Mandalas

The mandalas shown here were a result of a struggle to regain my artistic footing after I became allergic to pastels and suffered several difficult personal losses. Needing a mode of expression for my response to challenging circumstances, I was stymied in terms of what art form and medium was going to satisfy my need for an alternative visionary process that could satisfy my current needs for artistic expression.

I went to Maui for a personal retreat and took only my colored pencils and some colored papers that I collected. Many years prior, I had learned a spiritual process for working with the energy of light and color. At a workshop at Esalen with Judith Cornell, I learned about working with flowers, colored art pencils and dark paper so I began to casually re-explore this process and suddenly, the issue of radiance and light began to reappear, as did a totally engaging, engrossing and slightly compelling desire to keep doing new mandalas.

This time, I was clearly not in charge. This process rather took over and I simply surrendered and went along for the ride. The images in the mandalas were devoid of my ego control and just appeared spontaneously as I went along, putting straight lines here and there with the circles. My tools were pencils, paper, ruler, compass and erasers. Nothing else was needed.

Jung’s point of view, after creating some of his own mandalas, was that mandalas are the “Center” or the “Self” The mandala is a path to this center and individuation. As an expression of the Self, he felt the mandala was the ultimate healing image. I must admit that without knowing much of this, I did experience a profound healing sequence.

For myself, the process of creating these mandalas was, again, a healing process and an integrating one as well. It was a spiritual, unifying experience, full of joy and an experience of the Infinite. I continue to do these mandalas and find them infinitely satisfying and fascinating to draw.