Behind the Work

By Carla

"It has been my experience, the first question people ask of an artist is, "what do you paint?". My abrupt answer is, "everything!". When an individual has confidence in drawing skills, possibilities are endless.

The second question is usually, "where do you get your ideas?". I don't have a short answer for this. It is simply and humbly a gift. As a spiritual human female, inspiration often comes in time of quiet reflection and openness. Influence, too, emerges through reading and exposing myself to other forms of artistic disciplines such as music, dance, etc.. (I remember watching one particular performance of "The Nutcracker" and being so inspired by the color combination of swirling costumes, I was trying frantically to take notes in the dark!)

Execution of these works comes with years of study, training, and experimentation, plus learning how to break the "rules". All in all, the most important element in my creative process is following that inner voice that leads all of us to better paths than we imagined. And, the guts to trail where it leads; hopefully, dancing the funky chicken, laughing at ourselves, and noticing the tiny, amazing creations along the way."


The word "mandala" comes from the ancient Sandskrit language, using "manda" (essence) and "la" (of) for "of essence". Mandalas represent a complete cycle and are considered "sacred ground". A common example of this may be seen in the four seasons where the earth goes from spring to spring. Mandalas can portray a period if time, a cycle of emotion or experience, and most often, a spiritual journey. They are found in most all religions. The Native American Medicine Wheel and the "Rose Window" at Chartres Cathedral in France are fine examples. This form of expression is a wonderful way to meditate visually.

Carla's mandalas are created within a period of time reflecting and listening to the spirit. She calls this "listening prayer". Unlike some of her work, there is no preplanning involved. The creation evolves as she listens to that inner voice using images from her observations at that time. Different media is used as suggested by the work. Mandalas can be completed in weeks or months or years.

"Mother God in Eire" : Reflecting on the feminine attributes of God at the Grunewald Guild in a two week period, then completing the form upon returning from a pilgrimmage to Ireland.