Giraffe Baby Mandala

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babygiraffe

“I bet plants go “Wheeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee” whenever they’re swallowed by giraffes” – unknown

The source image (below) of a newborn giraffe made me laugh when I first saw it circulating the interwebs a few months ago, and the mandala that comes from it makes me laugh, too.  What a ridiculously adorable creature.  I think the word is ‘squeeee’.

I created this mandala for a show with a Funhouse theme. In the end, I didn’t put it in the show and for some reason, never got around to posting it here, either. Maybe it’s because I didn’t get permission from the owner of the source image, apparently the Greenville Zoo in South Carolina. I have a vague memory of writing to ask for permission but not hearing back, or maybe I just thought I wrote.  Whatever, if the zoo sees this and wants me to take it down, I’ll oblige. In the meantime, I hope you enjoy it.

Baby Giraffe Mandala source image

Baby Giraffe Mandala source image

Sakurajima Volcano Mandala

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Sakurajima Volcano copy

“after many silent hours a sudden strong eruption generates excessive lightning”

The stunning source image for this mandala, taken by the photographer Martin Reitz, was included a few days ago on NASA’s Astronomy Picture Of the Day and inspired me to return to mandala making after some time away.  I’m grateful for permission to use the image and invite you to visit Martin Reitz’s website Alien Landscapes On Planet Earth for a collection of his unique and awe-inspiring photos.

Sakurajima Volcano Mandala source image

Sakurajima Volcano Mandala source image

Sakurajima Volcano Mandala detail

Sakurajima Volcano Mandala detail

Seagull Mandala

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Seagull Mandala

Do you remember Johnathan Livingston Seagull?  Me either, much, but I do remember we all read it at the time.

I also remember the minister at our church using a passage in his sermon, and something about the bit he read was unintentionally hysterical.  My friend Cathy and I, always sitting together and always in the most obscure back-corner pew available, must have actually been listening this particular week because when the really deeply meaningful, poetic and profound funny bit was read, we looked hard at each other while trying desperately to stifle belly laughs that would turn out to be inevitable.  Good times.

So, I found myself thinking about Jonathan Livingston Seagull as I made this mandala, and realizing how poorly I remembered it, I did a quick search for some quotes from the book.  The first one I found was great:

Don’t believe what your eyes are telling you. All they show is limitation. Look with your understanding. Find out what you already know and you will see the way to fly.

― Richard Bach, Jonathan Livingston Seagull

The source image was taken at Lighthouse Cove, Ontario on Easter Sunday this year (2012) on a freakishly warm day for early spring.

Seagull mandala source photo

Seagull mandala source photo

Seagull mandala detail - click to enlarge

Seagull mandala detail – click to enlarge

Happy Canada Day – Maple Leaf Mandala

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Maple Leaf Mandala

“There are no limits to the majestic future which lies before the mighty expanse of Canada with its virile, aspiring, cultured, and generous-hearted people. ”  

– Sir Winston Churchill

I wonder what Sir Winston would say about us lately.

Happy Canada Day everyone.

Maple Leaf Mandala - detail

Maple Leaf Mandala – detail. Click to enlarge.

Maple leaf mandala source

Maple Leaf mandala source image.

Sodalite Mandala

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“I think it pisses God off if you walk by the color purple in a field somewhere and don’t notice it.” ― Alice Walker, The Color Purple

Some colours can almost be inhaled — their presense is so… well, present.  That’s how I experience the blue of this sodalite, the mineral featured in the mandala above.  It is intense but gentle, and although blue is supposedly a cool colour, I think sodalite vibes warm.

And speaking of sodalite vibrations, it is believed to have some special health-giving properties, that is, that it can bring order and calmness to the mind and restore emotional balance, calm panic attacks, encourage rational thought, objectivity, truth and intuition, and support the verbalisation of feelings.  Can we put it in the water supply?

I took the source image for this mandala at the Princess Sodalite Mine Rock Shop in Bancroft, Ontario.  The shop is on the site of a Victorian sodalite mine, named for the then Princess of Wales who ordered 130 tonnes of the rock to use to decorate Marlborough House.  I share that because I was initially mildly disappointed that the shop was not named for some eccentric character who liked to call herself “Princess” and wore mineral samples dangling from her wide-brimmed hat.  Alas, there is no such person there.  There is, however, a huge assortment of minerals from around the world and well-informed and professional staff who were kind enough to let me go crazy with my camera.

Sodalite Mandala - source image

Sodalite Mandala – source image – click to enlarge

Sodalite Mandala - detail

Sodalite Mandala – detail. Click to enlarge

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

PS – for local Windsor, Ontario people, this Saturday (June 23, 2012) is Demo Day at the Back Room Gallery, 4749 Wyandotte.  Several of the artist co-op members will be in all day demonstrating our various artistic skills. I’ll be there demonstrating how I make mandalas on my laptop computer.  Come on out.  10-6.

Prism Mandala

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Prism Mandala 1

Prism Mandala 1

This mandala was made with an image of light refracted by the bathroom window and hitting the door as a spectrum — an everyday thing that is also wondrous.

Our personal spiritual paths can be just like that.  By accident or design, we encounter prisms to refract our essence into pure bits of truth, making the bits visible and giving us new insight into what makes us us.  When they are combined again, we have a new understanding and a new appreciation of our very natures. Perhaps that is the exact purpose of the great spiritual traditions and the wisdom of the ages. To show us the rainbow of our souls.

