Michael Kelley

Shaped by the Times

The times when I really got interested in mandalas were uniquely special: 1966, ‘67, ‘68, ‘69 and ‘70. I followed my interests straight into a lot of LSD, and the mix of hardwired mandala images and acid driven elaborations on what I was seeing gave me a lot to think about. I had something to say about our universality. LSD powerfully connected us all. The sidewalks were telepathic with so many people so likeminded in an emerging expanded consciousness. The energy emanating from seemingly everywhere was wonderful. It was a friendly, happy, creative world, and I hope we can all get back to live it again. The acid showed me quickly what to look for and how to integrate it. I learned from the LSD how to meditate and find my own high which is so much more direct. I was a very lucky person to have been there and my life has been enriched by it. The time coincided with the advent of psychedelic art and culture, and my completing my MA schooling and my move from Illinois to San Francisco put me in my perfect hot house and I put it all together. I think I was glowing. I can hardly believe I got so much painting done in such a brief time. It was very special energy and I was witness to the wonder that it was. I felt like a working part of a powerful new movement.

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