Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Healing Mandala


Have you ever made a piece of art that completely baffles you? I made this piece back during the winter, and I just have no idea what to think of it.  It's not really like anything else I've ever made, and when I look at it, I could almost believe it was made by someone else. It's a strange feeling. I really can't decide if I even like it or not, and I was very hesitant to show it to anyone. It just kind of sat there; I'd look at it every once in a while and think, "Do I like it now?" A clear answer never came to me. What I needed was to hear what someone else thought - a bit of helpful criticism. So anyway, here it is.


Healing Mandala, version 1


So how it came about is this: I was going through a terrible time, and a dear friend sent me these four flowers that had been used in a Buddhist healing ceremony - they're the large flowers that look almost transparent. I couldn't believe they survived the mail without being broken. I thought for some time about what to do with them, and decided to use them in an artwork that would be dedicated to healing. A mandala seemed like the perfect thing.

I glued the two book pages onto a piece of multi-media board, then cut out a piece of lace to put in the center.  I stitched around the center part of the lace, and hated it, but let it be for now. I glued on the ash seeds and the healing flowers. I found a print on fabric I had done in a workshop, and cut parts of it out to glue around the periphery, and put in the maple seeds to connect them to the center part of the piece. I placed the purple flowers in the corners. Then I let it sit around for a while, not knowing what I wanted to do with it.

Finally, since I couldn't remove anything, I started adding more things to it, one at a time. As long as I wasn't satisfied, I thought, well, what have I got to lose?  I made sort of a circle of marks with gold crayon, and liked it it, but decided to add stitching. I glued the hydrangea petals over the lace, and painted them with gold ink. Then came the gold crayon over the lace - it was just too white - and the stitches. Finally, the magnolia petals, and the feathers.


Healing Mandala
9.5 x 14 inches
ingredients: antique book pages, vintage lace, gold metallic crayon, gold ink, hydrangea petals, ash seeds, magnolia petals, sacred Buddhist healing flowers (no idea what they're called), maple seeds, purple flowers (no idea what they are - found them in an old book), relief prints on cloth, feathers, stitching

So there it is, and I'm still not sure if I like it. Guess I'll put it away again for a while...





16 comments:

  1. Sometimes our heart gets ahead of our artist mind. I have found myself trying to 'fix' pieces that really need only to be left alone and maybe later accepted for their beauty. I have a few pieces that bring me to tears now that earlier I thought needed to be reconciled...I needed to be reconciled. So my only advice is to leave the beauty alone.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. "Our hearts get ahead of our minds" - I like that, it rings very true for me. I think this is what has happened here. Thanks for your encouragement and advice, Mary Ann.

      Delete
  2. I think it's beautiful. Looks as if you've opened a flower - and your heart. Definitely healing in the composition and color palette. Yes - leave it alone - and fall in love with it -)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, Judy; I think I will do just that.

      Delete
  3. Yes, I have made work that baffles me. I think we all do it.. But maybe it just baffles us personally as the artist. Your work is always so worldly in sophistication and global symbolism, that to me it seems only natural that you would create a mandala...x

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks for the insight, Cat. I feel I'm getting "used to it", and that maybe it is exactly what it needs to be. xo

      Delete
  4. Beautiful mandala! Enjoy it. Get lost(and found) in it.
    It is lovely with so many natural elements and your creativity.
    Steven

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you so much, Steven, for for your kind and encouraging words.

      Delete
  5. You moved to a point in this piece that the beginning felt a bit static. The additions created movement yet centeredness (which spell check changed to centered nest.... Which I REALLY like) I am thinking the Mandela in a rectangle format is part of the bafflement... And I don't know why. Lovely but not convinced it is done.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Teri; I will probably put it aside and think about it, but right now it seems finished to me...

      Delete
  6. I think it is wonderful and lovely, earthy and light all at once.
    Sounds like in the being baffled, it brought you present which can help with healing also. Sweet beginning of spring to you!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you for the lovely words, Tammie! Happy spring to you, too! xox

      Delete
  7. feeling it needs more of your layering magic Sharmon,the feathers are starting to give it a lift

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Mo; I will definitely consider that!

      Delete
  8. Interesting! I shared this on G+!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks for sharing it, Sue; I hope people find it interesting!

      Delete

Thank you for taking the time to share your thoughts with me. I'm happy to reply here, but may not always have time for individual emails.