Thursday, April 5, 2012

Everyday Opinions: What is a Mandala? My personal take......

You might be wondering, ‘What is a mandala?’ or you might already have your own views. For those who are not sure what it is or what I might be referring to I would like to briefly explain. I plan to post three short essays on mandalas. The first will be ‘my personal take on mandalas’, the second  ‘Dr C. Jung’s mandalas’ and lastly ‘background to mandalas.’

My personal take on mandalas
For me, a mandala is a picture expressed in a form of a circle or circle in a square. I express them either as in abstract, free flowing forms or geometrically balanced images or using more realistic images. I find nature an inspiration, such as flowers, ferns, cross-sections of shells and vegetables, sun, moon and stars, etc. And I also draw on a personally acquired inspirations of the happenings of my life, some emotional, some spiritual and some conceptual. My mandala images are neither necessarily expressing a religious or psychological concept, theme or ideas but are authentic expressions of the awareness of my inner and outer worlds.
My mandalas are made up of a variety of materials and I enjoy adding my poems or words to mixed media images.  I find art and creating mandalas relaxing and enjoy the challenge of planning the symmetry; often using compass and protractor. Other times I break the rules to use free flowing forms. Working slowly with the plan can be ‘meditative’ giving me time to think about concepts and at the same time getting insights. (This can be said about any form of art process.) There is orderliness in creating the mandala which is appealing to me. I sometimes use the mandala image to consolidate all of my ideas into one image when I have been absorbed in a process of visual journaling. You can see an example of this here at

It is said that mandalas help one become more integrated but I will tell you about that in the next post about Dr Jung's mandalas. 

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