Imagine. Create. Enjoy.
“Open to me, so that I may open. Provide me with your inspiration. So that I may see mine.” – Rumi
I believe in Synchronicity. I believe you get what you need when you need it most. I enjoy creating prayer flags and decided to continue the series. I knew I was on the right path when the Rumi quote crossed my Twitter feed. It was what I needed when I needed it.
This flag is larger in size than the others in the series. I knew the Artistcellar 12” x 12” Sanskrit Om was perfect for this design. Om is a “seed” mantra and is related to the Third Eye the Sixth chakra. Exploring this chakra, your energy to "see" clearly is heightened. The Third Eye renews our ability to view the world and ourselves with hope for the possibilities of life. Most importantly, your Third Eye is the window to experiencing the feelings of others from their perspective…to revive our ability to empathize with those we meet.
To keep the fabric taut while I worked I covered my poster board with a light coat of spray adhesive and positioned the flag. The weight of the fabric is great and shows the stenciling to its best advantage. I chose colours that symbolize the feeling of serenity and are uplifting to me. Once Om was dried I continued with the rest of the design.
Another advantage of working with Artistcellar stencils is the variety of sizes available. The bottom of the flag is filled with two sizes of the Seafoam stencil. I have been creating collage art on rocks, most recently at my local library. The shape of the stencil reminded me of those rocks and the inspiring quotes our group added to each one. The Halftone Dots added a punch of colour.
Now that the flag is complete it will hang with the others as a daily reminder of the spirit of Om. May we all be open to each other and share what inspires us most.
“Dwell on the beauty of life. Watch the stars, and see yourself running with them.” - Marcus Aurelius
Returning to my prayer flags seems especially timely. Viewing the events of the last few days has been emotionally exhausting. But a quiet place to reflect and dwell on the beauty around us is always found when I begin any art project. For my next flag I selected the Eternal Knot from the Artistcellar Tibet Series.
The interlacing design of the knot is found in many cultures. It represents the concept of duality and the search for the interweaving of qualities of wisdom and empathy, as well as femininity and masculinity. The ultimate objective is to acquire the necessary stability to allow us a clearer path to enlightenment.
I couldn’t wait to stat the project. This time I decided to use a heavier 100% cotton duck fabric. I wasn’t sure how the acrylics would work, but I was pleasantly surprised to see the results. The colours are vibrant and blend as I intended. The heavier weight also made the flag easier to adhere to the card I sprayed with adhesive.
To compliment the Knot I selected the Shooting Stars and Celestial stencils from the Artistcellar Arabian Nights series. What could be more inspiring than observing the sky at night? Working with various shades of blue and green, colours traditionally representing unity and balance, I enveloped the shooting stars with a grand blanket of the cosmos. The flag was finished with a selection of multicoloured Halftone Dots and Diamonds. As in life, it’s the compliment of colours that unites and enhances the entire composition.
I, as well as many of my friends, have experienced great dismay at the world events surrounding us. Sometimes we opt to step back as a way to make sense of the insanity. But there are moments when we need to make our voices heard. Beauty in life includes thoughts and actions. I choose to focus on the people who in my mind are the stars. They are the brave that shine. They speak their mind with wisdom and empathy. They are the stars I aspire to run with.
“Do not dwell in the past; do not dream of the future, concentrate the mind on the present moment.”
Could anything be more uplifting than seeing a row of decorated flags floating in the Spring breeze? I have long been captivated by the dynamics of fabric and wind. I get the same feeling of bliss seeing laundry hanging on a clothesline as I do when dancing with veils. The graceful movement of soft cloth echoing the direction a breeze is meditative for me…a way to slow down and become mindful.
Traditionally Tibetans believe in the power of decorated Prayer Flags. By hanging the flags along mountain tops in the Himalayas the prayers and mantras are blown by the wind to promote peace, compassion, strength, and wisdom. The wishes are not carried to the gods, but instead benefit all who are embraced by the wind. Subject to the elements, the Flags symbolically become part of the Universe, fading over time. New flags are hung beside the old; a sign of the ever changing wheel of life.
Inspired by the new Artistcellar Tibet Series I was ready to craft my own flag, the first of four I hope to create. As it is the colour of Air and Clouds I purchased white chiffon fabric. It is quite transparent and will easily float when caught by the wind.
To keep the fabric from slipping when stenciling, I used an old screen printing trick and sprayed a light coat of repositionable adhesive to a large piece of cardboard. It made acrylic application easy and if luck was with me I was hoping to remove the cloth with little damage. The top of the flag was the perfect spot for the Buddha Eyes, also known as the Wisdom Eyes, stencil. I chose shades of blue acrylic paint…the colours of sky and space…and a wonderful way to show the Lord’s existence around us.
Spring has certainly arrived with flowers blooming in their beds. It is here in the garden that I find complete serenity. Our bearded irises are now gloriously cloaked in a vast spectrum of lavender to deep purple. They share the garden, living side by side with pansies of yellow, orange, and violet. They, like the Flags, will eventually become part of the Universe as their blooms fade and die. Hoping to hold the memory of this moment, I stenciled the bottom half of the flag inspired by the flowers. The perfect stencil for a kaleidoscope of colour is the Halftone Dots series. Layered, they recreated the riot of colour on display in the garden.
Once dried, it was time for the moment of truth: the removal of the fabric from the cardboard. Just as I had hoped, it peeled off easily with very little distortion. I wasn’t sure if the acrylics would stiffen the chiffon. I am happy to say it was anything but. Even with multiple layers of paint, the finish is muted and sheer, almost dreamlike. And best of all, hanging from a dowel rod finished with wooden end caps, the stenciling on both sides is equally as nice.
Of all the wonderfully creative benefits Artistcellar products have to offer I especially love the way they encourage me to think, slow down, and become mindful. Now more than ever we need to surround ourselves with empathy, strength, peace, and above all wisdom. My hope is that wherever you may be, may the wind caress you and the serenity of my garden encircles you.