Beginning this summer I was able to buy a 2nd hand, un-used colour book from Rüdiger Dahlke.
It was full of fascinating patterns and explanations about mandala’s. I decided to work in this book during this summer’s Art Residence.
It was an excellent way to relax my brain while playing with colour. It doesn’t matter if you are called away, you can always start again.
After colouring several patterns, I felt the need to construct my own design. It helped me to intensify the experience and it was a lovely way to play with geometry.
With a passer and ruler I drew several mandala’s. One particular I liked a lot. It’s a year mandala featuring the seasons. (remember my intention to explore nature a bit more) Left-upper part is spring, then clockwise summer, autumn, winter.
Towards the edge are 12 circles that represent the months. 52 weeks are hidden in the outer rim.
While drawing I had an idea to ask my Quantity Sketching group if they didn’t want to design a mandala for each of the 12 circles. When I explained this idea to Geerthe, a member of Quantity Sketching who came for a drawing date, she immediately wanted to have August. I proposed it to the group and within a few days, mandala’s where posted in the sketch group.
The total mandala is now on the floor in our future Gallery. I just love to draw on that floor with chalk. You can see them here in the picture. It turned out to be a lovely collaboration piece. I love my QS chums! I would never had had this idea if I wasn't united in this sketch group. I went with the flow and this came out of it.
The whole 6 meter wide mandala on the floor.
Making (and colouring) these mandala's has been very healing for me. I have been stuck all spring and early summer. This project gave me new energy, replenished my creative battery. I am able to tap into my child energy again, the one that could play for hours with pencils & chalk.
The closer I can stay to my own nature, the better.
These are the 12 small mandala's made for each month.
The motivation of the artist is below.
Barb: January means snow, to me, so I made a snow flake. The curves with three circles represent a snowball rolling down hill and gathering size. January is a quiet month in Maine and a time when I am not yet tired of seeing snow.
Vicki: February means snow here so I made snowflakes nestled together. There are also women standing together with a few snowflakes between them.
Meenu: March signifies to me the beauty of spring and the promise of a wonderful summer. It is known as Falgun in hindu calender, the month of Spring and the festival of colors holi. I started with a star symbolising the sun. I drew goddess laxmi feet on the left and right, a symbol of praying for abundance and wellness for all. The next circle symbolizes the festival of holi, a celebration of colors. The outermost blossom represents the spring and the regenerative cycle of life.
Helga: April, Farmers ploughing and sowing seeds.
Helga: May mandala. Inspiration is from my favorite flower, the columbine. This flower has 5 leaves and 5 spurs. I have very stylistic made it into a 2D flower. I started with drawing several circles, after the drawing I erased the lines I didn't need.
Jennie: June. it's the lady breaking into June, carving out some space (and peace) in the calendar.
Carol: My birthday is July and this was loosely based on sunflower which is the colour of summer for me, though now I live in Australia July is middle of winter.
Geerthe: August...sunflower as inspiration...took the fractals from the center more to the outer center...to make it easier to draw.
Katie: September. The theme is Harvest, with the center representing a cornucopia (harvest basket) and the outer rings showing stylized shafts of wheat. In between the wheat shafts I have added seeds. These represent the cycle of growth/harvest/dormancy. Seeds that are buried at the end of season create new growth in the spring, thus allowing for another harvest.
Helga: October starts to be colder again, we turn inside for rest and contemplation.
Rohana: November. First ever mandala; my inspiration came from the stylised tulip in a stained glass panel I made years ago in a draughty Edinburgh shed one grey November.
Elizabeth: December, and I decided on Santa Lucia, her wreath with the candles, and the dark sky with stars for the winter solstice.