Saturday, May 10, 2008


In one of my Yahoo groups we are making sand paintings based on Mary Todd Beam's book "Celebrate Your Creative Self". In this lesson you take sand and mix it with gesso, mix it with glue, paint it ect. I had some colored sand but the sand was not the color I wanted so I added ink to some, and arcylic paint to get almost the colors I wanted. I am sure no mixologist in that department. I sketched out my basic pattern on to sticky shelf paper, sketched it again and cut out the parts I needed cut out. This project took a few days to complete, so I could let the layers dry in between.

Did you know that originally the Navajo shamans were the only ones to do sand painting? They didn't use glue, as these were temporary painting created for use in healing ceremonies, and were destroyed after the ritual. I prefer to see the wind blowing the painting away at the end of such ceremony.
Sand painting are made in other parts of the world also, places like Tibet but the Navajo are the most well known. If you are not a Navajo, you really can't and should not create Navajo sand paintings as it is a sort of breech on their religion.
But we create similarly unique works of art for enjoyment and some do it for specific ritual purposes.

Here is my finished piece. I think I will call it "Harmony" that is the word that comes to my mind. My photo does not do it justice, I sux at photography.

I tried scratching the designs into the sand but alas I waited to long. So what to do? Paint of course, I took my tiny brush and started just painting the elements. This canvas is a 5 x5 to give you an idea of size. I decided to add a little glitz by putting on some sticky foil glue, again waiting for it to set up and applied some of Amy's Magic Foil. Then had to put a gem on it of course! I love glitz in the right places. I am please with this piece. I may just do another sand painting because as usual I tend to stray away for the lesson!

*Note- you can make your own "sand" if you don't have any handy. You can use salt and simply dye it. You can dye it with food coloring. You just have to remember not to make it too wet, mix thoroughly and let it dry (the hardest part). You can also use inks, my favorite for dying stuff is Posh Impressions Ink. If you are the more industrious type you can crush small pebbles or shell to make your sand. But to me just going out in the yard is an option. I suppose if I wanted to create a specific "ritual" I would go to the trouble of crushing stones, pebbles and shells.