As a test of the traditional to digital workflow, I designed the Photoshop shape layers over the scanned drawing from my mandala diary. Working on this design kicked me into the flow, I’ve lost the track of time.
Found images and mixed media exercise from the experimental drawing workshop at the Exeter Community Centre. I wasn’t very happy with the composition during the process, but I kept going on until it was finished. Only later, when I accidentally placed the drawing upside down against the wall, I’ve realized that it works much better rotated this way. The creative process keeps surprising me! 🙂
The experimental drawing workshop was a part of Exe-Arts, a community arts initiative offering workshops open to the public, encouraging people to try out different art forms.
In this painting the square becomes more prominent, more present, but it’s still unstable, still shimmering, still becoming.
The squaring of the circle is as much a reference to the mandala design as it is to the alchemy. I was introduced to both mandala and alchemy images through the books of Carl Gustav Jung.
I’ve found the inspiration for this mandala in the cathedral rosette designs. I’ve used masking fluid to reserve the white and painted the primary red and blue wet in wet to create the effect of the light shining through a colored glass.
Recently I’ve come across the first Tibetan mandala I remember seeing years ago. When I saw it again with the fresh eyes, I’ve realized that my abstract mandala paintings are missing the square element. The mandala can be interpreted as a symbol of the union of the opposites: the microcosm and the macrocosm, the one and the many, the circle and the square. Without a square, it was missing the crucial symbolic element.