Mandalas: an art form, therapeutic tool, spiritual practice, and a gift.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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:
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!
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.
My students say it best:
P.S. If you're on the fence- remember the space really is limited! Only 8 per workshop! Get in there, arteest.
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?
“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 IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
SWEET SPIRIT: DYLAN’S CANDY BAR PRESENTS ARTIST PAULA BRETT’S CANDY MANDALAS
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
Contact Information: Paula Brett Paula Brett Art Phone: 917-340-4798 Email: email@example.com URL: http://www.paulabrettart.com
©2013 Paula Brett | 1906 N. Armenia Ave, Ste. 303| Tampa, FL | 33607
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??
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. (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.
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!
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
This sculptural installation inspired by the landscape of Northeastern Scotland and the ritual of Tibetan monks’ sand mandala paintings. The piece was created from discarded planar objects found in abandoned grist mills in Lumsden, Scotland. Each object was re-painted in a one solid bright color and placed on posts with hinges, to resemble swinging gates. They were then installed in a farmer’s field in a spiral pattern, surrounded by local gorse flowers. The entire installation went up in one day and scheduled to be taken down on the following day. Gate Spiral, site-specific sculptural installation, Lumsden, Scotland, 2000.Read More