This morning I was out for a walk with Kai and I felt the familiar stirring that I wanted to make something. I sorted through whether it was something written or drawn, coloured or black and white, realistic or abstract, 3 dimensional or 2 dimensional and eventually realised that I wanted to make a mandala. Then, in my mind I went through my paper collection and and decided on a grey page. I got home, dug into my art supply stocks and sat down to make this. A few hours later and here it is. I feel so much more relaxed and centred.
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.
I collect rocks. I collect rocks and shells and then take them with me all over the world wherever I move. I literally have a box of rocks from scattered places. It’s not really for sentimental reasons. Some have strong memories and images attached to them, but mostly I find them pretty. I collect rocks of different shades and shapes, all of which are particularly unique and beautiful to me. I can sit and stare at them for a long time, seeing the sediments and crystals that compose them as well as the odd scratches and bumps that form them. Recently I started making pendants by wrapping them in silver wire.
These rocks are a few that I painted last night. There was a Blues festival on this weekend and so while listening to a concert being played down the street from my apartment, I sat painting rocks. I’m thinking I might try to make a couple into pendants. The others I want to leave in different places I go to. Maybe in the same way that I picked them up, someone else will find them and my little painted rocks will continue their journey around the world. Even if no one ever laid eyes on them again, it’s nice to think of putting them back out in the world rather than having them sit in my living room.
I moved into a new place this month. I’ll finally have a studio space to myself. When writing a friend an email earlier today I realized that I haven’t painted anything for the whole year. Instead this year, I’ve been drawing. I used a brush pen to do these little drawing/paintings on these rocks.
Anyway, if you come across any weird painted rocks when you’re walking through the park – I guess now you know where it came from!
As always, thanks for tuning in.
Earth and Sky Mandala
I’ve been doing this mandala over the past week. It’s the first full piece I’ve done for about a month. In my past few drawings I have been playing around with different pen & ink techniques to create more evocative shadows and forms. With this piece I wanted to try abstracting the mandala form. While working on it I remembered how much I enjoyed drafting in University. Although I’ve been drawing black and whites for most of my life, my understanding of pen weights is definitely from Architecture school.
You might notice if you’ve been following my work, that I have a thing for trees. This mandala shows what it is about trees that I love so much. Trees are the perfect union between earth and sky. They are balanced between the dark of the soil and the light of the sun. As below, so above; their branches and roots resemble some kind of organic celebration of light and abundance. On a certain level this mandala is about darkness and light and their interdependence in nature and in the human condition. We sometimes forget that it is through our individual darkness that light and life can grow. Each has equal weight and illumination.
I’ll put up a better quality image of this mandala when I have it scanned.
Thanks for tuning in.
I did this piece tonight over the past 3 hours or so. I haven’t done any art work in weeks because I’ve been pretty busy. Feels so good to draw with my hands after spending hours and hours at work 3D modelling.
Here is my latest, titled Unveiled. It’s been sitting in my sketch pad for a week or two. It was NOT an easy free flowing composition that came out of some blast of inspiration. Instead this piece came out of scattered energies and unfocused thoughts. I was pushing myself to work, because the act of working brings me peace. Despite feeling creatively blocked and this piece being relatively painful to complete, I’m glad I stuck with it and didn’t just tear it up or colour it black, as I was tempted to do. In a sense its a reminder to me that the work serves me when I need it, just as much as I serve the work.
For a while I’ve noticed that the piece that comes after a piece that I really like, feels like this one did. I begin with a lot of expectation and then somewhere along the line I feel like it’s totally contrived and then rounding up to the end I push through to come out with something I have mixed feelings about.
However one thing I’ve learned when it comes to the creative process is how important it is to keep working on one’s practice, regardless of how interesting or futile it seems. Movement is important with creativity and like Liz Gilbert said in her TED talk, some days your muse shows up for work and some days they don’t. If you don’t keep working though, you might miss a good day.