mandala give away

Drawing and Painting a Mandala

Once a month – at least for now – I’m going to create something that resonates with what I’m feeling and will subsequently give away.

I’m doing this to spread joy. Yes, the name of the mandala I’m giving a way is “Spreading Joy,” but more on that in a minute.

I found four of these wonderful canvas panels that are 12″ x 12″, or 30.48cm x 30.48cm for all you metric system readers out there πŸ™‚

I immediately thought I would create artwork to give away.

 

Why?

I love giving things away. I feel like I’m making my own contribution to the world and making it a better place in my own way.

Also, I am practicingΒ much gratitude this month and I’m grateful to everyone who has hit the “subscribe” button.

Why Mandalas?

The word “mandala” means circle. Circles have no beginning and have no end.

If you’re sitting in a circle, there’s no one who is “higher” or “more prominent” than another.

But mandalas go a little further than that. They also represent balance and harmony, even though they might have lots of shapes within their concentric circles.

The process of creating them is also extraordinarily meditative.

This is a shot of the mandala hanging on the wall – for a little perspective

The Process

When I sat down to create this mandala, I wasn’t sure just what I would do.

I went to find my acrylic paints, and had the idea that I’d paint a blue background and perhaps do a black or silver mandala on the blue.

But then the color red called to me.

I went with that. In retrospect, I recognize the symbolism of the color red.

First, I think it called to me because of the time of year that we’re in at the moment.

As of this writing, it’s mid-November and in the US, many holidays are about to occur in the next month or so: Thanksgiving, Hanukkah, Christmas, Kwanzaa, Yule, and Saturnalia, among others.

Second, the color red has different meanings: enthusiasm, energy, confidence, beauty, and fire, joy and even life. These meanings vary depending on which part of the world in which you find yourself.

Interestingly, if I wasn’t feeling all of these things at the time I chose the color red, then I wanted to feel them.

I chose to work with the white paint markers that would set off the mandala in a festive manner. I also used a silver metallic Sharpie marker to accent the mandala.

After painting the background, I drew in concentric circles with a compass. Later, I lightly freehanded a basic design so that I could make sure my mandala was balanced.

As a side note, how neat would it be to get so good at making mandalas, that I don’t have to use a compass or guiding lines?

Perhaps I’ll try that next time: just go on instinct and see what happens. There’s an element of trust that would have to happen, no?

As I began painting with the marker, I will admit I wasn’t feeling entirely confident, nor was I feeling very enthusiastic.

It was just one of those days, you know? I’m generally a “keep on the sunny side of life” kind of person, but sometimes life events – even mundane ones – leave me feeling like I want to just crawl under a blanket and poke my eyes out only as a matter of being aware of what’s going on around me. Know what I mean?

But, remember, I was also wanting to feel those other things.

As I worked, a whole transformation happened. I began to get into a meditative state. I felt the energy of the mandala infuse my emotions with joy and confidence. By the time I was finished, I was in an elated mood.

Such is the effect of working on mandalas.

At some point, I will try the same with a four directions wheel of some sort.

When I finished, it wasn’t until I watched the video of me drawing the mandala that the title came to me: “Spreading Joy.”

I hope that whomever gains possession of this mandala experiences the joy that I felt in creating it.

Take a look at the video of me drawing the mandala. It was one of the first ones I’ve done where I’ve recorded myself and then used time-lapse software to speed it up. To that end, there are moments where I’m drawing and you can’t see my hands. I’ll get better for next time! πŸ™‚

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The Giveaway – How it works

Unlike the last giveaway that happened pretty quickly, this one will last for a month. I’ll do the drawing sometime before Monday, December 18 and announce the winner in that post, as well as aΒ new mandala painting to give away for January.

All subscribers to the blog will be entered this time. This includes WordPress subscribers, as well. I’ve figured out a way to just enter first names of everyone who subscribes (both via email and through WordPress).

If you are a winner, I will contact you shortly after December 18.

I will pick three winners – in case someone’s located outside of the US.

Yes, for this drawing, you need to live in the continental US. Shipping and customs charges are exorbitant and take a long while to get to their destinations overseas.

But here’s a thought: if I ever put a “Patreon” button on the blog in which I receive donations for my work, that could offset shipping charges overseas.

If you’d be amenable to that, let me know in the comments and I’ll consider that for the next art giveaway.

If you know someone who would like to follow along, and/or be entered into the giveaway, please share this post or have them sign up at the bottom of this post.

“Spreading Joy” Stats:

12″x12″ (30.48cm x 30.48cm)

Mixed media (water-based paint marker, metallic Sharpie marker) on canvas

Date created: November 2017

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