Bird’s Eye View

Pen & ink, 10 x 14

Pen & ink, 10 x 14

This is my first mandala of 2014. It’s called Bird’s Eye View. It was snowing steadily all day today. Even though it was a fairly warm day in comparison to recent days, I couldn’t bring myself to walk to the art store for more canvas. Instead, I spent the afternoon drawing at the dining table.

Recently, I’ve been watching a documentary series called Through the Wormhole. One episode  I saw last week looked at near death experiences. In that episode, there was a snippet of footage of a butterfly flying through a forest. Since then the idea of flying with an animals eyes has stuck with me. One of the ideas discussed involved the notion that at the moment of death, our minds might latch on to the consciousness of other being in a quantum like transfer of awareness. That’s the best way I can restate it – non technical as I am.

This mandala explores that idea – of reaching out beyond human form and seeing life through another’s eyes.

Hope you enjoy the mandala, and as always thanks for being interested in my work.


This is something I drew tonight from a picture I took of myself. Notice that it looks nothing like me. I like drawing portraits but i hate doing them in front of people because I feel like I’m inconveniencing the model and I get a mad dash of performance anxiety. At the moment though I’m enjoying the experimentation. I admire artists who do really evocative portraits. So here I am trying my hand, first with some studies, and later with the full piece i have in mind.

Tomorrow I’m going to my first live figure drawing class. I haven’t drawn from live models since I forced my friends in high school to pose for me. This will be very different and though challenging – very good for me. I’ve always enjoyed figure drawing. My A-Level art portfolio focussed primarily on figures. People can be very stupid about nudes however. In high school there were many inane little girls who thought my nudes were naughty or perverse. It’s the most riduculous thing to me when people can’t look at the bare skin of a human being without garbing them in shame.


There is something going on with the crows in this neighborhood. You don’t expect to hear or see birds in the winter, but there is a really large flock of them living in the trees around here. The flock covers the bare branches like some strange fruit. I like the sound of them though and they’re kind of fascinating, especially as I’ve never seen so many at once. 

This mandala came to me all in one go when I was sketching the other night. I had the idea in my sketchbook for a few days before I put it on paper and then I drew it all in one night. I think that it is one of my favorites so far. I didn’t really intend on it being a crow. I’ve called it Crow more because I spent a little time this afternoon taking pictures of them in the trees.

The photo at the bottom is one of the pictures I took. The birds cover more trees than the ones shown in the photo, just to give you an impression of how bizarre it is to see so many of them.