the grocery store (yes, it's true)-- you can have an amazing experience feeling creatively inspired and walk away with a work of art SIGNED BY YOU,  that you are proud to frame and hang on your wall!  

Here is a little video about me and the mandala making process:

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It is so much fun to be a creative person.  And you have it in you.  I invite you to come with me and open up to your beautiful, wonderful artistic self.  Have fun.  Be playful.  It's easy.

“Life is the dancer and you are the dance.” ― Eckhart Tolle

 

Let's do this!

xo

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upsidedownpaula

 

 

 

I am an artist who experiments with interactions.  By "testing the reactions" between various art media and subject matter, my intent is to allow connections between different ideas, images and objects to reveal new realities.  My process often employs chance operations, the notion of “play”, and spontaneous creation. These techniques are then worked and reworked until some sort of balance between the conscious and subconscious is reached.  My work often involves the absurd, created identity, coincidence, ritual, personal anecdote, and humor.

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TESTIMONIALS!  

My students say it best:    

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P.S.  If you're on the fence- remember the space really is limited!  Only 8 per workshop!  Get in there, arteest.

 

I Vont to KNOW!

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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!"

So... 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.  

Fetish (no, not that kind)

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fe·tish

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.

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 reduced 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.  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?

Found Object Mandalas

“Mandala is a Sanskrit word:  manda= essence, la=within; it is a circle that contains the essence. The mandala symbolizes the laws of the universe and, since man is a microcosm of the universe, many cultures believe that the mandala also symbolizes the human soul.” I’ve been drawn to Mandalas ever since I witnessed a group of Tibetan Buddhist Monks making a traditional sand mandala on the ground. The idea of creating such a beautiful work of art and then destroying it in order to symbolize the transitory nature of life intrigued me. Because of that formative experience, I’ve made mandalas intermittently over the years in different forms. Only recently have I delved into the mandalas fully as a way to meld my love for design, spirituality, and the need to create some sort of order and meaning out of so much chaos in the world. In this most recent series of mandala photographs, my intention is to arrange ordinary objects in a pattern that becomes sacred, where the everyday turns divine, the enticing now exquisite.

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Candy Mandalas

Mandala is a Sanskrit word: manda= essence, la=within; it is a circle that contains the essence. The mandala symbolizes the laws of the universe and, since man is a microcosm of the universe, many cultures believe that the mandala also symbolizes the human soul.

My intention with these Candalas is to arrange everyday sweets in a pattern which becomes sacred, where delicious turns divine, the enticing now exquisite.

Read More

Lake of Forgiveness

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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.