18 January 2015

Art Supplies and Ten-Fold Rosette Mandala

I've been ask a lot about the paints and brushes I use, specially about metallic paints. 

Here they are:

The watercolor box is DANIEL SMITH 24 Half Pan Empty Watercolor Travel Box. I bought it some eight years ago. I modified it and now it holds 39 colors instead of 24. I'm not sure if it is still available, the link has disappeared from their shop...

The watercolors are from tubes that I had squeezed in to the empty half pans, most of them are Winsor and Newton Artists' Watercolors, some Daniel Smith and a couple of Holbein.

The metallic paints are in a little mints tin from Walgreens. They are Winsor and Newton Designers Gouache Gold and Silver, Daniel Smith Iridescent Antique Watercolors Gold, Silver, Copper and Bronze.

The brushes are Spotters no. 4, 2, 0 and 3/0 from Rosemary & Co.

The Process Step-By-Step

 First, I constructed the pattern using geometry then I transferred it onto watercolor paper

Daniel Smith Iridescent Antique Gold

Daniel Smith Indanthrone Blue PB60

Winsor and Newton Cobalt Turquoise PB36

Winsor and Newton Green Gold PY129

I hope this is helpful.
Please contact me or leave me a comment if you have any question.

14 January 2015

The Beauty and The Beast: A Mandala Journal Tale

This is the story of my new sketchbook for my self-exploration mandala journey.

I ordered a very nice Stillman and Birn Zeta Series A4 Hardbound Sketchbook which I decided I wanted to personalized as I've done before.

This morning a drew a mandala on its cover, using my usual technique of dip pen and acrylic ink.

I was very happy with the result and I posted a photo on Facebook and Instagram

Normally, after drawing on a book cover, I apply a layer or two of Acrylic Matte Medium to protect my mandala. I was very impatient to finish so I used a hair dryer to speed up the process. It wasn't enough, it wasn't completely dry, I should have waited...


When I applied the acrylic medium the white ink went all over the place.
I ruined it...

After many failed attempts to fix it, including covering it with white acrylic paint, then black acrylic paint, I started to remove all the layers with sand paper.

Slowly, my mandala started to appear like a lost buried ancient treasure.

It reminded me of the process I'm embarking on, my journey of self discovery through The Great Round of the Mandala
The process is the same, its excavating what is hidden in my unconscious, like removing layers I've been applying through out my life, may be to protect myself...
There will be beautiful things, not so beautiful things and ugly things. They are all part of me, they are the whole, they are MY SELF... They are the treasure...

With much love and care I cleaned it and drew the lines and dots again.

I embrace my journal as it is now, as I embrace my self, I embrace the beauty and the beast.

06 January 2015

Womandala Bag - Mandala Pouch

Almost two years ago I embroidered this Mandala.
As many of the thing I make, it didn't have any other purpose than making me happy while working on it. I store these "purposeless" things I make and makes me happy to look at them from time to time.

Two days ago, I was reading Stage One of the Grand Round of the Mandala in the Mandala Workbook I talked about on my previous post and in an instant, I knew what to do with my embroidered mandala.

I pulled my mandala out, cut it out along with another piece of linen to use as a lining and piece them together with blanket stitch.

Then I worked out a crochet border with holes following instructions from an old book. I had never done crochet before! Took me all day to do this.
I made two twisted cords to open/close my littke pouch , added two beautiful big glass beads I had 
 and voila!

My gorgeous Womandala Bag is ready to store little treasures and secrets.

It was challenging, I learned a little crochet and also somethings about myself.
It was a very rewarding exercise and I feel very proud of myself!

Now of to my journal to write about it, as part of my 2015 self-exploration journey.

31 December 2014

The Mandala: A Self-Exploration Tool

"My mandalas were cryptograms concerning the state of the self which were presented to me anew each day. In them I saw the self - that is, my whole being - actively at work. To be sure, at first I could only dimly understand them; but they seemed to me highly significant, and I guarded them like precious pearls."
Carl Gustav Jung. Memories, Dreams, Reflections.

My love for mandalas started after reading this book in 2000. It is Jung's semi-autobiographical book, recorded, edited and written by Aniela Jaffé, one of his co-workers for many years, following a long series of interviews with him.
Since then I've been reading and learning about mandalas, making, drawing, painting, embroidering them.

From tomorrow I'm committing to a year of self exploration using the mandala as a tool.
I will be working through

You can do it on your own using the book but I know I need a little encouragement so, I enrolled in Julie Gibbons 's online workshop Mandala Magic 2015 starting 20 January. It is based on the book and done through art journaling. Sounds perfect!

I'll also be following the 100Mandalas Challange, where Kathryn and Megan will be starting the Mandala Workbook next week.

If you want to learn about the history and psychology of the mandala, learn a little about how to interpret your personal mandalas and how to use your mandalas as a self-exploration tools,  I suggest you start by reading Creating Mandalas: For Insight, Healing, and Self-Expression also by Susanne F. Fincher. I read this book the first time almost 15 years ago, and after C.G.Jung's writings, this remains as my favorite book on mandalas.

What are your plans for this coming year?

30 December 2014

Eight Fold Star Mandala

The end of the year activities don't let me much time to do my art.
Yesterday I managed to seat down at my table for the whole afternoon to paint this geometric constructed mandala, inspired by the eight fold star found on Islamic art.

Most of you know I don't usually use tools to trace my mandalas, but here I am using a ruler and a compass again, and I have to say, I'm really enjoying it.

After I did the construction, I inked the design, then I colored it in using watercolor, gouache and ink.

Just in case you're wondering, the metallic paints are Winsor and Newton's Designers Gouache gold and silver on the left, in the little mints tin, the other four are Daniel Smith's Antique Iridescent gold, bronze, copper and silver. The little jar is Speedball gold calligraphy ink. 
 In the mandala I used the gold gouache and the gold ink.