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“Undeniable” by Vikki Reed

The three of you that follow my blog are familiar with my recent struggles.  The mandalas and their stories speak of loss, grief, crippling self-doubt, paralyzing fear and deep disenchantment.

When I left my career in 1989 to be a full-time artist, I was young (relatively speaking) and had full faith I could make it, as well as the energy to do whatever it would take to make it so.  I did street shows and festivals, applied to galleries, painted, promoted, dreamed and achieved.  I entered shows, won awards and planned a lifetime of escalating levels of artistic achievement.

Now in 2015 as I begin again (I’ll let you read in previous posts why that would be so), I find that I no longer believe in my dream.  My advanced age has me contemplating how I will finance the rest of my life on the sketchy, (hah!) sporadic income that the artist’s life provides.  Not that I don’t know plenty of folks who have made it, navigated the world of creating, marketing and sales successfully, I just haven’t ever quite figured it out and I judge myself quite harshly for failing to do so.

“So, What Now?”

The angst is subsiding as I agree to go back to school, in search of a “real job” to support my mandala/art habit.  The other positive development is that I have committed to sketching every day, in the quest to redevelop my very rusty drawing skills.  I notice as I work how resistant I have become to experimenting, creating anything less than salable art.

Patio Sketch 9-6-15

Patio Sketch 9-6-15

The sketching is providing great freedom to take risks.  The little mandalas on the other hand, just always seem to take me by the hand and provide a magical experience.  Today’s piece, “Undeniable” is no exception.  The way the lines come together, the development of the piece is an absolute mystery to me.  I don’t know exactly how to describe what is happening but this mandala seems to be a combination of energy generator, neutralizer and transformer, reorganizing chaos into beautiful order.

Wherever the quest to understand what I am to “be” now takes me, I know that in addition, I am unquestionably and undeniably, also always an artist.

Filed under: Creative Living, Healing Art, Loss, Mandalas

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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