Mandalas and Dream Catchers

I’ve been drawing mandalas for many, many years. Once it was a tool that helped focus me and bring me into a quiet and meditative space. Another time mandalas became a way of connecting with and working through my feelings in a troubled time. I kept a book filled with my intricate drawings for years until I felt it was time to let them go as I moved on with life. I thought my time with mandalas was done – I turned instead to doily making, a kind of crochet version of a mandala if you freestyle it and work with form and colour as your heart dictates. A thoroughly satisfying and restful occupation, mainly done during long winter evenings and eventually ending up, not with a book, but a blanket – a more cuddly and useful product formed from many hours of quiet contemplation.

And then recently I fell somehow into the idea of painting little dream catchers – a version filled with doodles and shapes of a repetitive nature emulating the work of a mandala.  Here are some I’ve been working on.  They are not quite finished yet…….


Then my journal page got a workout with this


I thought I was painting a mandala – which goes to show you never quite know when you pick up some colours where you might end up ………

The process, if you are interested, was to lay down a mixture of colours over the entire double page spread.  You see them now just as the background of the mandala.  Then I used a circle template to pencil in three circles, the rest is done freehand.  The mandala grew from the centre outwards, with lines and doodles and black, white and gold pens.  When the sixth ring was completed the remaining page was painted black.  When the black paint was dry I continued drawing and doodling the pointy outer shapes and finally the ribbons and feathers – at which point I realised my mandala had become a dream catcher.  I felt the black was too heavy so finally I made lots of squiggly marks all over using a white gel pen.

And here are some details of the piece –





So, even though it’s not quite a mandala and not quite a dream catcher, it was a lot of fun to make!  And it might make nice prints – what do you think?

Finally, for his fans – here is Siddy this morning.  Patiently waiting for Orlando to wake up and accept the toy that is being offered so they can play.


He did wake up and Siddy did his happy dance, but Orlando didn’t want to play – again…….  (sigh)……….

Thanks for coming by today, I love that you did!

Has Commercial Christmas Started at Your Place Too?

My birthday, as I keep telling you, falls at the beginning of September.  A few days later I went into the city – somewhere I avoid normally – and was truly totally amazed to see every store had put out the first of their Christmas decorations and assorted stuff.  September!!  I thought it all arriving en-masse near the end of October was bad enough – soon we’ll be shopping for festivals and holidays all year round.  Are you like me and think this is ever so slightly crazy?

I did wonder if it is just here, where we do not really celebrate Halloween or have Thanksgiving as national pastimes like, for instance, our American friends.  Our national holidays are fairly low key and not hugely commercial affairs, so have the corporations decided that, lacking these other two major fiscal opportunities, to make the time of ‘Peace on Earth and Goodwill to All Men’ a spectacular four month long spending spree?  Or am I being just a tad cynical in my old age?  Maybe you like it!  So come on down and share with us – when do you think Christmas should appear in the shops?

So having done my anti-establishment rant about the commercialisation of holidays, I will now jump on the band wagon.  That’s the irony of life isn’t it!  For there is, purely coincidentally, good news for any of you who were pondering on items in my ‘Contented Crafter’s Gift Shop‘ and maybe put off by the exorbitant additional cost of shipping.  For just a short time – unknown exactly how long as yet – postage on any item, to any place, anywhere, is free! And, as just complained about by my good self, in time for the major gift giving season too.  Whoot-whoot!!  Ah well, if you can’t beat ’em you may as well join ’em as someone famous once surely said!

There are also, of course, pages from the art journal to be shared.  I’m beginning to work up so many ideas for proper paintings I don’t know where to start:

There’s this one based on an event from many years ago when my life was in crisis


There’s this one, just playing around with texture and colour


Or this one, where my latest addiction to gold paint and decorative tapes is indulged


And here, where I am just starting to play around with ideas for a proper painting


It’s an eclectic mix isn’t it!  Any thoughts?  I’d like to find time to make some more bracelets, my wrists feel they are in need of some decorative touches………

Thanks for coming by today, I love that you did!