Embracing life in meaningful ways - exceptional artist LIONA HOTTA talking about her artistic journey and the launch of an exciting new on-line learning opportunity 7
Today's article will take you on a journey into the life of a once rebel "undisciplined" child who grew up to be an exceptional mandala artist praised for her talent all around the word.
As you all know, Liona Hotta's extraordinary art distinguishes itself from others' for its sensual explosion of colours, perfection of shapes, and the vibrant positive energy it contains. I hope you enjoy seeing part of her creations depicted in marvelous photographs throughout the article.
How Liona started this amazingly inspiring career not only as a painter, but also as a musician, here is for you to find out.
Who is Liona Hotta and how did she grow up to be the artist she is today?
I like to think of myself as a person who wants to express herself through multiple forms of art.
Since very young I loved singing, painting and dancing. These arts were very present in our home, and although we were growing up in a demanding agricultural community, all members of my family were or are still practicing some form of art. It’s no wonder that I ended up marrying an artist (photographer) and now we share the love for that art too.
Artist LIONA HOTTA (photo credit to photographer Tomoyuki Hotta)
As a little girl I was a rebel. Since I was a non-diagnosed dyslexic, I had to go through hard times being called a brilliant but undisciplined child.
I continue to be very untidy and unorganized. I always listen to my feelings more than my brain. Time has taught me though that I needn't apologize for my carelessness and better continue to listen to my heart.
This coming June I will be celebrating my 50th birthday and I am truly happy with who I have become and with what I do.
Apart from painting I also perform as a singer. I am blessed with the companion of a number of talented artists who play with me in our concerts.
Over the last 3 years our band, Liona & Serena Strings has been immersing in a Sephardic music project, with which we traveled and performed all over Spain, in so many beautiful locations and theaters. This year we also had the pleasure and honor to travel and perform concerts in India (Kolkata, Delhi, Goa) and North Macedonia.
Liona and Serena Strings music band | Youtube | Website | (photo credit to Tomoyuki Hotta)
With such a busy singing career, and having to travel such long distances, how did you actually find time to start painting on rocks?
My romance with stone painting started when I was hosting intuitive vocal workshops.
I was looking for a way to make little personal presents for my students who were about to finish a course I was teaching. I decided to search for ideas on the magic internet and this is when I fell in love with mandala painting on little stones.
Has life changed for you in any ways since you started painting?
It did change tremendously.
At the beginning I was only painting at night. I immediately noticed that my sleep was improving as I was falling into it easily and peacefully.
Later, as I was making mandala-dotting part of my daily routine, I could see how it was also helping me relax and center.
At first I was just counting dots. This came to me as a natural habit that originated in the need to assure symmetry while painting (I discovered I loved symmetry).
Soon I realized I was thinking of absolutely nothing while dotting - my mind was quiet for long minutes. It became my only meditation habit (oh, I’m such a restless person I could never sit and meditate like everyone else).
Later I began listening to music, practiced guided meditations and affirmations while painting. Pretty soon I noticed how my whole life was changing - I felt more centered, calm, and able to better handle life’s hassle and challenges. Today I can actually sit down and meditate like the rest of the people... what a joy!
Starting with the 1st of December I hear you are launching a series of courses on-line about dotting mandalas with a brush. Tell us more about this upcoming event.
My most recent project is the online course “How to dot your mandala with a BRUSH"
A while ago I realized that the international dotting community is divided into those who dot with dotting tools and those who dot with brushes (and lately there is a third group rising of cone dotters).
Somehow there is (in my opinion) a misconception about brush dotting that it is hard, complicated or “reserved” for the “more capable” artists.
Firstly, I don’t think it matters what we create art with: dotting tools, brushes, sticks, fingers.. art is art.
Secondly - it's all but wrong - dotting with a brush is easy. It’s a technique, you learn, you practice and you do it (just like about anything else in life).
This course is built to take you by the hand and step by step help you understand, practice, get confident and apply this technique. And I do not offer it as a replacement for dotting tools, but as an additional enriching way to add to your backpack of possibilities.
This is a 4 weeks course, with lessons dropping once a week, beginning with December 1st. All materials of the course are permanently available to signed up users. You will be provided with access to an only-member Facebook group for this course"s participants. We will have Q&A live sessions once a week during the course, and from time to time afterwards, when needed and required by the group members.
I have opened enrollment pre-sale of this course (follow link HERE) .
There is also an early bird price offer which will be kept open until Monday, November 18th. The course will begin on December 1st and last date to sign up is November 30th.
All details are in the course sales page. Please email me if you any have further questions in case I missed any of them on my social media (email@example.com). I’ll gladly write you back.
Sending you all love and light,
THE IMPERFECTLY PERFECT IN ART- Sussi Louise Smith talking about growth, colours, and passions of life 7
If I was only allowed to use one word to describe Sussi Louise's art, it would be the word INSPIRING. There are a thousand other words in my heart to use, of course (happy, bright, cheerful, unique, moving, ...) but it does seem to me that INSPIRING includes them all. That is because every time I see Sussi's works, I want to be like her: I want to be a ray of sunshine, despite all the rain; I want to be a song of colours, and I want to give others smiles, just like she does.
Today my greatest hope is that you feel inspired by Sussi's sparkling personality and her extraordinary artwork too. And when you do, allow your heart a smile. She painted it for YOU.
The wonderful Sussi:
"I have been painting and illustrating for almost 30 years.
I developed this particular style through a dream I had while I was expecting my first baby.
I have synaesthesia, which, to a certain extent, means "a mixing of the senses". For me it means that I read really fast and in vibrations; that's why I worked in academia for many many years.
