I create pressed flower mandalas and art and teach mandala coloring classes and workshops for healing, meditation and to increase personal growth and creativity in the Rogue Valley, Oregon area.
When I began my journey into this art form, I was experiencing a mid-life crisis that manifested in depression. As I started gathering and pressing flowers, leaves, even weeds, the life-affirming qualities of nature began to transform the depression into joy. Through my art and the classes I teach I want to share the miraculous beauty of nature and its ability to heal and connect us with a sense of hope and optimism.
I was trained as a counselor, receiving my Master's Degree from Antioch University in 1974. For twenty five years I worked in community colleges, teaching psychology and personal growth classes and counseling. At age 50, I enrolled in an Artist's Way class, and two things happened: I began creating pressed flower art and later began offering Artist's Way classes myself. Now I'm sharing the healing I've experienced with others, and watching them move from darkness into the light as their creative skills blossom is deeply rewarding.
Today I added the background mountains. It was challenging as I wanted them to look like the mountains that surround Issaquah, Wa. I am creating this peice for someone who lives there. The mountains are steep with alot of evergreen trees. I played with several designs before I came up with one that looked realistic. I was in Issaquah about two weeks ago so had a pretty fresh picture in my mind of what the mountains looked like. After adding the mountains I added some background greenery with different textures for what will become the garden. So the picture will rest for the evening and I will return tomorrow to start creating the garden and adding color.
It truly takes some much patience to work with pressed flowers. They are so delicate and involve many intricate processes and yet I just love working with the natural material. It feels good to hold the petals and leaves in my hands. For me I paint with the flowers.