A Bridge Between Two Worlds Interview

Mandala artist  Marlene Lee (K'iali) interviews mandala artist Sandra Joran (Sheba Blitz)

Sandra Joran is a mandala artist, creating hand-painted mandalas in mixed media in Real Life (RL). She also exhibits mandalas in the virtual world called Second Life (SL), here her avatar name is Sheba Blitz. Recently another SL artist K’iali  did a short interview with Sheba which is reprinted below. The images associated with the questions and answers are all screen shots of Sheba’s SL creations, the mandalas on the SL gallery walls are imported (uploaded) from scans of her original RL mandalas. The hanging Dream Catchers are created in SL with the original mandala texture applied to them. These rotate slowly and engagingly in the dynamic SL environment.

Sandra – Sheba finds the RL mixed-media mandala painting process  and the virtual computer world of SL mutually complementary, a setu which she crosses daily with ease. Each creative world has satisfying aspects which the other does not offer.

Sheba Blitz is an Australian artist who creates mandalas. In the smallest room of Gallery 24 Sheba explains that  "A mandala is an ancient and sacred symbol of the universe. Classically in the form of a circle (the Cosmos) enclosing a square (Earthbound matter) . . ."

Following is an interview with Sheba and how she develops her mandala art.

Sheba: What kind of artist are you? and what medium do you work in?

Sandra: I am a Mandala Artist. I work in mixed media on canvas and paper. I paint my mandalas with gouache, acrylics and metallic paints.

Sheba: What is your process? Do you work from photos? Do you work from life? How do you approach your art?

Sandra: I get ideas from music, books, astrology and tarot symbolism or whatever I'm into at the time. I sketch the idea out in my art diary first and when I'm happy with the result I draw it accurately onto my final surface. I then begin to paint and just let it happen.

Sheba: Did you have any formal training in art? If so, what university? If not did you take workshops or learned from books?

Sandra: Yes I did a Drafting Course at a college in Sydney Australia, when I left school. I then did a Commercial Art Course and a Diploma of Arts from Melbourne, Australia.

Sheba: What is your earliest experience with art that you remembered that mark your path into becoming an artist?

Sandra: Colouring in the Sunday papers when I was 10 years old. Then winning first prize at school for a design I did, the prize was a book about Picasso.

Sheba: Who influenced you to be an artist? A family member, a teacher?

Sandra: No one I remember. I just always enjoyed being creative, painting and making art, much more than anything else.

Sheba: What is your reason to exhibit in Second Life? and what is your experience had been? Any positive or negative. And has exhibiting in SL affected your RL art?

Sandra: I didn't come into SL to exhibit my artworks as I didn't know much about virtual worlds and what could be accomplished inworld. But being an artist in RL it was a natural path to follow and to seek out fellow artists in the virtual. I started going to exhibitions and art openings and buying artworks from artists from around the world. It was fantastic! I was then asked to exhibit my own work, which I did. My experience has been wonderful, and I love being part of the art world in SL.
The images below are of Sandra’s RL one-off hand-painted mandalas.
 Fig.1 Indian Rhythms Mandala

 Fig. 2 Buddhist Lotus Mandala

Fig. 3 Lila Mandala

Fig. 4 Sri Yantra Mandala

Fig. 5 Journey Mandala

Fig. 6 Medieval Mandala