Friday, March 26, 2010

A Letter out to the 1Mandala Database

Just finished writing this letter. Just for the heck of it, I will post here too:

Dear 1Mandala friends,

Great news! I am excited to announce that the 1Mandala has a fresh Statement
of Intention!

Since our last newsletter, twenty folks from Costa Rica, to Paris, to Vancouver, to Romania came together to set up the 1Mandala's foundation-- and in a whole new way: co-creatively.

Co-creatively we word by word revised and renewed the vision of the
1mandala project. Traditionally, this process takes an organization months of
debate and voting and argumentation. In two weeks, we have found full accord
through a magical and fluid collaboration.

Here it is!

"Our shared intention is to co-create a grand mandala of creative
portraits that reflects and celebrates the emerging oneness
consciousness on Earth"

This intention will be our guiding light as we continue and co-create
an "Intention Map" that lays out the course of our collective
manifesting of the 1mandala. This will include everything from the
goals, to the budget to the website plan that will make it happen. This co-creation has now

Does our intention resonate deeply with you? Does experiencing a
whole new processs of how humans can work together excite you? We're
on to it! Come check out what we are doing and see if there is a
place for your unique skills and energy.

Check out our Google Group to see how we are moving forward. The
group is open to anyone who chooses to join the co-creative process.

You'll be hearing more from us as the 1Mandala picks up momentum!


Wednesday, March 24, 2010


An upclose shot of the rose window mandala from the City Hall building or Paris's 1er Arrondisement

The last two weeks I have been working with a team of 24 people to co-create.

Yes, that word again. What does it mean exactly? Well, I am discovering that in 'normal' terms its a little like magic.

The Mission of a company or an institution is their most fundamental and intimately important statement there is. It sets the whole direction of everything the organization does. In normal planning, one would be crazy to open and entrust the formation of the mission statement to a bunch of strangers.

But that's what we just did!

I messaged the entire 3500 person database of the 1Mandala project and invited anybody to participate in a co-creative group. Anybody. In fact, I made a specific point not to invite anyone specifically. Twenty five people from Michigan to Romania, to Venuzuela, to Italy to Costa Rica joined in. I laid out the task at hand, the old version of mission statement (or as we call it the Statement of Intention) and opened it wide up for discussion, revision and change.

And... people jumped in. Over two weeks over 80 messages were exchanged over this one little sentence! A beautiful international cross-section of folks, in different languages discussed word after word, meaning after meaning. In the end we were refining gramatical constructs and prepositions to get it just right.

And we got! We did soooo much better than I ever could have alone, or for that, matter, faster and more efficiently than through a normal group voting process.

I know. I lead this exact process with a public gallery back in Canada. It took A YEAR of meetings to get mission statement. And if I can be so bold, it wasn't nearly as unaminous an accord nor as elegant and meaning-FULL sentence. Each word in our mission has been discussed and has a wealth of meaning beaneath it that adds to the depth and strength of our intention.

All in two weeks. Beautiful.

Here it is:

"Our shared intention is to co-create a grand mandala of creative
portraits that reflects and celebrates the emerging oneness
consciousness on Earth"

And now, I shake my head at the power of 25 people holding such a grand, focused and shared intention. An intention that implicit within is an openeness to gather more and more folks into the co-creative process that we just went through..

The 1Mandala Co-Creation Group:

Monday, March 22, 2010

At the Opera!

Now that's an evening we're not soon to forget! Abby and I got dressed up in the best cloths we could muster and headed down to Palais Garnier-- the Palace that has since the 1600's been the home of the Opera in Paris. What a place!

We saw Faust-- a rather deep and dark existential tale about a man selling his soul to the devil to find Truth.

It reminded me of myself back on University-- searching for Truth in Philosophy and books. Without the fire sale to the devil thank goodness!

But, Yikes. That was a time of soul rending search and struggle for me. I seem to have come through it though-- I havent by any means found "The Truth" but something else even better...



