Acclaimed Pacific Northwest artist, Heather Taylor, is currently preparing her one-woman exhibit, which opens on Friday, December 2nd from 7 pm to midnight, at Mystic Journey Bookstore in Venice, California. The show will run through the months of December and January. A native of Oregon and a longtime resident of Washington, she has created and sold artwork in the northwest for many years. This will be Ms. Taylor’s first exhibit in Southern California.
With a degree in Art History and Applied Art from Olympia’s renowned Evergreen State College, as well as a B.S. in Psychology (combining two of her main interests), the artist is comfortable in many media, including watercolors, gouache, acrylics, pastels and other, perhaps less traditional tools, including indelible ink pens. In addition to several original pieces, there will be a variety of prints and giclees available at the local exhibit. “Mystic Journey seems like an ideal place for my particular work,” says Taylor. “I focus on the energy behind the form, the divinity within humanity.
This exploration is a mystic journey into the self. Also, I am just completing a children’s book and plan to bring some of the illustrations with me to Mystic Journey. “I was raised in a family that valued diversity—both creative and spiritual. We didn’t have a designated faith, nor did we attend any particular church but rather a wide variety of religious and cultural events. One of the most spectacular was a Sun Dance, held by American Indians. Looking back, I marvel at how honored we were to have been allowed to witness such a sacred tradition. We entered different faith communities and were always accepted.
This was a great lesson in tolerance and inclusion that set the precedent for continued study in college and afterward in comparative religion, philosophy, shamanism, and different socio-cultural aspects which infuse my work. This inclusiveness is the touchstone of my belief and my art. “My twin sister and I were exposed to many different religious beliefs, so that we could discover our own beliefs. It was a great way to be brought up.” In college, Ms. Taylor became fascinated with sacred geometry and what she perceived to be cross-cultural constants – the things that are true in all faiths and all human experience. “I sensed that because these were universal truths, they were powerful. These nexus of truth continue to intrigue me today, working themselves out through my art. They bring us together.”
Just prior to 9-11, Ms. Taylor wrote a children’s book, “Love Is A Circle,” a story of the human family. She is completing the illustrations now, focusing on the timing of 11-11 to come full circle from destruction to creation. This project combines her love of children (she has three sons) with the spiritual aspects of sacred geometry and multicultural traditions. “I have produced quite a lot of art for children,” she says, “as well as commissioned works for hospitals, clinics, schools, government and private collections, much of which was nature-themed. I did that for many years following graduation. I began concentrating on the mandalas ten years ago and find that they are a powerful way to both center myself and find common ground with others. Of course, I still produce nature art and other projects, but even the book I’m working on now revolves around mandalas.
It is illustrated with sacred geometry, a universal truth bound into the fiber of creation.” Despite her success doing commissioned pieces, Ms. Taylor always felt drawn to mandalas, even before she fully understood their significance. To see examples of Heather Taylor’s pieces (example pictured, right) and to learn more about her mandalas, go to www.fullcirclemandalas.com. Mystic Journey is located at 1319 Abbot Kinney Boulevard, Venice 90291. Phone (310) 399-7070. In addition to the exhibit at Mystic Journey Bookstore, Ms. Taylor will be conducting a workshop from 11 am to 1 pm on Sunday, December 4th, in Studio City. This workshop will incorporate meditation, instruction in the creation of mandalas and finally, artwork resulting from those instructions. The fee for this two-hour class is $35 for participants and includes materials. Class size is limited to 10 participants and five observers (observers will be charged $30 each). For further information and to reserve your space in the workshop, call (818) 963-5365.