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I’ve been absent from the blog since returning from the US in early November. It might just be because I’ve become a little preoccupied with making mandalas. 

The person I have to blame thank for this wonderful new activity is Bo Mackinson whose mandala workshop I attended at Patti Digh’s Life is a Verb Camp.

As I’m usually awake with the sun (which where I live means 4.30 am in the middle of summer), this is a perfect and quiet way to start the day (after the first cup of coffee of course).

The size varies depending on the paper/card I’m working with, usually either a 4 inch (10.5 cm) or 7 inch (17.5 cm) diameter. Thus far, they’ve mainly been on black paper, with metallic pencils and gel pens as per Bo’s recommendation.

Some of the lessons that emerge for me from this practice are:

  • mostly there is no plan and that can lead to surprises
  • be patient
  • take it slowly
  • experiment with different patterns and styles
  • don’t be afraid if it gets messy – keep going to the end

 

mandala-diptic-3mandala-diptic-2mandala-diptic-1

I’ve been wanting to get back to some drawing play and the kindest medium I know is willow charcoal. Why? Because it’s easily erased, is good for finger play and enables you to use an eraser for contrast.

Today’s attempt does bear some resemblance to the photograph. But in a sense, that doesn’t matter. What happens when you’re working with something like this is your brain gets to open up to other possibilities. It’s relaxing. And it’s also fun to get a bit messy.

rain drops 1charcoal - rain drops on lemon tree