Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Chinese Dragon

After a recent trip to China my mind was filled with wonderful images. One of my favorites is the dragon. Depictions of dragons were everywhere in decorations, in art, and even architecture. The dragon is the legendary creature of Chinese mythology and has become the cultural symbol of China.

In ancient times the dragon was the symbol for the emperor and no one else could use the image. Over the years this changed and only the five-clawed dragon is the emperor’s symbol. Four-clawed dragons can be depicted by ordinary people. I decided I needed to create a dragon for one of my mandalas. I love the designs on Chinese bronzes, so I made the frame for this mandala with a motif that I created using a variety of bronze vessels for inspiration.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Green Man mandala

One of my favorite architectural ornaments is the Green Man. Also known as a foliate head, it occurs in a variety of cultures, but most examples are European. I find it somewhat ironic that although primarily pagan, it often adorns churches and cathedrals. One of my green foliage mandalas suggested a face, so I created this green man using the same leaves as I used to make the mandala.