Star Mandala

Star Mandala
I was watching a video about the healing powers of art and music. Specifically, that art and music are indeed therapeutic for patients suffering from Alzheimer’s and dementia. I am a firm believer in the healing powers of music, and I agree that the music must first mean something to the person in order for the therapy to be beneficial. If it is music you enjoy, then it can trigger happy memories, and perhaps open conversation. Sometimes the topic takes me back to a time when lyrics such as, “I believe in music, I believe in love” were very popular.
During the art therapy discussion, they described how patients are encouraged to express themselves using paint and paper. They spoke of making a group project out of creating a mandala.
This idea intrigued me. I’ve had a photograph that I’ve been working with for a few days, of artwork by my five-year-old granddaughter. I wasn’t really getting very far with it until I started thinking about creating a mandala.
The center portion of the design is my granddaughter’s original artwork. I used the cookie cutter tool to create the stars from the same colors as the original. Then I used the ellipse tool to make circles and found a close match for the magenta from the color swatch for their fill. After that, I chose a gradient and texture for the background, and framed it with the magenta and a bevel effect.
All in all, I must agree. This has been very therapeutic. And I am happy to have preserved another piece of artwork from the next generation.

Mother’s Day 2017

Eat the Ice Cream copy
Happy Mother’s Day.
Sometimes we spend a lot of energy avoiding things. Relationships, activities, foods we enjoy. After a while, it seems that life is somehow passing us by. I would like to take a moment to encourage us all to re-channel our energy into building things up in our lives. A random act of kindness goes a long way. A walk offers an opportunity to appreciate the neighbor’s rose garden, or the clouds, or the mountains. A warm cup of coffee on a cold morning, or a cold drink on a hot afternoon can be a simple pleasure.
It’s important, I think, to focus on reasons to be thankful and to indulge in life’s simple gifts. So I offer a couple of well-worn phrases to help us remember to appreciate these reasons and gifts:
Stop and smell the flowers.
Eat the ice cream.
P.S. Artwork in this design is adapted from a picture by my granddaughter. I love working with the grandchildren’s art. I never know how it’s going to turn out.

Calico Cat

Calico CatMy granddaughter had colored a patchwork heart on a piece of printer paper. I took a photo so I could work with it. At first, I thought something with repetition, and tried a pair of hearts. Then I tried making a third smaller one and nested them, large, middle, small. As I gazed at the color pattern, the word, calico came to mind. And here they are, my granddaughter’s heart, and the Calico Cat her artwork inspired. There is a lot of pink, because my granddaughter is very fond of pink.