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.