Mandala मण्डल is a Sanskrit word that means ‘circle’. Creating mandalas is an ancient practice and they exist in various forms across all civilisations, from the Medicine Wheels of the Native Americans to the highly developed forms of the Tibetan Buddhist monks. The eminent psychologist C.G. Jung became very interested in mandalas and their symbolism. Drawing one daily, he saw the mandala as a representation of the self, a manifestation of the psyche.
The mandala represents wholeness and unity, an integration of masculine and feminine, heaven and earth, balance and order. Creating a mandala is a form of meditation whilst gazing on one can be similar to meditating on a candle flame. All of this combines to offer healing and insight to both the creator and the viewer, bringing about a feeling of peace and harmony.
I create mandalas on paper and canvas using watercolours or acrylics. The energy of each one is unique due to the different mediums, colours and patterns. The patterns are formed intuitively unless it is a specific pattern from sacred geometry such as the Flower of Life or the Sri Yantra. I begin each of my mandalas with the background colours. The pattern then emerges with the use of compasses, protractors or freehand depending on the medium.
For me, the creation of a mandala is a ritual. I light a candle and play meditative music and I am often drawn to making them at the time of the full or new moon. All of these energies find their way into my paintings, making them truly individual.
If you would like to learn more about mandalas and create your own then come along to one of my workshops. No previous experience of art, maths or geometry is required.
I painted my first Buddha face on an art workshop in Portugal in July 2014. Working in acrylics on canvas I was instructed to paint a checkerboard of random colours as a base layer. My intention had been to paint a gold face but as I gazed at the canvas a more abstract version of a face appeared to me. One of life's happy accidents. Art has taught me to make the most of mistakes, they are often the foundation of something wonderful, a breakthrough opportunity.
My particular style has proved to be very popular as many people like the contrast of the pattern with the beatitude of the face.