My art time has been limited recently between it being too cold in the house to hold a pencil or paint brush and kids getting sick one after the other. I admit, therefore, that, when I saw that last week’s Life Book lesson was on the subject of manadalas, I almost decided to skip it entirely. Mandalas are just not “me”. Just as I am not zen enough to translate my doodles into zentangles, nor am I precise or measured enough to produce mandalas. I actually much prefer asymmetry, wonkiness and imprecision in my art. I am also a little queasy about the cultural appropriation inherent in producing something related to a style so rooted in a particular culture and one to which I do not remotely belong. However, you know all too well that I am a control freak and anal retentive. It was making me feel a little twitchy to not attempt a lesson. After all, the entire point of me participating in Life Book is that it forces me to leave my comfort zone and try new things and – in doing so – learn what things work for me and perhaps assimilate them into my regular practice and find out what things don’t work for me and henceforth avoid them like the plague. Finally, after a week of bone-numbing cold and having kids home sick – one after the other, of course – I really needed to decompress with a good chunk of art time.
The lesson was taken by Faith Evans-Sills and involved collage and layering and, obviously, adding a mandala as a focal point. As you can see, there is no accurate measuring, no mathematical precision in my mandala but it is as good as I can get. I used colours I associate with Spring because man oh man do I need Spring to arrive.