Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Teaching the Art of Mandalas

Last Saturday, July 26, 2014
we gathered together for yet another
Artful Spirit Workshop
at the beautiful
Virginia Beach Resort Hotel.
We were smaller in numbers this time,
but it was such a wonderful and intimate group!

(We have been in this room before)

I firmly believe that attendance numbers don't matter,
and those who are meant to be there, will be there,
at the exact moment they should be,
for there are lessons each person needs to experience,
in their own time.

We gathered early morning,
and found our own special table
to begin our days creative journey.

This workshop theme Suzan and I presented
was all about Mandalas.
We are both passionate about this art form,
it's history and the benefits they provide
while creating these gems.

(My dear friend Suzan and Artful Spirit partner in Creativity!)

We started with a small warm up of sorts,
watercolors, circles, designs, 
watercolor crayons, ink
just allowing ourselves the gift of play.
We are all so busy in our lives,
how wonderful it was to allow ourselves the gift
of one day,
to play and be creative with others!
Leaving our lives behind for a short while.

(Watercolor play)

(Concentration happening here!)

We then created a mandala
from our watercolors,
our ink drawings.
We had words, words, words everywhere
and each participant
created an intention, or saying in their mandala.
We were very pleased with the results.

(Gathering our work in the circle)

I can't take credit for this technique,
for I first learned it from the amazing
Louise Gale and her mixed media mandala class,
(being offered again in October 2014)

I learned so much from her
and other courses I have taken.
Studied different techniques
and made them my own.
I was sharing what I learned,
how I made it my own style
and shared with others.
I am sure in return, our students today
will take what they learned from
Suzan and I and make it with their own styles.

We played with watercolor brushes,
different sizes and then painted a second mandala,
adding our ink drawings in the center
and more affirming words.

(More circle time with our finished work)

Each time we created and finished a piece,
we gathered together in the front of the room,
creating a mosaic with our finished pieces,
this is something I always do with my Zentangle Students,
taking the time to admire each others work,
and commenting on the lessons we learned.

I had created a nature mandala 
for all to enjoy,
explaining how fun this is to go out into the world,
create a mandala from nature,
walk away from it
and leave your gift for others to enjoy!

(Just a little nature play)

The amazing Shelly Norris,
then shared how we can create our own mandalas
with beautiful stones,
sharing the benefits of each gemstone
and their meanings,
what fun!
Shelly is doing amazing work with 
her gemstone business
Ms. Shelly's Rocks
and it was so fun to have her with us this Saturday!
It was the perfect addition to our creative day!

(Shelly teaching us about rocks and gemstones)

We then shared a beautiful lunch together in 
the hotel restaurant overlooking
the Chesapeake Bay,
fellowship is important
and I loved all the conversations
happening around the table.
We even created our own
mandala centerpiece for the table,
symmetry, symmetry, symmetry!

(Lunchtime centerpiece)

After returning from lunch,
I peeked in the room 
and noticed one student stayed in the room,
eating her lunch she had brought,
and kept on creating,
she was truly loving every moment.
I had to capture this picture!
It truly warmed my heart.

(How I love this photo!)

We then tried something new,
Mandalas on art boards,
something I have been selling on my own
little Etsy shop for quite some time,

(Happy Lights and examples of my own work)

I was now sharing my techniques with others.
I truly love working on these art boards,
they are so easy to work with
and take a variety of textures and paints.
You can find my original pieces for sale here

(My sis was in deep concentration)

(My demo at the table)

"Leave Your Mark"  a beautiful finished piece

(My happy daughter-n-law Lauren)

We used 8 x 10 art boards,
already spray painted with stencils,
then each attendee picked the one they wanted,
and created fun backgrounds with
all kinds of colors and textures.
After drying, they then drew their own
mandala designs over the painted surface,
each one was beautiful and had their own style!
I was so proud of them!
So much talent and exploration in one room.

(Love the colors and designs happening here!)

(Mother and Daughter creating together ... LOVE!)

Another completed work

Taking a quick pic of her beautiful piece

I have saved the best for last ...
our community mandala.
Each attendee was given
"a slice of the mandala"
to work on throughout the day,
we then brought them together
and Suzan mounted our pieces into a whole,
when we gathered and saw the finished product,
I think it truly took our breath away.

Created by one of my Zentangle students ... can you tell???

Our finished group mandala ... totally took my breath away!

We talked about community and coming together,
living with an artful spirit
and the joy of creating
of course we had to take our signature group picture
with our toes around the mandala
(cause not everyone is comfortable taking a pic)
it's become An Artful Spirit tradition!

We then surprised our attendees with a drawing,
and one lucky girl
Susan Pease
was our winner.
The joy is always in the giving!

It was an amazing day,
a creative boost,
a time of love and fellowship
and as always
I can 't wait for our next one!

We meet quarterly,
Our next gathering of creative spirits
will be Saturday, November 1
and the theme will be
Artful Spirit Collage
(aka Soul Collage Techniques)

See you there!

Donna Lee