Monthly Archives: January 2015

Freestyle Mandalas

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Mandalas have long been a favorite of mine—etched, embroidered, drawn, painted, inked, done with full focus or my eyes half-shut. Mandalas are good medicine for a lot of troubles, very meditative and methodical—even when asymmetrical.

There are many collections of mandalas to be found online, and I admire them for their symmetry and precision. There may be some drooling, yes. And how cool is this coloring book? Wow.

I don’t use a circular template (which has rather small circles) or a drawing compass, because freehand makes my heart sing. I’d go slightly insane if I tried for mandala perfection, so I enjoy artistic irregularity to the fullest. I was happily surprised to find other beautiful mandalas that are freehand.

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I’ve been gathering mandalas I’ve created to show the 6-10 year old kids at Art Club for an upcoming class. I’m sharing some of them here first, and remembering all my many, many mandalas drawn on clothing, postcards, letters, disposable napkins, walls (legally, of course), menus, train schedules and play bills that I’ve lost track of. Maybe they’re still out in the world somewhere…

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Aside from recent embroidery projects, the majority of my mandalas have been monotone, usually black ink using Koh-I-Noor Rapidographs—my best friends for many years (in a totally not sad way). But for the Art Club session on mandalas, I’m working on samples that would have pleased every person (there were a lot) during my teen years who said “Why don’t you try color? Just a little wouldn’t hurt, right?” That I like black ink never seemed to make an impression. Ah well.IMG_20150111_085439

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Homemade Trees

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Homemade trees make an appearance around my house fairly often: crocheted, knitted, stitched, felted, wooden, paper, cardboard, and simple branches in vases filled with sand. So when excited kids, air dry modeling clay and small bits of trees get together, yet another homemade forest is born:

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You can let the clay dry with the mini-trees stuck in the stand, but the branches dry out in a few days and the needles make a pretty mess. I recommend making the clay base taller with a larger, deeper hole, leaving out the branch until the clay is dry. This creates a reusable pine stand that can make appearances in any season, for colorful ponies and woodland animals alike.20141119_141952

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Filed under Home Art, Nature's Art, Sculpture