Sunday, July 25, 2010
Years ago, while living in Canada, I developed an interest in Canadian Aboriginal art. I am particularly interested in the works native peoples of the Pacific Northwest. The stylized sculptural depictions of nature are very distinctive. I seek out examples while in museums, or in my travels to the northwest.
My favorites are the masks. Of these I am drawn to the sunmask and its mandala-like motif. I drew this mask on an orchid mandala, and used the colors of the orchid in the mask.
Monday, July 19, 2010
A visit to India last year presented a wonderful opportunity to learn about Hindu culture and religion. The many gods and their stories were fascinating and enchanting.
Of these, I was most intrigued by Shiva. Destruction and creation are two sides of the same coin, one cannot exist without the other. This ancient wisdom is reflected in our modern understanding of nature.
Nataraja is the depiction of the god Shiva performing the cosmic dance that destroys an old, tired universe and thus makes preparations for the god Brahma to create anew. Of the many wonderful images I saw, I chose this ancient bronze statue that I photographed to create my mandala. I drew the traditional circle of flames that surround the dancing god of destruction/creation.
Thursday, July 15, 2010
One of the most fascinating places I visited while in Ireland a few years ago was a megalithic passage tomb called Newgrange. Like an underground Stonehenge, the alignments with the heavens were calculated and precise in this 5000 year old structure. Only the light from the rising sun on the winter solstice could reach down the long passage to the inner chamber.
I remember the remarkable triple spiral carved in a stone at the entrance. Over time this Neolithic design was incorporated into Celtic motifs. I used the spiral triskele as a central element to this botanical mandala, and added some Celtic weave designs.
Wednesday, July 7, 2010
This mandala was made from pink begonia flowers. I thought it was lovely in its basic form, so I did not add a main image theme like I do with most of my mandalas, nor did I add a frame. I did decorate it with some jewels and a circle of glyphs that I created.