The Mandala in Life
About the Mandalas
I have been working with mandalas for several years now and I distinctly remember the day I began studying them. The Diploma I was working through was experiential and thus drawing mandalas and experiencing the profound effects they have, from beginning, during and at completion. I often felt elated, centered and calm after drawing one, and a sense of resolve within.
When I feel entangled in life’s many challenging moments or when I simply feel the need to draw, I go to my easel, or to a space where I can draw, and begin a mandala. If I was feeling a sense of anxiety or stress, within a very short time it will have dissipated. Moving out of the Ego aspect of myself where fears and woe preside. I move back into a sense of honoring my true self, an unraveling and trusting my path after the drawing. And each time I draw is truly an honorable journey.
With my paintings I have always done preliminary sketches and know loosely what I am going to paint and which colours I will use, when I get to the canvas. But with mandalas they are very much in the moment; which unfolds a story of where I am right now. It is self-therapy, that when viewing the mandala, it assists in any healing, soothing or uplifting that is required. This can’t necessarily be explained, or be measured as such but it is a tool that assists in realigning the inner self.
Mandalas are a very sacred part of me, of us and of life and I certainly feel a great privilege as continue to draw them. And so when I go to my easel I just begin. I don’t have a plan, as that is not what these are about, I let the paper ‘talk to me’ and I begin.
Some mandalas may just arrive and are executed within a short time, easily drawn while others are very much a journey of a seemingly arduous discovery. They are all a discovery but some stages appear to be more drawn out, sometimes taking many days to complete, explored and worked through to get to the other side where I feel comfortable with the result. At times I feel like giving up, that it’s possibly ruined or the paper may well be overworked, then, like a light at the end of the tunnel, there is a sense of hope, something changes and the piece takes on a whole new face. I have learnt to go with it, to let go, and I never know where a new work will take me. I don’t work intellectually with the piece, as that doesn’t achieve anything, more rumination and then completion arrives. Mistakes are never mistakes, but great learning, and a journey onto a new path, indicative of my life. Of course, it is my life, very telling of where I am at., to go with what’s presenting on the day.
Some mandalas I have around me for months or years, I feel attached to them and great comfort by seeing them regularly. Then one day I find I am over it and I put it away, its life span visually complete for me. Other mandalas I may rip up immediately, let it go and put it in the bin, I just don’t want it around me at all. A cathartic journey complete.
My paintings tell a story of where I am heading in my life, like the story of a tarot card, which never ceases to amaze me. Quite often several of my paintings fulfil a deeper meaning, for me, some years later, and I see more of the story, another level revealed. I use the landscape for inspiration and not only is it a painting of a landscape but of the many layers of my psyche, as well as the collective unconscious. However, for the time being I am drawing more with mandalas revealing my life in a different manner than my paintings. Fascinating, and I certainly feel that this work is for us all to view, that we all gain something from the pieces that I draw or paint. As we do when viewing the many mandalas that others present in varied forms from the many cultures around the world.
These Mandalas were started in late 2007 and the first 18 completed in June 2008 and the series continues.
Watch a video of Angela working on a Mandala
MANDALAS 2010 Update
My latest 12 works pastels on paper 50 x 70cm, mandala series. That being 30 in this series thus far and I am continuing on this ever- evolving body of work. The pieces intrigue and invite, for myself and others, inner healing and a path of guidance in life’s intricacies. I love to draw mandalas and always have paper ready to work on. Allowing it to speak to me, invite me to express within and around the circle my inner psyche and collective unconscious gatherings.
MANDALAS 2012 Update
Over the last year there have been several influences, changes in my personal life, changes in my career of which are exciting, positive and not without challenges. I have made crucial choices placing me in a position that enables me to express myself easily creatively and be there fully for all the work that I do. Evolution not only personally but felt worldwide as we ascend into the next era. I have felt physically challenged and have been re writing the way I walk in my life, now. The drawings have become more detailed and interwoven lace work connecting the outer realms of the drawing more intimately with the central area of the mandala. The journey continues and as much as I would like more time to draw I know this is more about patience in the unfolding of each work as it unravels in my life and the lives of others. That to hurry them is forcing the piece, it’s about the piece directing me! I feel it a privilege to be doing this work and absolutely love the process.
MANDALAS 2013 Update
This year is proving to be drawn out, in the unconscious realms as the work and only work thus far for this year (it now being July!!) is unfolding very slowly! I was curious enough to even do some thumbnail drawings and the connection was not there as I realised that that genre was not a part of this creative work process. So I waited until the paper spoke and even when it did it has been slow and deliberate. And so it goes on, the centre was the last part to appear as I mapped the outer regions initially and even then that has had many stages to build up form and depth. The outer spillage is now awaiting several more layers until complete. The layers are usually done one at a time with one area of design. This drawing is indeed about a bowl overflowing and in what seems to me to be a never ending flow!!!