Prism Mandala detail

Prism Mandala detail, click to enlarge

Prism Mandala source image

Prism Mandala source image

I’ve been busy

Members of the artist co-op I’m in have pooled our pennies and our talents and opened a new gallery in Windsor, Ontario.  Located at 4749 Wyandotte E (just a few doors east of Pillette) in Windsor, Ontario, the brand new Back Room Gallery – an Artists’ Co-op is home to the work of 17 Windsor and area artists and artisans, and we’re growing every day.

You can see a selection of my mandalas there anytime.  The gallery is open Tuesday – Sunday 10-6, Fridays 10-8 for December.  Tuesday – Saturday 10-6 after that.

We went from THIS:

To the gorgeous space featured in the slideshow below,  and we’re not done yet.  Still more art and artists to install!  Come check us out.

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Culture Days and helper designers

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On Saturday, I was part of my co-op’s Culture Days event and was able to demonstrate how I make mandalas.  A few visitors became actual mandala designers – sitting with me and making the decisions about which photo to use, how it should be resized and rotated and then finally selecting the specific bit of the picture used.

Some people sure did have a good eye for it.  Here are some of my favourite results.

by Kadilia Adili

from this photo taken by me at Lighthouse Cove 2011

by Felicia Thiessen

From this image taken by accident at Milk Coffee Bar

by Ankar Arkin

From this picture taken of the black light room at the recent Fun House Gallery 

by Merry Ellen Scully

from this photo taken at Port Franks, On.

I hope to do more interactive creating at future events.  This was my favourite art show so far.

Sky Drama Mandala

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This is one of my personal favourite mandalas ever.

The content is meaningful to me – it is a moment of calm on a day filled with waves of violent storms. It is a pause, bringing the relief that remind us how little we really control, despite how well we can fool ourselves otherwise.

He does not need opium. He has the gift of reverie.  ~Anais Nin

Daydreaming is also a pause.  It can refresh our minds and our spirits and help us be in this moment in an unmeasured way. That’s why this mandala is one of my submissions in the Edge of Wake, an art show about daydreaming going on right now at Milk Coffee Bar (downtown Windsor, ON).

Sky Drama Mandala souce image

Sky Drama Mandala souce image

Sky Drama Mandala - detail.

Sky Drama Mandala - detail. click to enlarge.


Sunset on the Bay Mandala

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If I had influence with the good fairy who is supposed to preside over the christening of all children, I should ask that her gift to each child in the world be a sense of wonder so indestructible that it would last throughout life. –Rachel Carson

A life-long, indestructible sense of wonder.  What a great wish.

A country drive last weekend had us at Mitchell’s Bay, Ontario, just in time for me to photograph these incredible colours over the bay.

Sunset on the Bay - detail.  Click to enlarge.

Sunset on the Bay - detail. Click to enlarge.

Sunset on the Bay Mandala - source image

Sunset on the Bay Mandala - source image

Streaking Energy Mandala

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“The more you lose yourself in something bigger than yourself, the more energy you will have.  —   Norman Vincent Peal

The image for these mandalas came from Barbara Ann O’Leary, who takes photos of fire and movement.

Streaking Energy Mandalas - source image

Streaking Energy Mandalas - source image

Streaking Energy Mandala - detail. Click to enlarge

Streaking Energy Mandala - detail. Click to enlarge

Streaking Energy Mandala - detail. Click to enlarge.

Streaking Energy Mandala - detail. Click to enlarge.

Lichen Mandala

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I started to think about writing something informative or insightful about lichen, maybe some background about how lichen grow or perhaps something about the beauty of the most humble forms of life… but as I scanned various sites to prepare something, I realized I just wasn’t very interested in lichen.  (Lichen-lovers, you can just keep comments to yourselves.  I am very comfortable with my own lichen indifference.)  The symbiotic nature of lichen is very cool… they are like kefir grains that way.  I do like kefir.

But what I find more interesting than lichen are the people who find them interesting.  Check out the drawing below, or go here to Wikipedia for a huge, highly detailed version.  I do love the range of human hobbies and the passion people sometimes invest in obscure things.

Lichen drawings

"Lichenes" from Ernst Haeckel's Artforms of Nature, 1904

My mandala is made from an image of crustose lichens, taken on a beach in New Brunswick, 2010.

Lichen Mandala - detail

Lichen Mandala - detail

Lichen Mandala - source image.

Lichen Mandala - source image. Click to enlarge

Erieau Mandalas

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Erieau 2 Mandala

Erieau Mandala

It was a pleasure to be in Erieau this past weekend for the shade, grass, lake breezes, great volunteer team and some of the nicest attendees we’ve encountered at any show yet.

Today’s mandalas are two different looks of the iconic Erieau lighthouse.  The source images and detail views are below.

Also, this is for one of the visitors to my booth, Hillary, who told me about this song.  Although I’m a fan of Peter, Paul and Mary’s, I’d never heard this one before now.  Here they are, performing the haunting “The Great Mandala”


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Erieau - detail. Click to enlarge

Erieau - detail. Click to enlarge

Erieau Mandala source image

Erieau Mandala source image

Erieau 2 - detail. Click to enlarge

Erieau 2 - detail. Click to enlarge

Erieau 2 source image.

Erieau 2 source image.

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