from Elsah Cort....
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Collage is the medium I celebrate and immerse myself in, as an artist–for my work, and my life. Everything seems to want to try to synergize with something else. About twenty years ago, I started cutting images and phrases from magazines, and produced my first individual collages into small blank cards. I called the cards the “it could be art” series. Embracing the title of artist found reluctance in me, but art itself has never abandoned me, no matter what resistance I have felt for it. Art is a part of every moment, whether we can see it or not. Art is the natural expression of a human be-ing.
I love to make mandalas, using watercolor pencils, acrylic on canvas or digitally with multiple layering via photoshop. I have been making mandalas as a meditative art practice for over thirty years. For many years, I defined the word mandala as a "sacred circle". The word mandala takes its name from the ancient language of Sanskrit marrying two words— manda, which means “essence” and la for "container"—mandala as a container of essence, just like art itself or a human being.
One day when I was looking for a name for my artwork collection, I opened the book, Living Buddha, Living Christ by Thich Nhat Hanh, to the page that described the Sanskrit word parayana, meaning “The Other Shore” and I said yes, this is it. The Other Shore “…represents the realm of no-birth, no-death, and no suffering…We cannot talk about it, we cannot conceive it…The true teaching is that the other shore is this very shore…”
I live and work in Three Rivers, California, the entrance to Sequoia National Park.
"Tapestry of the Self" self portrait digital collage © Elsah Cort