Friday, October 24, 2014

Meditative Repetition

My guild's challenge theme for November is Mandalas. The word mandala comes from Sanskrit; translated it means circle. Mandalas are spiritual symbols which represent the universe. It's no wonder that working on creating my own mandala would become a meditative task. I simply got lost in the repetitive details as I was creating this piece. I found myself not wanting the session to end as I kept adding more to it.



The basic concept I wanted for this design was based on layering. As for color scheme and motifs, I decided to celebrate my favorite season of the year, autumn. I chose the fall color palette of red, orange, gold, green and brown, incorporating motifs of leaves.



To begin, there is a base layer of golden red and orange on the outer perimeter of the main circle. Over this I strung 8 pieces of string that had been dipped in polymer and dyed with alcohol ink, all spaced at equal distances (these would become the center veins of one round of leaves). The yellow gold color was next as I cut out shapes of leaves around the center and small four lobed flowers near the edges of the circle. The next layer proved most difficult, to cut away enough to see the under layer of cut out shaped leaves in the gold layer, plus, adding the maple leaf cut outs, the fancy border and a slightly larger four lobed flower motif to reveal the smaller flower motif on the gold layer. In the next steps details were added with tiny bits of clay and the use of small tools to make indentations.


I suddenly decided that I didn't want this to be just a plain edged circle, mostly because I was having so much fun adding things to it... and that's when I chose to add leaf shapes surrounding the existing circular canvas. Sticking with the same color palette and motifs, I added larger green leaves and smaller golden red leaves, detailed with bits of golden yellow and orange flowers. The entire outer band of design is wrapped with a thin gauge strip of the brown.


I seriously think I could have worked on this for much longer, but wanted to wrap things up in time for the weekend, so it didn't cut into my precious time with my dear hubby. ;) This color scheme was a bit of a step-out for me, though I love the colors of fall, I tend to shy away from using green and yellow, especially together, and especially both with brown!


I could definitely get lost in doing a series of these, and might have to revisit this idea at a later date. I had originally thought that this little piece (it's just shy of 8" in diameter so, not as large as the wall hangings I've done before) wasn't one that really fit into any of the already existing decor in my home. I had resigned myself to selling it... but, I took a chance and hung it next to the other 2 round wall hangings I made in the past year, which live on my studio wall. I think he looks happy there... I envision an entire wall filled with these circular creations... someday. For now, this is a start:


I would love to hear any comments you might have to share on mandalas. Have you experienced the meditative zone of working with repetition? Tell me about it in the comments and be sure to let me know what you think of my little mandala!

Voting for this challenge will begin on November 1st and will go through the 7th at midnight EST. As always, I'll try to post a voting reminder here on the blog with the link!

8 comments:

  1. Well, I love your little mandala and I think a wall full of these would be just awesome! When I was creating mine, well, just saying that zen was not how I would describe it. lol However, when I looked at it after it was all done, I realize I was meditating on a subject and making my mandala helped me to go through it, so the end result was the same. I think that your use of colors is inspiring.

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    1. Thanks so much for the thoughtful comment Line! Isn't it amazing how working on creating something is meditation itself? ...whether we realize it or not, while it's happening!

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  2. Your mandala looks wonderful displayed with your other works! Thank you so much for detailing your process. I can certainly see how you would become lost in the meditative quality of this challenge.

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  3. I love this piece! It has such motion, you almost feel like you can turn the layers! And the design and colors ares incredible. I agree, building a mandala is certainly meditative. Like you and Line I got lost in building mine too. An extra bonus to the experience for us!!

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    1. Aw, thanks so much for your wonderful comments Betsy! I'm glad you like this one! Yes, it was nice to get lost in the creation, I'm glad yours gave you a similar journey too! ;)

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  4. Un trabajo espectacular !!! Felicitaciones

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