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 13
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 (firstname.lastname@example.org). I’ll gladly write you back.
Sending you all love and light,
I LIVE A LIFE OF COLOURS- ARTIST ALINA PRODAN TALKING ABOUT COLOURS OF CHILDHOOD AND THEIR IMPACT ON HER ART 2
Today I would like to introduce you to an astonishing artist whose work has never failed to amaze me every time I come across her amazing creations.
I love Alina Prodan not only for what she paints. I love her because she only speaks with her heart, and there is this humble kindness and warmth in her words that always makes me feel I'm with friends, that I'm at home.
The most beautiful thing she said to me was: "I wish we could also publish a few words in Romanian just for my mother, so she can read about me". And so I write:
Mama, aveti o fiica minunata, cu un har ceresc, si o inima de aur. Va felicit ca ati crescut un copil atat de bun si de inzestrat si mi-ati daruit o prietena cum rar se pot intalni intr-o viata. Imbratisari cu drag. (Mother, you have a wonderful daughter, with a gift from God and a heart made of gold. I want to congratulate you for raising a child so good and talented, and for giving me the rare opportunity to make such a great friend in my lifetime)
I hope you enjoy the story Alina wanted to talk about: the colours of her childhood and how they reflect in her art.
Yours, Christine Onward
Each season in the village had its own unique glory, its own colours, smells and emotions attached; but it is the autumn colours that I carry with me all the time, their spectacular brightness and the multitude of colours everywhere around us.
My village colours had an enormous impact on who I grew up to be. Even now, the colours I choose for my mandalas come from those beautiful memories of autumn falling on us, the fields, the forests, the sky, or the clouds above us.
I’ve been painting since I was born. Most of my painting happened in my mind though, because I never had the courage to actually do it. I did enjoy watching art, visit museums, art galleries. That was all the art I would dare to involve myself into…All these until 2 years ago when I took up painting mandalas on rocks and canvas.
For the last two years I have been painting mostly at night and during the weekends when I’m free from work. I love listening to music before and during painting. I like listening to Debussy – Arabesque and light incenses as part of my painting therapy. They help me calm down the noise of my thoughts and breathe again.
What astonishes me the most is how a colour can have such a powerful impact on us.
When I paint, my colour choices are influenced by my general mood to a great extent. I also consider the combinations of colours that are pleasing to the eye. The details of my designs are very elaborate, therefore every little line, every dot I lay has to be perfect. And all these because the energies I gather within my work have to spread charm, harmony and beauty to each and every one of you.
The stories are endless when it comes to colours and my art of cirlcles and dots. But I could sum them up in just these words: I LIVE A LIFE OF COLOURS. And you?