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“Free Spirit Mandala” – Prologue

The mandala muse has spoken, the new piece shall be…”Free Spirit Mandala”.  As usual, the concepts rolled around for awhile, I first thought  “Breaking Free” and then “Finding Freedom”, but it was actually after reading a post from that I heard “free spirit”! 

This concept is completely foreign to me, I have been over-responsible since I was a child.  Miss Lena’s life and mine contrast like eggs benedict and plain (cold, leftover) oatmeal.  The last four years have been even more responsibility-filled as I managed my father’s care through dementia and took over his many business pursuits.  Still, the die was cast at a young age and I barely noticed the yoke being placed upon my shoulders.  I have a condition which I have recently diagnosed as “PlayDD” or Play Deficit Disorder. 

People say to me, “relax!”, “just take it easy”, “chill”, “go do something fun”…and I know and feel the wisdom of their advice, but how to implement is another matter.  I have lived my life according to my “to-do list”, not my heart’s yearning.  To know the “Free Spirit Mandala” is coming forth is an overdue, exciting, wonderful, yet at the same time unsettling and mystifying prospect.  I feel ready, yet the images and/or symbols are not revealing themselves to me as yet.

It seemed unthinkable to me to write a post without an accompanying image, yet that is most authentically where I am right now.  I am very impatient to “see” and “feel” this mandala taking physical form.  I felt I had seen the center of the piece when my cousin Mark posted a photo from his sailboat, featuring his lovely wife Vicki relaxing while savoring a magnificent sunset.  Mark and Vicki sail to the most spectacular places on earth, lapping up every bit of enjoyment available, like thirsty kittens, embodying free spirits.  My attempts so far to render that image are, um,  inadequate…(to be polite).

I write this in hopes that once the words have been expressed, my mind can settle and the images will come forth.  But what if they don’t?  Right now I have all the self-confidence of a trapeze artist with poor depth perception.  Fortunately, I have journeyed with the mandalas long enough to know that they have their own wisdom and direction.  My only assignment is to show up, pay attention, paint what feels true and let go of the outcome.



Filed under: Dementia Tolerance, Healing Art

About the Author

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As a Phoenix native, Vikki Reed's vibrant watercolors of desert botanicals evolved from her love and appreciation of the desert's ability to produce tender beauty in the midst of harsh conditions. The mandala series which began in 2004 resurrects a childhood knowledge that mandalas are a primordial tool for centering and healing. Vikki studied in the 1980s with watercolor greats Irving Shapiro and Paul Kuo, and began exhibiting at the outdoor shows in Arizona, Nevada and New Mexico after Paul's encouragement. This led to gallery representation with the Wickenburg Gallery and Work of Artist's Gallery. Vikki also exhibited at the Celebration of Fine Art for eight years. Before taking sabbatical to act as caregiver for her father in 2010, Vikki was featured in a one woman show at the Northern Trust Bank in January 2008 and was selected to create an ornament for the White House Christmas Tree that same year. Vikki's current focus, the Mandala Series, combines ancient symbolism and the healing power of color.

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