About The Artist

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Albuquerque, New Mexico, United States
Hello! I am a fine arts painter, with a BFA from The School of the Art Institute of Chicago. My primary painting medium is oil and alkyd, and mostly I work in a representational style. My greatest challenge as a painter is to capture the effect of light; and my greatest joy as a painter is to accomplish that. Many thanks to those readers who have been following this blog since Day 1 (May 19, 2008). To those who are visiting for the first time today...Welcome, and thanks for dropping by!

Monday, November 10, 2008

Introducing....Ralph Davis

Rainbow Healing Mandala
by Ralph Davis
14" diameter• NFS
Photo by Carol Adamec

This past weekend I went with friends up to Ojo Caliente, NM, with a return trip through Santa Fe to visit the New Mexico Museum. I had taken photos of the beautiful views we enjoyed, a gigantic juniper tree we crawled over basalt rocks to see, and some fun pix of oddities in Santa Fe. Then, alas! I left my jump drive at home with all the pictures on it. (I do this blog at my studio.)

So, I am taking today to introduce you to the woven mandalas of my friend Ralph Davis, whose lineage is Navajo and Choctaw. Ralph is a member of the Rainbow Spirit Healing Navajo clan, and his mandalas incorporate a gradation of the rainbow's color: from red to orange to yellow to green to blue to purple.

Mandala is a Sanskrit word meaning "sacred circle" and an appropriate context for the many sacred and symbolic forms and colors Ralph uses in composing his work. For instance, the "face" in the center is composed of the sacred corn plant, lightning symbols, and raindrops shown as dots arching over the "brow" area. (To peoples of the desert, rain is always a blessing!) The red-orange-yellow ray forms can be interpreted as the sun's rays or flower petals. The outer edges of the mandala represent the flat top mesas of the Southwest (Navajo land occupies territory in New Mexico, Arizona, Utah, and Colorado.) The golden cords hanging down are the dancing braids worn for ceremonies.

Ralph uses simple materials—wood, dowels, acrylic paints, and yarn—yet achieves stunning variety and beauty in each mandala he creates. To receive the full "blessing" of a mandala, Ralph advises that it be hung on an east wall; and it does seem to just look "right" when so installed.

Thanks for taking a moment to visit my blogsite. Have a blessed day and see you Thursday.
Text and image ©Carol Adamec 2008. All rights reserved.


Flying Colors said...

I just really enjoy coming here and reading and seeing this wonderful work.

Thanks for posting Carol :) Hugs...

Paula Manning-Lewis said...

This is cool, thanks for posting! I have always had a place in my heart for mandalas!

Also, hope to see you Thursday at the Alyson Stanfield book signing, here at the gallery. We still need to talk about a show of your work too! :)