Embracing Summer's Magic
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Painting Up a Storm

The Art of Co-Creation

Summer is at its fullest now and seems all the sweeter this year after such a harsh winter. Now we can finally bask in the warmth of the Sun as it beckons us to spend as much time as possible outdoors.
It was such a treat to enjoy two amazing weekends as a guest artist during Lucille Weber’s Art in the Garden last month; a big thank you to all who attended! What a beautiful venue, and such an honour to share Nature’s canvas. Although I have to say, it was pretty hard competing with Lucille’s gorgeous flowers! But my co-creative environmental mandala project was a great hit … particularly with the resident chipmunks.

Each day of the show guests helped build a different circular design out of eco-friendly materials. This is a really fun thing to try in your own garden. Buy wild bird seed, peanuts, corn, sunflower seeds etc., find a flat patch of soil in your garden, make a circle and then start making your design. It is interactive art at its best - as you add to it, someone (or something) will be taking away from it.
Art in the Garden was a welcome break because I have been literally painting up a storm in preparation for my next big event of the summer, A Weekend in the Woods taking place on August 16 and 17.

Most of us are familiar with the concept of Earth, Wind, Water and Fire being the core building blocks of our natural world. But did you know that each of the elements reside within us as specific energy patterns, affecting our emotions, our thoughts and the way we interact with the environment around us? Over the last couple of months I have been creating a series of paintings that visually explore each of the elements and how their energies are expressed.
The first painting “Genesis – The Wheel of All” has already been revealed and is posted on the Weekend in the Woods website, along with its ‘creation’ story. All the paintings will be on display in my booth at Weekend in the Woods but you can get a sneak preview at my studio this weekend during the Alton Mill’s Cuisine Art festival.
This particular project has turned out to be quite the ride, both personally and creatively! So if you have dropped by the studio lately and found the door closed, it’s because the elemental process has been in full swing and requiring lots of incubation.

As with everything in Nature and our lives, balance is constantly being sought. Where there is too much of one element, it must be brought into equilibrium with the rest by adding one or more opposing energy signatures that bring things back to homeostasis. And that interaction usually requires some releasing, processing or just plain riding the ‘storm’. So as I have been painting each element, I have also been living it – literally balancing the energies within myself with each brushstroke.
But what an amazing process. Pure magic! As in all creation scenarios we cannot appreciate the light without some darkness on which it can cast its brilliance. Contrast and balance, yin and yang, fire and water … like Nature we too contain polarities and are constantly shifting and adjusting our energies as we journey around the Great Wheel of Life.
If you want to learn more about the elements and how they affect us, come visit my studio and begin discovering your own personal elemental balance. On Sunday August 17 at Weekend in the Woods I will be presenting a brand new workshop called “Symbol Quest” and offering mini “Soul Symbol” MARI sessions throughout that weekend, a great intro to this fascinating intuitive process. For more information visit When you register you will be asked how you heard about it so please be sure to enter my name … because as one of my newsletter subscribers you have just been personally invited!
As always, mandala making sessions for groups or one-on-one sessions with me can be booked at my studio throughout the summer but I have some exciting new workshops and courses planned for the fall that will be announced next month. In the meantime, here's wishing everyone a beautiful summer in the sun.

May you enjoy the dance!

CJ Shelton
Artist & Healing Arts Practitioner

Dancing Moon Designs
Illuminating the Creative Spirit ...

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I often use sacred geometry or certain shapes and structures in my art which is why it looks so ‘ordered’. This mandala is based on a concept called a ‘tube torus’ which forms when the genesis pattern, also known as the Flower of Life, is rotated a few degrees and repeated. Every time a repetition is made the effect is like a vortex. Think of an inner tube or doughnut hole. Scientists now know that this is likely how black holes in outer space form as well as many other things throughout the universe.
This design has two repeated rotations so the torus is just beginning. The rainbow colours represent the chakras (energy vortexes along our spine) and symbolize how we (humans) must balance our energies and complete a full cycle before moving on to the next one. The more cycles we go through, the more our torus evolves.
If you want to learn more about sacred geometry I will be offering new workshops in the fall on this fascinating subject.

Image available on art cards
Cuisine-Art 2014
Sat. July 12 & Sun. July 13 at the Alton Mill An exhibition of fine food and fine art.


A Weekend in the Woods - Experience the Elements of Nature - Hockley Valley, August 16/17
An inspiring holistic event to empower mind, body and spirit.

The Quest Within with CJ Shelton - 5 day Retreat at Grail Springs Wellness Centre & Spa in Bancroft - August 24-29
Treat yourself to a week of peace, pampering and self-discovery this summer.
Art in the Round Intro to Mandala Making

Sat. July 26
"Animal Spirit" Theme

Drawing Lessons - "Seeing With New Eyes"
Wednesdays throughout the summer.
Start anytime. Pay as you go. (pre-registration required)
The Seasonal Cycle of the Year Workshop Series
Discover inspired and magical ways of engaging with Nature.

Autumn Equinox 'Mabon' Festival
During Headwaters Arts Festival
Sat. September 20, 1-3 pm
Sat. September 27, 1-3 pm
Shamanic Consultations
By appointment Wednesdays through Fridays at the Alton Mill and twice monthly at Breakthrough Centre in Brampton

MARI® Mandala "Soul Symbol" Interpretation
Explore the 'language of your soul' in a one-on-one self-discovery session. The MARI system provides a visual and symbolic snapshot of what's currently going on in your life, allowing you to access your own inner wisdom and achieve more clarity. You already have the answers within you. Sessions by appointment in my studio at the Alton Mill. Visit my website to learn more about this fascinating process.
“A reverence for life is a reverence for wildness, a reverence for life beyond your control, something you don’t dominate. That is the native habitat of new ideas; of real humanity - to expose yourself to things beyond your control. And just ride out the consequences. That is what I seek and want to protect. Elements that are beyond our control.”

~ Doug Peacock, as quoted in "Meditations on Nature, Meditations on Silence"

Copyright © 2014 Dancing Moon Designs, All rights reserved.

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