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!

Monday, November 16, 2009

Swirling Colors and Lines Free Me

I am a little behind on postings for my Art Every Day Month Challenge. I was out of town and without my laptop for a few days so I did not have the ability to post. I was in what I will call a "forced techno escape". I had my iphone with me, but I was only checking email infrequently and the idea of trying to post a whole blog entry by typing on that little keyboard seemed a little "crazy" to me unless I was a problogger and I was actually getting paid to get something up for those days that I was pretending to be "techno free". In addition, since I was doing traditional media artwork, I still had to photograph it, upload it, adjust it in Photoshop (which in this case still is not the most pleasing photos. but you get the idea anyway), and then get it into the actual blog entry. All of this is much easier when I have my laptop back and I am home. This way I get to sip my coffee, listen to some nice Diana Krall (a lovely, sultry,  jazz singer—if you are not familiar with her work) while I am blogging.

Relaxing Into A Meditative State
The Mandala shown here (in various cropped views to highlight the details) was created for Day #13 of Art Every Day Month, but it is also part of my Circles In Time Mandala Series that I am working on. I have not used watercolor yet in the existing Mandalas that I have created for this series, even though a lot of my primary artwork is in watercolor. I originally started my Circles In Time series with colored Sharpie markers, in various sizes, with the idea that it would be a very portable art form and that it would force me to think less about each Mandala having to be a "finished" art piece, and it would also allow me to focus more on it's prayer/meditative properties as I worked. I often say a prayer before I start or during the creation process, other times, I may simply take several deep breathes while reciting a simple breath mantra before beginning the work to help "center" or "ground" myself prior to drawing my beginning circle. The Sharpie markers are fun to work with and they have freed me up to new possibilities, but on Day #13 I was moved to work with a more flowing media for this little Mandala for something different for my Art Every Day Month piece.

Allowing My Body To Feel The Flowing Peace
I initially followed the same process as I always do for this small Mandala (all Mandala's in this series start with the same size circle of 7.5"x7.5" in diameter) by saying a prayer before beginning. On this day my prayer was simply "Lord, allow me to move freely into this space and to be held softly in your creative source as I rest and I am replenished by you".

I dipped my brush into the sweet, wet watercolor and rolled it out onto my paper, concentrating on the tactile feel of the brush in my hand and the soothing flow of the colors as they flowed into each other and onto my paper. Oh, how glorious this process felt to me. I wanted to live forever in the swirling colors and puddles of spontaneous exuberance. If only we never had to return to the complications of life. At some point my small Mandala was filled with color and it seemed time to put the brushes down and allow the paint to dry. In reality, I do have to admit that I cheated a bit with the drying process since I was so excited to add some details to the piece. I am guilty of using the blowdryer to speed up the drying in some highly saturated areas. You won't tell anyone will you?

Pulling Out The Details
Once the piece was sufficiently dry to accept another media, I started playing with my colored pencils and I began to add details as they came freely from my creative source. I loved playing with the various lines and working with the soft texture of the pencils on the slightly rough paper. It was very relaxing and it allowed me to continue to rest my analytical mind (which is often raging far too fast for my own good). I did not really have any preconceived notion of what the details would suggest, but in the end, as I reflect upon the piece now, they seem to suggest a kind of organic quality. Parts of the piece appear to suggest to me a marine theme of some sort containing organisms such as starfish, jellyfish and various aquatic plant life.

What do you see when you look into the Mandala? We all have our own interpretation of what is created by other artist's abstract imagery. As I look deeper into the work, there also appears to be a lot of roots and new growth budding in this piece... is this about my own stretching and growing? Sometimes I think am being forced to stretch and grow too quickly in some ways and other times I feel frustrated that I am not growing and stretching enough in other areas of my you ever feel the push and pull of "growth and stretching" in areas of your life? How can you cultivate those areas that you would like to grow? You may also need to consider taking a break in areas that you may feel are moving too fast for you and in which you are having a hard time catching up. This racing often causes internal stress. It's okay to slow down a bit, we need to give ourselves permission to be where we need to be. Only you know where that is at any given moment in your life.

(This Mandala can be viewed in it's whole circle form on my InnerSpirit facebook page in the Circles In Time Mandala Series).

Much Love and Blessings,


  1. I love the unique look & feel to this circular mandala, and find it interesting to learn your process.

  2. Hi gypsy, thanks for stopping by. I appreciate your interest in my process...I also find it interesting to hear how other artists approach their work. I think it helps to understand their piece and it allows me to look at things a little differently sometimes, which is always a good thing to try! Please visit again!