comment 0

Out of Line


There has been a great deal of shifting and changing occurring.  I see the image of a giant sifter, lots of things passing through, with a few larger, undesirable chunks left behind.

It has been a time of particularly uncomfortable self scrutiny as I measure how I fit in today’s world, feeling much like an Andy-of-Mayberry “Sarah, ring the filling station for me!” phone, as compared to an Apple Watch.

Mandalas help me process and so I began this small piece on grey paper.  I love the way that line collects and weaves itself together to form design and pattern.  I’m grateful that it can make sense of what mystifies and overwhelms me.  This entire piece was created from nothing but lines, with pen, pencil and marker, hence the title “Out of Line”.  Yes, I love words too, and how the meaning can blur and blend, intimating different messages in different circumstances.

I have always relied on lines to contain my images, and certain basic rules to define my life, but it seems now like all of that is changing.  I am learning that life is not as I have thought it to be and at the same time taking classes with a teacher who asks me to paint first and add lines later…maybe.


“Regrets” shows this style, and although I am somewhat pleased with the eventual result, I found it BEYOND challenging to step out into the visual unknown without a line to lead me.  This is not new and I am receiving the message repeatedly that it is time to let the lines go, see Whispers of the Goddess.    I still seem to feel a need to see my vision defined externally before I can render it.  Dissolving this pattern has been experienced as quite the struggle, and I am ready to let that go as well.

For the next assignment, we were asked to see what an already painted canvas suggested to us visually,  and then to “sculpt it out”, much as Michelangelo (allegedly) saw the angel within the marble and then set out to free it.

I didn’t so much “see” the cat as know it was in there, so I was able to allow it to take shape, to a certain point, and then I was stymied by the need to see reference material so I could find my way to the completion of it, again reaching outside myself for permission to express.  I did find what I was looking for and “Turquoise Kitty” feels successful to me.


My journey into the uncharted and unlined territory will continue, and when I need comfort and security, I will always return to the mandalas and soothing gift of line.

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

About the Author

Posted by

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.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s