18 May 2007

Mandala

As I've mentioned I've joined a group called The Artists Muse. I'm still waiting for the book to come but the 1st chapter is available on Amazon.com. which is the US site. Our first challenge was a Mandala, which for anyone that doesn't know is Sanskrit for 'whole world' or 'healing circle' and historically where used as symbols to help people to meditate and also for protection and healing rituals.

The idea was that you sit quietly for a while or take a walk then start. So I got my art stuff out ready, sat for a while and then started. I was surprised that I didn't really have to think about what I was doing the Mandala sort of did itself as I went along, if that makes sense to you.

I started with a small circle in the centre of a piece of watercolour paper 14.5 inches square, that's 37cm in metric. I know we are supposed to use metric in the UK but I was brought up on feet and inches and can't get used to it. Anyway to get back to the Mandala, using a compass I drew a spiral which in Celtic design work symbolises growth - clockwise is positive - anticlockwise is negative. The Mandala sort of grew from there of it's own volition until I ended up with this.

I felt the corners of the page needed something so I drew some Celtic knotwork which symbolises infinity and the continuity of the spirit in this world and the next.

I didn't set out to do a flower but when I'd finished drawing the Mandala I realised that's what it looked like. I love flowers and my dream is to have a garden of my own one day so perhaps it was some part of my subconscious coming out.

I decided to use gouache to paint it. This is the first time I've used that medium in my art work so I was rather pleased with how it turned out.



Blue represents peace, faith, spirituality, truth - Purple represents artistic, mystic, altruistic and Green represents life, nature, tolerance. I wasn't too sure about the green background, it seemed a bit bright so I've toned it down a bit with a glaze of sap green watercolour. Finally I used a black pen to outline the different shapes - it reminds me of stained glass now.

This is a close up of the centre which I think stands alone as a small Mandala

and this is a close up of the Celtic knot in the corner

8 comments:

Carol said...

Fabulous Susan, i love the colours and the whole feel of the piece.

Judy Rys said...

Love the way it came together. I never heard that the spin of a spiral had any meaning. Very interesting.
The colors are fantastic. Well done.

Doreen G said...

Well worth waiting for Susan -I love the colours and the explanation of the colours.

Purple Missus said...

This is wonderful Susan. I knew you would do a fantastic piece, but this is better than I had imagined. It would look stunning as a quilt. I envy you and your artistic ability.

Carol said...

Your mandala has the WOW factor. It took my breath away.

Mandy said...

This is so beautiful. I agree with Carol, this definitely has the wow factor! What a stunning quilt this will make.

Annica said...

Your mandala is beautiful! I love the colours!

Dianne said...

The colours are really beautiful!! I haven't started on mine yet (waiting on my book to arrive)....