An Artist's Quest for "Soul" in a Chaotic World—by InnerSpirit

This is my InnerSpirit blog page...a page of reflection...inquiry...
and artistic questions about myself, my life, and the world around me. A place for my own personal contemplation of my emotions, my actions, my art, my spiritual journey and how they all intertwine and influence each other. I hope that you check it out, think a little about your life and the many creative things that you might be engaged do those fit into your life and impact the various aspects of your own life? Let's reflect together!

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

The Blessing of Fall's Timeless Serenity

After being out-of-town for the weekend, I have finally gotten back into the swing of things around my home and with regards to my art offerings for Art Every Day Month. I have been wanting to do something with the fall images that I took last week (see my previous post if you are interested to see the original image that I started with for this art piece). I have been doing a lot with Mandalas the last few months for some reason. Before about 6 months ago, I had used Mandalas quite a bit with some of my clients and in many healing art workshops that I have run over the years, for their centering and calming effects, but I had not really done that many of them for myself. Then suddenly, they just seemed to start evolving into my some of my art. Around that time period, I started a series of them for prayer meditation (see my Circles In Time Mandala Series on my InnerSpirit facebook page) which I am still working on at this present time. After I create a Mandala in this series, I allow myself to be open to "free association" words that arise in my mind as I look into the Mandala. I have written those words around the outside of this series and some of them have provided me with personal insights along the way. I have found Mandalas to be very healing for me and relaxing, especially on days when I am know that I have a lot of emotions flowing around in my heart.

Changing Seasons Can Bring Deep Moods

The Mandala above is called "Fall Wood & Leaf Mandala_Purple", and it was inspired both by the images from my last post and the gorgeous sunset that happened last night behind my house. I saw the sunset through my sliding glass window that looks out to my deck, while I was working on my laptop—just trying to catch back up with my life and feeling very drained from my weekend away. I grabbed my iphone and went outside to capture it before it was gone. It was so beautiful that it made me think of new possibilities and new hope that some of the feelings that were whirling around in my heart and the heart of those that I loved, could be made lighter by the beauty of the season and this brief glimpse of the breath of God's Palette in my own backyard.

Digital Mandala Play
After taking that sunset photo, I started playing with the original fall image that I put in my previous post by placing it in a circle. I was not really sure that I was going to create a Mandala with it, but it just seemed a calming shape to start with and a way to contain some of the emotions that I was still dealing with. It helped to keep me focused on my art and away I went long into the night. I wanted to add some variety and a bit of an abstract quality to the image, so I created some arbitrary stripes and let the areas where the stripes overlapped the image do some fun things with the various filters that are available in Photoshop. I like how it turned out. I rotated the same stripes to create a horizontal set of a different color and somehow these also helped to "center" and ground the piece on the canvas. As I continued to work, I found that I also began to feel more centered and grounded. It is funny how that therapeutic effect happens, I guess that is why I am so passionate about art therapy. It works, and I know it's power from an intimate perspective. In the end the piece seemed to whisper to me the I included them in the piece. I often find that if I listen closely my art it has a life of it's own, and it will speak to me!

I have included the first version that I did with the word "Timeless" in a green color, but I later did this version in purple and it seemed to resonate better with me. I have included the green version here for others to review. Which is your favorite and why? Do you get any particular feelings that are evoked when you look into either of these Mandalas? What are they? If you click on either image you can see a larger view of each one.


  1. LOVE Circles! Happy to see them incorporated here, keep up the great work!

  2. I love your Timeless mandala - the colors are so appealing and calming. The photograph of the sunset is also quite beautiful. I do love sunsets! I haven't worked much with mandalas, and seeing yours makes me want to experiment with them. Thanks for sharing!

  3. what a wonderful, healing process, diane. thank you for sharing it. the mandala is stunning!

  4. I so love the mandala - just beautiful - I have been working on a mandala myself - still a work in progress - but I am liking it.
    Yours is amazing - great eye candy - thanks for sharing it~!~
    Thanks for stopping by my corner - I enjoy reading your opinion!

  5. I LOVE LOVE LOVE your mandala! It is truly stunning. And, I appreciate you sharing your creative process!!! This morning I woke up with the inspiration to make a mandala today. I've used them so much through the years when I'm facilitating expressive arts processes. Your mandala opened me up to even more possibilties of how a mandala can unfold through photographs! Thank you!!!

  6. Wow, what an outburst of comments. I am very happy that people seem to like the Mandala. I think I work too much without others feedback and this is a refreshing process for me to do the AEDM and then post it. I don't really have many artist friends anymore so this has been a really good experience to cultivate some new ones online. Most of my designer/artist friends from years ago have moved away over the years.

    Ellie, I love that you were working on one too, must be the season...and Expressive Hart...your many loves really touched me and I am honored to have inspired you to try a Mandala too. I see that you are also considering one Arlene! :) Have fun with those.

    Leah and CorazonArt thank you so much for you support and insights. I am looking forward to all of your creations as AEDM continues.

    Blessings to you all!

  7. this mandala is a lot of fun in its photoshop play and might actually inspire me to try a different way of approaching this art form. thank you!

  8. Sue, thanks so much for you comment and there are lots of ways to create a Mandala that is for sure. I never have done anything like a photographic Mandala like this before so it was a first for me too, but I really like how it turned out. I should do some more at some point.