Nearly 15 years ago, my view of art was blown wide open when I learned of the ancient art form known as the Mandala. The word Mandala is from the ancient Sanskrit language and means circle. In the summer of 1996, I attended an informal art class called ‘Art from the Heart’. I was drawn to that sweet name because who couldn’t use more art from the heart in this world we live in? The class was led by a petite, 84-year-old British woman, whom I immediately adored. She taught us about the ancient Mandala and how it has been used for centuries as a tool for meditation and insight. She had us draw a large circle on our paper and all of our painting / drawing that night was to be done inside the circle. I loved the structure of that! I loved that I could simply trace a circle on the blank paper. It took all the pressure off by making that first mark on the paper and not having to stare at a blank page wondering what was to be drawn next. That first mark was done and now all I had to do was let the color flow into that circle.
After that first night in class, I was hooked!! I loved painting Mandalas! I found them soothing and healing to create. I got very insightful messages from my Mandalas and they came into my life at a time when I was going to need that creative expression outlet to work through some difficult emotional times. I can honestly say that Mandalas changed my life and gave me a tool for spiritual and emotional healing.
One of my most popular Mandalas is called ‘Moon Glow’ (see above). I painted it during a trip to the beautiful Hawaiian island of Kauai during the full moon. I’ve never seen such a bright moon before. Its light reflected and bounced off the ocean water, making the moon even brighter. The sky just lit up and everything seemed to have this magical glow.
The moon itself is a perfect Mandala. It is thought to have mythical and transformative powers in many legends. The moon and the ocean tides are closely linked in their harmonious dance throughout each month. There is balance and flow to the waves as the ocean is influenced by the powerful moon. The moon moves through its cycles from New moon to Full moon, from darkness to light, over and over again throughout time.
In all my years of creating Mandalas, I have found that they have the power to help us bring to light those buried aspects of ourselves. Just as the light of the moon breaks through the darkness of night, Mandalas shine a light on areas of our life or psyche that we keep hidden in the dark. It is only by bringing those aspects of ourselves out of the darkness and into the light that we become more whole. My hope is that this blog helps show people the power of the Mandala and how it can help one on his or her journey of healing to become more whole and live more joyfully and authentically.