Finally, here is Love. A mandala that I have been lavishing loving attention on for some time now.
Love is represented by the traditional heart shape, but these hearts have swelled up like ripe fruit. Love is fruitful. Love underlies all creative endeavours. Creativity is driven by love, as is so nicely captured in this quote:
“To be creative means to be in love with life. You can be creative only if you love life enough that you want to enhance its beauty, you want to bring a little more music to it, a little more poetry to it, a little more dance to it.” Osho
At the heart of the picture, inside the central square, is one of these heart-fruits, surrounded by rays of gold. This square has a white background, emphasising the golden rays. Love has this quality of warmth. From wherever it originates, it spreads out and impacts on everything in its path. To be surrounded by loving people always has a positive impact, if you are in the way of that love.
Instead of the traditional four doors or gates, there are four fat, ripe, heart-fruit on a background of textured green. The fruit are connected by a vine. They grow together. Beyond the circle of green the rays of gold continue, on a muted pale ochre background. The warmth of the golden rays is still there, but you will feel it less the further you are from the source.
Love is painted in acrylics on a 50cm x 50cm gallery-wrapped canvas and finished with a matt acrylic varnish. The rays of gold continue around the edge of the painting as shown.
Exuberant is very much like happy, but with a quality of excess, of wildness, of liveliness. According to the Oxford dictionary, exuberant means “lively and cheerful” or “growing profusely” and derives from words meaning “overflowing” and “abundantly fruitful”.
In this mandala, the traditional four doors are replaced with a bursting out of green, not only beyond the containing circle, but out beyond the frame of the picture. The vines have gone wild, looping, curling and squiggling with playful life, off the edge of the canvas and back again. Whoosh! Whee!
Exuberant makes use of my happy colours – yellows and oranges, sky blues and fresh green. In the centre is a cheerful orange and yellow flower surrounded by growing green. The blue surround gives an impression of water supporting all that growth.
Exuberant is painted on a 50cm x 50cm gallery wrapped canvas and the exuberant vines go over the edge and back on three sides. It is finished in gloss acrylic varnish.
Growing is such a powerful idea. I think about plants and how insistent they are, pushing up paving and cracking rocks. I remember being pregnant and how this tiny new human took over my body, relentlessly elbowing me into shape as his life-support system. Growing is about the power inherent in biological processes. Fragile-seeming strands reach outwards slowly, but with great determination. Almost nothing can stop growth.
This mandala was inspired by growing things, by the wondeful variety of shapes that growing things come in and their power to expand and become what they were designed to be, following some secret inner plan.
Growing features green (obviously), and the drama of red, but also shades of pink and mauve, contrasting areas of flat colour with areas of texture.
This Mandala deviates from the traditional circle design and uses instead two overlapping Reuleaux triangles. These fabulous shapes are made by joining three arcs with the centre of each arc being at the corners of an equilateral triangle. They are similar to circles in that you can put parallel lines on either side of the shape (but touching it) and the distance between the parallel lines will always be the same, no matter how the Reuleaux triangle is orientated.
Mandala No.5: Growing is painted in acrylics on a 50cm x 50cm stretched canvas. Although I have painted around the edge of the canvas, it is not gallery-wrapped, so this work would probably look best framed in a white floating frame.
The Peace mandala tries to create a safe space in which I can feel enclosed, but not clastrophobic. To do this I changed the shape of the traditional square to give the sense of being able to see into other rooms, the expanded “doors”. This area is a calming blue edged with gold. My safe space is surrounded by a reassuring deep green beyond which a textured blue space provides a safe moat. Adding an uplifting note, little purple flowers edge this space.
In the middle of the mandala is a place of meditation, surrounded by a swirl of pinky-blues. Here I am, perfectly at peace.
The Peace mandala is painted in acrylics on an ordinary stretched 50cm x 50cm canvas. Although I have painted around the edge of the canvas, it would probably be best displayed in a light-wood or gold floating frame.
In case you are wondering about the numbering, I started working on Peace before Happy, but finished it after the simpler Happy. So Peace is No. 1 and Happy is No. 2.
Happy is an uncomplicated feeling, without nuance or ambiguity. It’s an open, accepting and outward-looking state. The clean lines and solid colours of this mandala reflect the simplicity of happiness.
Clear, sunny yellow, pure sky blue and bright green are, for me, the ultimate happy colours. And there is nothing happier than simple flowers.
Happy is a traditionally structured mandala with a circle containing a square with the central circle represented by a happy yellow and orange flower. The four traditional gates have been replaced by sunflowers.
Happy is painted on a 50cm x 50cm gallery wrapped canvas and the solid yellow background continues onto the sides of the canvas. The picture is finished with a matt acrylic varnish.