The final result of my lotus mandala. I hope it's the first of many mandalas to come. Here is the evolution as I worked on it over the last couple of months:
I like each of the phases. In some ways I could have stopped at any one of them, especially the middle one. When I added the last bits (finished piece) I wondered if I had overdone it, but in fact, it's growing on me.
Eventually I may even try a colored pencil version of it, though not on the original.
This has been an exercise in fascination--fascination with mandalas, about which I know so little and hope to educate myself. Fascination with watching this develop over the months. And fascination with watching my own reluctance to work on it every step of the way. If I didn't have a deadline looming for it, I wonder if I would have simply abandoned it. The whole process intimidated me. Now, I am glad I saw it through.
This mandala was part of a (mostly written) portfolio I created for the practicum in teaching mindfulness based stress reduction (MBSR), a course I took at the UMass Medical School's Center for Mindfulness in Medicine, Healthcare, and Society, at the Oasis Institute. The entire course was such a meaningful experience. I hope I've reflected that in the mandala. It grew, as I grew, throughout the course.
THE TITLE OF THIS POST
Although I've been doing art for years, I've rarely showed it to anyone. The blog is my way of putting it out there, even if no one ever reads it. *I* know it's out there, and that's what matters to me. I think doing art and showing it to others requires guts, "stupidity," and a bullet-proof ego. I don't have much of the first or the last qualities; I do have plenty of "stupidity," by which I don't mean to imply I'm a stupid person. By "stupidity" I simply mean a willingness to know how little I know about art--how little ANYONE knows about art, which is such a mysterious process.
Guts? I am the original scaredy-cat so the blog is an effort to get over myself. Ditto with the bullet-proof ego. I'm so aware of how different people's tastes are...so undoubtedly there will be detractors and plenty of folks who wonder how I could call any of this art. I wonder about that myself. I had a real struggle to get myself to work on the mandala consistently; it was all about fear. Posting the kind of careless scribble I did several days ago made me feel especially shaky, as it barely qualifies as anything above a stick figure. Terrifying...
But don't we all have those fears about art? Doing it? Showing it?
Basically, I'm a Maker of Things. That could be one definition of art. It's my current working definition anyway.
"If you fall flat on your face, you're still moving forward." -- Victor Kiam
AND NOW FOR SOMETHING COMPLETELY DIFFERENT...
On a lighter note, I've been wanting to include the name tag I created on the first evening of Tangle University 2 (aka "TU2") in Portland a couple of months ago. The first night of the event there was a wonderful huge reception-party. As an introvert, I made myself go up to the penthouse where it was being held. But when I got off the elevator, there was so much noise and so many people, none of whom I knew, that I literally whipped around and dove back into the still-open elevator and went down to my room. I felt wimpy but I also knew I couldn't handle that much noise...so instead, I tangled my name tag and got lots of compliments on it all thru the event. To my surprise, I was the only person I saw there who bothered to tangle her name tag.
[Note: I am inordinately proud of having figured out how to blur out my name this afternoon...something any self-respecting 10 year old already knows how to do, but I didn't...am so puffed up about having taught myself this! LOL]
I'm a textile artist (traditional rug hooking, punch needle rug hooking, and other textile arts), long-time meditator and coach, focused on learning about the interplay of art, creativity, and mindfulness every day.
NEXT INTRO TO ZENTANGLE CLASS:
No immediate group classes scheduled (I'm always open to hearing about a good venue in the Cambridge-Somerville area). I am always happy to teach 1-1 and/or in a small group in your home.
Come and amaze yourself!
SITES TO WATCH:
Insight Meditation Society
Oxford Rug Hooking School
Zentangle: The Official Site
Green Mountain Rug Hooking
Massachusetts Tarot Society
Skillful Meditation Project