Friday, March 19, 2010

Fruit Fast

I've been meaning to fast for a few days now. This morning after after a late night medival dancing, my body was asking for some TLC.

Today was the day. Juice & veggy fast day. Taking a day to revitalize your system by either not eating, just drinking fresh juice, or in my case today, eating nothing but raw fruit and veggies can do wonders for one's energy, digestion, and overall vitality.

I headed down the street. The lady at the next-dood fruit and vegetable stand is starting to get to know me. To my delight, she took me a side and gave me an amazing deal on their day old veggies. Convinced that today I would only eat raw, I loaded up. The bounty I loaded onto the table upon my return.

I've been eating away at the abundance all day.

Russell's body says: :-)

Thursday, March 18, 2010

50% off

Well, it's fast becoming Springtime and the time for renewal. That means moving away from the old into the new!

And when it comes to old, I happen to have lots of "old" paintings. Yet, these paintings could fast become someone elses fresh new painting! In fact, like "Joyful" above, most are vibrantly fresh colourful creations.

In five years I've never have done this before, but this week I am feeling a tad reckless... So..... 50% off any of my paintings! Even the framed prints.

Here's the catalogue:

Just for this week.

Drop me a line at russ (at)

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

The 1Mandala at Notre Dame

For the last month and half, the conceptual infrastructure for the 1Mandala project has been being laid. It is proving a beautiful process! 25 people from all over the world have joined a google group to co-creatively refine the core Statement of Intention. Its been about two weeks that we've been discussing one little sentence. But an important sentence! It will guide the 1Mandala onwards!

We've been posting text messages back and forth. Dan suggested however that the way the words sound and feel is also crucial. He encouraged me to read it out loud for the group. I was about to do it in the apartment, when it struck me there was a much more apropos place to do so!

The Nortre Dame cathedral goes back to the 12th century. It, like the 1Mandala will be, is a collaboration across time of different architects, kings, and congregations-- and mainly just regular folk, working away to build it into what it is now. It completely transcends the vision of any one architect or king and has evolved through a shared vision into what it is now.

It was the place to read our two final versions of the Statement of Intention for building another grand human mandala.

Give me a sign

Hands can mean so much. They can be symbols or just beautiful shapes.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Quelle Vie!

Yesterday Abby and I stopped to reflect on our life here in France.

We found ourselves in the French countryside, an hour's train ride from Paris. We had taken off for a day long walk with a group of hikers. Under my arms were 12 eggs and goat cheese, purchased from a farmer we met along the way, and soon to be a fabulous omlette. The sun had just broken through the clouds as we stopped to reflect.

It had been a brilliant walk, full of fresh air and wide open spaces. Abby, had been practicing her French full out all day, and we had been meeting and chatting with all sorts of characters. The night before we had been up to 2AM at a house warming of a friends-- where we were joined by a whole circle of other friends we have been getting to know in the last months.

The day before we did a three hour yoga workshop in the heart of the city, and afterwards hung out with new friends and then I had finalized a great new short film contract. And the night before that we had gone to a dungeonesque bar dressed in medieval clothing to partake in medieval French circle dances. I am not kidding! And the days before that more dance lessons, great dinner, wine, bagueets, ultimate frisbee and more friends and fufiling work.

In Paris there is so much to do that often you feel guilty for not doing it. Hence, to take a moment and reflect and be grateful for all the blessings that you do indeed have is... integral!

And now, working on a great computer, I sip my tea as the sunlight spills into our marvelous apartment. Wow.

The 1Mandala project is coming back together beautifully, I am inspired with a whole new series of mandala creativity, and Abby and I are daily getting to know each other better and explore what it means to be together as an evolotionary couple, as we prepare for our next adventure in the Philipinnes!

Quelle vie.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

A&R Co-creation

GeoTagged, [N48.86876, W2.38995]

I love this new word 'co-creation'.

Even better is the act. Abby and I stayed up late the other night and did some co-creating. With paint that is! We did this canvas together each taking a turn to add a stroke, a colour, a word-- all purely intuitively. No planning here!