MANDALAS 2014 Update
I felt myself yearning to engage in figures, include them into the mandala. Brining about a marriage of the female and male aspects of self, the yin and yang of our existence. Also inclusive of our journey in relationship with one another, inviting a story of love. The beginning is in the unconscious realms and then acknowledging a sense of one another. Firstly engaging from a higher place, then reaching out and connecting. These were slow to build as the figures revealed themselves to me. Chiseling them out, like a sculpture and arriving at a place of completion. The series is now up to number 48 and again I am awaiting the journey to continue.
MANDALAS 2015 Update
I loved opening myself up to bringing in the faces, the drawing of the female and the male, yin and yang, those aspects within us all. Close encounter within, and with one another, we are faced to see ourselves in the reflection. The intensity of staring into one another’s eyes, places you in fullness to your feelings, confronting and yet disarming, alarming and yet comforting, shaming and yet solace. The drawing I felt I could continue on in the nuances of the faces but that’s not important, it’s more about the symbology of the two pondering into one another’s psyche. The rivers of existence behind them, pooling in their emotionality, giving a sense of distance and yet the symbol of water being the carrier of emotion.
It’s not apparent of where the next aspect of the series will take me.
As the next drawing dove back into the shapes within shapes, the meandering in streams of consciousness, the pathways that appear and moving away from the figurative. It feels like there are areas of the story pictorially depicted in the now and other areas of colour gradation that I sense allows space-time continuum. That space is in the third dimension and time is in the fourth dimension, its not that you can see it it’s in the feeling of it.
MANDALAS 2016 Update
The process has a mind of its own, a place where when its ready I feel called to the next stage, that could well be inspiration from listening to someone that I feel a connection in the understanding of unfolding life. For example, listening to Wayne Dyer, who continues to inspire me even though he has passed, Deepak Chopra, Darpan for a recent talk he did, or the like. That I wouldn’t say is always the case, consciously being inspired by their talking, on the net, more that it is uplifting and engages me into revealing the next step to take in holding me in my creative endeavors’.
For as long as I can remember I listened to the radio firstly as my Mother & Father did and the practice continued as a means of communication with the world. And in my bedroom as a child I was being inspired by music and programs on the radio, as I would write and draw. And out in more far flung locations like Roxby Downs or Tenant Creek I would feel a sense of support and company even as well as the learned conversations of all things rural as I painted and drew.
The roses I have gone from drawing an overhead viewing in drawing number 50 in the series, to a variance of dimensional perspectives in the following drawing. The roses hold strength and resilience as the leaves changing from a more free styling semblance to a tightening of and sharpening to a sense of wanting to be more contained.
The introduction once again, of the chakras in alignment, the opening of the collective body, like a chest cavity being pulled a part. Almost like a landscape, layers of skin or in contrast the metaphor of mountains and the flowers representing the creative, making way for the future. But I also sense the birthing canal, the inner and outer aspects of the labia.
MANDALAS 2017 Update
The energy feels light and breezy, it’s early January and I’m feeling directed to become more intricate with the work, more pictorial in execution telling a more obvious story. MMMMM What does that mean?
This first, mandala for the year I am uncertain that it exudes that, but it’s what I am feeling.
The journey however, for me, for you and others is always differing in how we interpret what we see creatively, and so we shall see what unfolds in the next aspect of this ongoing mandala journey.
It feels more confident and the colour strengthens the many levels that unfold the symbols, representing this thing called life. Helping at soul level to express what then begins a healing. Or that it continues the healing that has already begun and taking place, this is your tool.
MANDALAS 2018 Update
The completion of mandala #53 and #54 feels like the journey deepens, many new layers revealing themselves within the drawing. The personality, the differing aspects of self, all coming through. Aspects familiar, and unfamiliar from other times linear and non-linear. The continued journey feels the urge to express the contrasts loudly and bloom the symbols onto another level. The frequencies of what we are emitting with thought and word are coming through powerfully. It is powerful in what we are projecting out and we are attracting in.
MANDALAS 2019 Update
This year feels complex with the interwoven intricacies through the design of the mandalas, some of which is representing as the unseen world. Aspects feel comforting, soothing and can assist and elevate that which is in darkness. That which traverses around us that cannot be elevated we need to steer clear of, as what may be enticing or through curiosity and in temptation we are reminded to consult with honesty from within. Darkness is not to be feared nor contemplated as such more a reminder to remain in the light.
A few more layers as I enter into this piece, number 58, and it is definitely feeling much lighter, at this stage, than the last drawing, number 57. The last one was coming in and out of darkness navigating through some tough terrain.
This one is more alluring, laced with transformation in the gentle colours sweeping through the sensual ‘flowering’.
Next directions will arrive. This one feels like it’s asking for a fast birth!!! Where-as the last insisted on long periods of dormancy….2 pieces completed for this year.
Mandala Originals and Prints to Buy
Mandalas that do not have SOLD next to them in the gallery above are available to purchase. The prices are based on whether they are framed or unframed and this is listed next to the Mandala.
If you would like to buy an original please contact Angela to discuss the best delivery method and prices for delivery.
Prints are available of all Mandalas and are printed on acid free paper as a high quality giclee print.
Mandala A1 size Giclee print with 5cm border $180.00
Postage within Australia $20.00 International Postage $30.00