For my art however it is extra special because sounds have colours and colours have sounds and emotions. My energy has colours and vibration, my emotions can have light and smells. It may sound weird, but it makes total sense. Really, it does!
"Reading in wintertime is like having chocolate after a long walk". Find these rocks at The Grove Bookshop Ilkley where Sussi is campaigning for the encouragement of children to read more
Synaesthesia also means that I am very sensitive to signals and energy therefore these are what I usually paint.
I have a saying that my soul paints through my musical heart and hands. And very often, this is true: I look at things I have painted and I think: "Wauaw that is nice, I wish I could paint like that!"
I paint because my soul tells me to, but really, I am a writer and a helper. For now I just happen to write in colours.
I believe that I can make a difference by caring. I care: I care about you. Me. The ecosystem and the wind. I am a lover not a hater.
When I was caring for my dying parents and my husband with cancer (he is still with us, thank God), I found out that by painting next to them they felt happier. And in the hospitals and hospices other patients felt the same.
Colours and shapes for happy times. Original design by Sussi Louise Smith | Facebook | Instagram | Website |
I started to exhibit in medical practices. They would contact me and I would ask what they were specialising in. Based on that, I would then tune the artwork into that community of practice.
I also have a travelling mini-exhibition that helps people who need a smile and dream themselves in my worlds for a while. They can have the paintings on their walls for up to six months.
Something very important about me is that about three years ago I made a pledge to the Action for Happiness Organisation: to paint for smiles and not because I want to get rich (not that I wouldn't like to have some more money). Just to let things flow out of my hands and hear what the heart has to say.
In this way my hashtag #sussishappyartproject has reached from Hawaii to Australia, from Iceland to South Africa and from young children to 97 year olds. I have painted pebbles for gravestones and Christening. I write stories for autistic children and grown-ups with depression. If that's not being blessed I don't know what is.
I have lots of training as an artist but no formal education, apart from a year in college, when I was 22 and I was studying to be a teacher. I have taken courses in all kinds of styles and techniques. However, for me my truest voice is the Naïvism. It's where I feel the light at its brightest.
The main mediums I use are watercolour and acrylics on paper and canvas. I also paint on stones and walls, porcelain, and fabrics; basically anything.
For some reason my stone stories are very popular and I really appreciate this. Clients tell me a story about themselves or the person they love. Sometimes they send me pictures and I proceed with painting their story on a stone. And that is such a beautiful honour for me. The grace and divine love they show for their loved ones and the fact that they entrust me with painting it really make me the luckiest girl alive!
The personal expression of my art is so true, so raw, so deep. And it is eternally grateful. So who cares if my rocks are not perfect?
They are IMPERFECTLY PERFECT " :
If you enjoyed her story, do follow Sussi on Instagram HERE. You will experience the fun, the colours, the warmth of all she does, GUARANTEED.
Sussi and I are welcoming your comments in the section below. Also you can make inquiries or add info on: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Glimpse into a life of art and self-challenge, artist Pamela Campbell talking about how yoga and rock painting became part of her life 0“I feel that I need both painting and yoga to become better “
- Christine Onward
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Story of my painted rock - visiting the land of Turquoise 0
Stones are like treasure chests. They capture inside the purity of the universe, the power of waves, whirling winds, and roughness of sand. We only add our story, with colours, brushes and no words – just love.
This is a story of how and where I painted this rock. Hope you enjoy.
A Visit to Italy - The Amazing Marilena Sostero Talking about Her Passion for Creating Art on Rocks 1
A beautiful day in Ancona, Italy. Photo by artist Marilena Sostero
Greetings to everyone from Italy!
My name is Marilena Sostero and I live in a beautiful city by the sea, called Ancona.
For many years I have passionately painted using oil techniques. I also loved making portraits in crayons and charcoal. Later I approached the art of rock painting, with much love and fun.
The most exciting thing about rock painting is how you can change a stone or a little pebble found by chance, into a small artwork that so many people love!
I love to find rocks in the shape of a cottage or a mushroom, which nobody appreciates , and turn them into beautiful pieces of art.
Saluti a tutti dall'Italia!
Mixed media by Marilena Sostero | I sassi di Marilena | Instagram | for sale Here
My great passion is to paint stones of every form, but my true love is to reproduce the ancient houses with the flowers lurking on the walls. I love to create these houses without painting the walls with colours, but using only shadows to create the depth. Then I add the flowers and trunks that climb around the windows with synthetic paste. I do not draw almost anything in pencil, but I rely on the brush using black colour to letting my imagination carry me on.
Here is one of the works I never wanted to sell, because it embodies the best I want to achieve.
Artwork painted rock by Marilena Sostero | I sassi di Marilena | Instagram |
If I were to give a piece of advice to someone who has just started painting I would say:
Always observe with great attention all the beautiful things that are around us … and never miss the joy of creating, like any baby would do.
Se dovessi dare un consiglio a qualcuno che ha appena iniziato a dipingere, direi: Osservare sempre con grande attenzione tutte le cose belle che vediamo intorno a noi… e non perdere mai la gioia di creare come farebbe un bambino.
Painted rocks by Marilena Sostero | I sassi di Marilena | Instagram |
I would like to thank you all for your attention and wish you best of luck with your painting in the future.
My best regards and appreciation, Hugo and Marilena
Vorrei ringraziare tutti voi per la vostra attenzione e augurarvi buona fortuna con la vostra pittura in futuro.
I miei migliori saluti e apprezzamenti, Hugo e Marilena