The process was fun but also wasn't easy. It brought up issues. That's art making for you! Yet how wonderful to just let the creativity flow.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Sometimes it doesn't have to be Beautiful

It has been a long while since I painted. The other day I just threw down a canvas, grabed what paints and brushes I had and saidto myself: "Russell, you can just paint Whatever! No pressure"

You see when you are a professional artist there's always a little pressure. You gotta paint something that looks good! It's kinda a basic assumption that it's going to be great and beautiful. But what about just expressing? Thos is what it is all about. Sometimes that gets sacrificed on the altar of expectations.

So, for this one I just painted. The colours are hardly harmonious. They clash, the shapes are tumultous. But whatever! It was like a dark blockage that needed to released and let go.

Now, out of the darkness, I feel alot more luminious creativity on it's way!

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Last E-Mail. First Words

So for quite a long time now, I have been working with a team of people from all over on the 1Mandala. And now, as the 1Mandala renews, I will be working with a team of people from all over on the 1Mandala.

However, this time its going to be different.

Before, when someone would help out and contribute, I would add their e-mail to the team list. Now, I am letting that list go. Many were inspired to contribute to the 1Mandala because of my leadership and nice-guy-ness.

BUT... when it comes to co-creating (again, here is a distinction to collaboration) intention is crucial. Resonance is crucial. You don't co-create because you are following a leader. You co-create because you resonate with an idea. And oh my... that is so much more powerful for creative potential. And so, the team starts over. Fresh. This time I am not adding anyone's e-mail nor even inviting even the most promising candidate.

I put a lot of focus in to writing this e-mail below. It is the last e-mail that has gone out to my old team. The title was: "Last E-Mail. First Words"

Dear friends,

This will be the last e-mail you receive on this list.

From here, the 1Mandala project will be moving forward fully on our 1Mandala Co-Creation Google Group. You are invited to follow, join, and co-create. Select the link to join in your language:

Eng | Fran | Esp | Ned | Deutsch | عربي | Rom | Magyar | Italiano

Many of you will be leaving us at this cross-road.

Thank you for coming so far on this epic adventure! In parting, I wish to share a couple dozen words with you which you have played a part in choosing.

Your energy-- through a meeting, a peace portrait, a suggestion-- has helped refine the overall intention of the 1Mandala project. This sentence has been edited and refined over and over for two years as our direction has become clearer and clearer. It is a great example of how little things that we say and do help shape and make big things happen.

Here it is:

"To harmoniously, sustainably and planetarily co-create a grand healing mandala of intentional 1Portraits in a healing celebration of the emerging Oneness Consciousness on Earth.”

A long process has brought us around to here. As one circle ends, another begins! It is now time to rexamine this intention anew. Co-creatively!

This means, the statement of intention is open for change, revision and re-confirmation. From this single sentence the blssoming of the 1Mandala will blossom. We will move from crystalizing this intention to building an Intention Map (similar to a business plan) for the 1Mandala. The process will unfold over the next few weeks and roles will evolve.

To view the full Intention statement, along with the definition of terms sign in to the Google Group. In the discussion page share your thoughts and suggestions.


We shall not cease from exploration
And the end of all our exploring
Will be to arrive where we started
And know the place for the first time.

T.S. Eliot

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Victoria Exhibition

My paintings are on exhibition in Victoria at the moment! This however is the last week that they are up.

Its is a show featuring homeless artists-- which fit perfectly with my artistic journey over the last year and a half. I had several paintings shipped down from Smithers for the show and my brother helped with the logisitcs.

Should you be interested in a painting do let me know. The great thing about the show is that the artists get 100% of the sale. Since the show ends shortly, the paintings will be available to people who can't make it to Victoria for the show.

Here's the link to the show and the venue:

Here are my paintings that are there:

Balance. 36x48 $1500

Reflection - 36x36x2 $1500

Silent shell 16x16 $400