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Learning to Love Grey


I’ve never been a big fan of grey…color is my muse, black and white is cool, but grey?  Boring, neutral, non-committal, not included in my palette, in art, or really, much in life.

I always had strong opinions, even though some of what I believe has changed over time, I hold what I currently believe to be true with great tenacity.  It has been shocking to me to see that MANY others do not believe as I do, but rather, hold opposing views that I judge as absolutely abhorrent; acts of hate, perpetuation of inequality, devaluing human life, careless misuse of Mother Earth.

Times of challenge are always eased when I retreat to the studio and create.  When in doubt, doodle…and just having taken a class from the marvelous artist Kathi Hofferth, I chose some grey paper,  and set out with black marker and pencil, white marker and pencil, and what you cannot see is the addition of the silver foil!  As I created, the heart inserted itself firmly in the center, peace symbol surrounding, and yin and yang were added (the balance of dark and light), along with spirals and what appear to me to be exclamation points.

Reflecting on what seems to be a time of unprecedented polarity, I find there is a place, even a need for grey.  To hold positions with such ferocity increases the illusions of distance and cements disagreements in place.

From Mike Dooley of

Actually, Vikki, everyone is reasonable.

They just have their own reasons.

And usually it’s worth trying to learn what they are to maximize chances of a full-blown, 60’s style, psychedelic lovefest. Which is always a good thing.

Groovy you,
The Universe

So I played with the grey and the mandala energy gave me something beautiful.  I realize that I spend lots of time trying to keep things stable and comfortable, when in these times,  the ability to embrace change moment to moment is much more valuable.  The image of a dog with its head out of the window in a speeding car comes to mind…why do they love that?  Wind in their eyes and fur, tongue hanging out, not what I would choose, but can I learn to appreciate it?  I AM learning to love grey.

Filed under: Healing Art, Mandalas, Polarities, Tolerance, Yin and Yang

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.


  1. What a beautiful metaphor Vikki. I had not thought of gray in this way, but you have given it new depth! Thanks for mentioning the peace sign… I had to go back and look for it! So obvious once you see it.., but blended in with all it was transparent! Love it!

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