Joy is the most important element of yoga to me. My yoga teacher is a proponent of feeling joy in the poses or modifying them to meet your needs. This is just the right fit for me. We did a lot of yoga in 2 days and I really loved it. I had to sit out part of a standing mediation that triggered my migraine, but that was after a lot of really excellent practice. We did lots of Sun Salutations as the sun sparkled on Green Bay. We did circle balance poses that are so beautiful and exhilarating. As we rested on our right side at one point the beauty of another yogini’s feet with the sunshine and shadows was so beautiful I wished I could stop to draw them or take a photograph. Oh, and we ate! Yummy and healthy foods. We started our days with silence and ended with talking and laughter. It was so good to see old friends and make new ones.
The Journal 52 prompt for this week is Elements. That made me think of the Tibetan Buddhist styles of representing the elements in art. As I was drawing them, I realized that each one corresponded with an element of yoga.
Air – clouds – breathing
Water – the waves of Lake Michigan and Green Bay – and flow
Earth – rocks – grounding, finding my foundation
Fire – flames – generating some heat!
The mandala on this page is inspired by the shirt of one of my new friends at the retreat.
I was also inspired by the Diva’s challenge to use the tangle pattern Tipple as the background for my “joy” page. It provides just the effervescence I was looking for! To see other interpretations of her challenge check out her Diva Challenge.
Have a beautiful day!
100 Mandalas, acrylic paint, altered art, altered art book, Altered book, Buddhist art, collage, Mandala, Mixed Media, Refurbished Art, Sharpies, Tibetan Art, Tree of Life, Upcycle, Watercolor pencils, Zendala
Here is the completed collage! I have been enjoying other people’s process photos and videos, so I’m including some of them for this piece. I really had fun with this.
Oh, the reconstituted collage poem was inspired by my blogging friend Claudia McGill. It reads
This observation is grounded
at first did not move her thus
I had a strange feeling
and kept walking.
and drifting among other souls
That complemented my mandala montage nicely, I thought. The funny thing is that the text is from a book I didn’t like and one I haven’t read. The larger text is from a more than 100-year-old copy of the Pilgrim’s Progress that my mother-in-law gave me for Christmas. She was reluctant to give me a “ratty old book” for a gift and I finally convinced her that I was very sincerely excited about the prospect of getting my hands on that book to use in my art. The other book was The Goldfinch which is printed on lovely paper and that is my favorite thing about the book. I learned the hard way not to do watercolors on the pages because there would be impolite language in the middle of a white flower (for example) and that was not the mood I was going for at all. That book needed some editing and I have enjoyed cutting the pages up for collage fodder.
So… here is the before photograph. I paid $20 to purchase this piece of “art” from a local gallery to enter their Refurbished Art Contest.
I like a challenge.
I really liked the girl walking into the painting on the antithesis of the yellow brick road. So I drew some fun mandalas (with my Pigma Micron pens on hot press watercolor paper) that I thought would make the landscape more interesting for her. I have been drawing them many mornings as part of my morning mandala practice. I decided early on to have a tree of life mandala as the centerpiece.
Then I painted and colored in the mandalas. I have been playing with Prismacolor watercolor pencils in addition to my usual Derwent Inktense pencils and I really like the pallet and effects possible with the different brands. I also used Sharpies for some of the coloring. I also painted some papers of different weights and cut out flowers and leaves for the Tree of Life mandala and decided to use some to decorate the borders.
I cut circles for the collage from the different assembled unpainted papers. I studied languages in college a really long time ago and have my notebooks from language classes (mostly Chinese and Spanish) that I really like to include as well as the aforementioned books. I usually throw in a relevant dictionary page. The page for this piece is “idyl, idyll” and I included that definition right by the girl I left in the picture, because it is her idyl, of course. I also have a page from one of my grandmother’s cookbooks, and a copy of a sheet of music from my son. So I cut circles and arranged them on the circle I traced around my dinner plate onto the print. I used matte medium to attach them.
The next step was inspired by the illustrations by Demi. You may recall my Inspiration Board post from earlier this year. That is where the idea for the background for my tree of life mandala was born! So I painted most of the collaged circles blue and went outside the lines so my clouds would be visible beyond the mandala. I also painted the lower portion with a very thin coat green so the papers showed through a little as the “ground” of the tree of life. When the paint was dry I went in and drew a Wheel of Joy and clouds and rocks inspired by Tibetan Buddhist art (a source of inspiration for Demi as well). The rocks are not visible in the photo, but that’s how gel pens are.
and then I put it all together with gel medium!
Here are all of the supplies I used.
This will be on display at Alter-Ego Studio in lovely Wisconsin. Come to see and/or purchase this piece! Have a beautiful day!
I’m not doing a mandala a day, so I’m not quite sure how this is going to work out as my regular gratitude journal. So far the mandalas that I have made are really nice representations of what I am grateful for. The Meditation Retreat was very interesting. I totally fell in love with the Liberating Prayer, a portion of which is included in the “Water the seeds of loving speech” mandala that incorporates Tibetan Buddhist Art symbols. I learned a lot about Karma and Buddhist art. The Liberating Prayer really tied in nicely with the 100 mandalas theme of resting in darkness. I’m also still really grooving with the Spirograph! These images, and many other art journal pages, are also available for viewing on Journal 52.
My gratitude question for you this week is how do you water the seed of loving speech in your thoughts? Who helps you in this journey?
One of the things I discovered at the retreat is that when I take care of my loved ones with an attitude of stinginess or like I’m not getting the recognition I’m due, I am watering the seeds of unhappiness in my own mind. While I was cooking for my friends at the retreat it was such a pleasure. Finding that pleasure in my ability to do mundane tasks for those I love is one of the biggest ways I can water the seeds of loving speech in my life. There have been many times (and they continue to pop up) when I am not able to eat, much less cook or wash up after a meal because of my migraines. I have lots of quick and easy foods I know how to make and I have all the ingredients to make a wide variety of healthy (and some not 😉 ) foods. I have people in my life who I love and I get to share meals with them regularly. I am so frequently amazed at the number of people who have worked so hard to provide me with organic (when possible) fruits and vegetables, grains, etc. When I start looking at making dinner in this light, I can find a feeling of delight. My husband and the wonderful Buddhist nun that I have had the good fortune to meet greatly help me on this gratitude journey.