This class is about integrating play, patience, and beauty into the creative process as we focus on balance through color, movement, texture and pattern. Mandala, which means circle, acts as a container for this self-expression. Participants will be introduced to a variety of simple and playful art techniques used for cutting and creating organic shapes and symbols. These organic shapes and symbols are then assembled into a radial formation on a circle made from handmade paper. Handmade paper provided as part of class materials. Stitching and beading are added elements to mount and adorn your mandala. The completed Celebration Mandala is hung from bamboo rods. All class materials provided.
Moving beyond a standard size sheet of paper, going from an 8×8″ paper size to an 24×36″, to create a mandala can be a turn to an unknown world. It stretches our comfort zone. It’s too large, that’s a lot of space to fill, it will take forever, are some of the concerns expressed. Here is an introductory mandala exercise that will ease the jitters of creating large! Mandala Connect-the-Dots. Working with eight or sixteen spokes, the connect-the-dot mandala is designed to act as a guide for drawing, along with allowing for the intuitive process and creativity to flow. Mandala Connect-the-Dots is also for anyone exploring the circle, looking for an expressive art form for meditation, or for creating community connections working together coloring a mandala. Children, teens, adults, watercolors, acrylics, crayons, markers, or colored pencils.
DownloadMandala Connect-the-Dots and have the eight or sixteen spoke mandala printed in B/W, 24×36″ at an office supply store such as Home Depot. Here in the U.S. a B/W print is $3.00.
Dots to Stars: A creative way to involve children is to turn the dots into stars! With a colored pencil or marker, draw stars over the dots. Connect the stars to create a personal Star Constellation Mandala.
The newest in a series of mandalas where intention, play, construction, introspection and beauty come together. Each mandala begins with an intention, and then the play begins, creating a variety of artworks using different mediums and techniques. Each mandala’s intention acts as a guide through creating the shapes to use for all the artwork and arranging the shapes in patterns and design. After the mandala pieces are laid out the paper colors are chosen for the circle and backing and beads are added to flow with the whole. Every shape that gets glued down, along with every stitch and bead is gratitude in motion.
The intention for this mandala is our connection to water and many moons, as in storytelling – many moons ago….
The magnificent mandalas in this series bring vibrance, peace and beauty to any environment. Contact Nature’s Sweet Grace to have a mandala created for your business or home. Workshops or week-end retreats are also available.
What started out as Art Play is now a galactic exploration into the birth of stars, nebulas, flow lines, fractals, spiral motion, and The Great Attractor. From this exploration, Painting Our Cosmos came to be — a simple and fun way to create your own cloud of gas and dust within a galaxy of wonderment.
After a star is born….
over the next few million years, winds blow the surrounding gas into spectacular swirling patterns. It blows away the gas, it blows away the dust, and lets us see this beautiful new thing, this place where the star was born. How Stars are Formed and Born
A nebula (a massive cloud of gas and dust in outer space) is sometimes the birthplace of stars. The Orion Nebula where new stars — a youthful million years old — are still forming is a great example. Google nebula images and be wowed by the display of colors and swirling patterns.
Left: Rosette Nebula, Right: Orion Nebula
Painting Our Cosmos
What you’ll need to get started:
Two sheets of glass or plexiglass (use plexiglass when working with kids). At least 3/8″ to 1/4″ thick for durability. The glass in the video is 19″ in diameter. The two sheets are repurposed for Art Play. The glass came from being used as table tops.
Acrylic paints or tempera paints, including several metallic paints.
Large sheets of paper or art board that cover the glass, black captures the cosmos and space.
Sink or tub with water for cleaning along with rags.
Your curious and playful nature!
Squirt dabs of paint on the first sheet of glass, three to five colors.
Place the second sheet of glass on top and watch the colors mush together.
Swirl the top glass clockwise about 3/4 of the way around. The more you move the glass in the circular motion, the more the colors blend and sometimes over blend. It’s all about process. Experiment with different circular motions, 180 to 360 degrees or more, and see what resonates to your liking.
