Monday, January 31, 2011

A Complete and Total Cop-out!

# 305 - Draw Something Huge

I painted another mandala last week. This one is really huge, so it (sort of?) meets the challenge. Unfortunately, it is SO huge that even when I lie on my back, on the floor, in the center of the labyrinth gazebo, I cannot fit it all into the viewfinder. It is a real painted mandala, you just have to trust me!
It began with a gallon of really good, expensive brand name paint setting on the "oops" shelf at Home Depot. It called out to me. Seriously, it did! It said "Hey, you there in the marathon t-shirt! I know I am a very intense, dramatic color that you would normally have no interest in, but if you buy me, I will look wonderful in your gazebo!" I didn't believe it (him?), but on the other hand I'd never been propositioned by an inanimate object in exactly this manner before, so for five bucks, how could I refuse?

It took more than a year to get a round tuit, but now it's done and it looks pretty darned good, if I do say so myself. So you just have to look at this little slice, shot from the side, and pretend you are there, looking up to the ceiling. The very top is white and (reminiscent of exercises I endured in Color Theory 101, many decades ago) it deepens in concentric rings to a dark, dark teal. (Again, you must trust me on this because the photo doesn't accurately depict the depth of the darkest hue.) Now my ceiling sports a giant mandala that resembles a skylight during the day, and by night, when the hanging candlelabrum is lit, sets the gazebo aglow!
And now I've met my intention of posting four times in the month of January, as well. I'm bending the rules to get it done, I know. I am currently working on a 'real' drawing to be posted next week, but then again, you must trust me on this!

Monday, January 17, 2011

Process, Awaiting Product

A joyful and prosperous 2011 to all! I know, I'm a little late with that greeting. I'm actually having a very productive and creative start to the year, but I've been neglecting drawing challenges, and this blog.

To jumpstart a return I decided to share my process of making affirmation mandalas. This is difficult for me, as it exposes all the 'herky-jerky motions' going into a painting when I only want to show the finished product, and then only if I like it. But, anyway, here goes...
My affirmation for 2011 is "I Choose Happiness." Now I am documenting that intent with a mandala painting. I write it into a 36-degree angle, one half of 72 degrees, or a 5 radial design, because the number 5 is related to playfulness. I like playfulness. It makes me happy!
(Continued below)

As Idle Hands Are the Devil's Playground...

I could use PhotoShop or any number of grapics programs to do this step, but I can't figure out an easy way to transfer the pattern without using a printer, and it will go on a gessoed plyboard. So, I trace the radial ten times, flopping every other radial as a mirror image.

I do so love busywork - it keeps me off the street, as they say. (Who are "they," do you know? I think I saw one of "them" yesterday in the...) Ooops, my mind tends to wander as I trace. Which brings me to another point. As I work on this piece, my intention is to stay on point. That is, try to keep my monkeymind on the affirmation itself. Think positive! Think happy! Nail that emotion to the board by being in it as I work!

Now, notice how the capitol 'I' makes an intricate flower design in the center? That will be my focus on the next step, to follow.

(Continued below)

Ugh! Don't like it yet...

Using thin acrylic washes, I begin picking out color fields and patterns. I work from the center out. I must admit that normally by this stage I find something about the design I really like, but this time I haven't, yet.

It's the colors. I think I'm forcing something, here. For "happy" I wanted to use pure, bright colors (not my usual pallet) AND I read somewhere that orange symbolizes that emotion, especially when paired with turquoise. A stretch for me, but I'm determined to make that work. Stay tuned, should you find this process of interest. I promise the final product will be more aesthetically pleasing, or I shall not be happy! And then, what would be the point? :)