Separate the glass carefully, there will be suction from the paint. It is helpful to have the top glass be off center from the bottom glass so you have an edge to grab.
Make a print from each glass. Pat down lightly with your hands, yet firm enough to make a nice print. I find when using a roller the paint smears.
Use different colored paper. Have fun! Yes, it’s possible to make two prints from the same sheet of glass.
Name your creation.
Clean glass and start all over!
Before cleaning the glass take a look at the texture and colors. Both on the glass and paper you’ll see where the paint makes extraordinary branching patterns. Nature in action here! Both the spiral motion of rotating the glass, and the branching patterns from the paint are patterns found in nature (e.g., spiral-sunflower, pine cone, fingerprint; branching-rivers, tree branches, lightening) and in galaxies.
for connection with others and going with the flow.
Art journaling and doodling are creative outlets for bringing your ideas, visions and expressive nature into physicality. They also act as portals for the extraordinary. Putting to paper, bringing them out of the ethers, is a key component for creating. You can come back to the drawings or doodles and expand on them at another time.
I’d like to share with you two of my favorite journal/doodle tips and exercises.
1-tip) Designate mandala pages throughout your art journal. Take a cup, bowl, or round object to trace and fill the page with a circle. Fill at least 1/3 of the journal pages with circles. Of course, you can make every page a circle too! Having circles in place for the next time you pick up your journal is helpful and you’re ready to go.
1-exercise) Group Art Journaling/Doodling – Ask a friend or family member to participate in drawing or doodling with you. You can both begin with a shared inspired intention or simply see where the drawing takes you. Take turns adding to the journal entry or doodle. It’s fun, intimate and a collaborative art activity. The two colorful mandala examples shown here were with my daughters.
2-tip) Keep pens, pencils, small notebook, sketch pad or loose paper available where ever you go! Keep them in your car glove compartment, near your computer or reading chair, in a tote, fanny pack, or any type of container so supplies are available in the spur of the moment.
2-exercise) Doodling With Spirals – Draw a free-hand spiral leaving enough area for drawing as the spiral gets larger. Begin at the spirals center and fill in with patterns, images, symbols, words and what ever comes to you in the moment.
Nature’s beauty is getting ready to put on a spectacular display of color and light. The changing of seasons. The change from one season to the next also acts as an opportunity to observe, reflect and Be the gratitude.
As we enter Autumn look at the world around us – what trees (and other plant life) are changing color, what seasonal foods become available, what is the local wildlife up to, what is the color of the sky? Observe all nature has to share with us.
As we enter Autumn look at the world within us – what are we beginning to harvest from seeds planted earlier in the year, what is our pace, what makes us come alive? Reflect on all our inner nature has to share with us.
The Seasons change and so do Iartwork represents the Midwest seasons. I chose to express them through creating a mandala. All the seasons flow from one to the next, coming together as a whole. No beginning, no end. And as in life and the universal forces, change is one thing we can count on.
To create your own Seasons change and so do I mandala, gather 140lb multi purpose paper, acrylic and watercolor paints, tacky glue, scissors, hand-made artisan paper, needle and thread, beads are optional.Decide on four to five different art processes. I used stamping, swirls, sponge brushing. For the cut out shapes create organic shaped templates. Trace, cut, assemble and glue! Instead of gluing the mandala circle on to the background paper, stitching the circle to the background complements the hand-made paper. You can also add a bead to each stitch.
Before laying down the cut out pieces begin with an intention for your mandala. Setting an intention grounds the co-creative process and embraces our intuitive nature.
This seasonal themed mandala can also be used for life stages – birth through death, or what ever transitions you’d like to express.
It began as creative play in the kitchen with spaghetti squash seeds and over time expanded to using a variety of beautiful beans. Seed Meditations are now being used as a wellness tool in Chicago area Wellness Centers.
Download Seed Meditationsto help you get started creating your own Seed Meditations at home or at a Wellness Center in your area.