WATERCOLOR & INK – 8″ X 10″
Womandalas began in a moment of whimsy. I had been playing with a little pattern that came up several times in other mandalas, mostly when I was experimenting with new papers, paints and inks. I began laying out my pencil markings and that little pattern emerged again in a giddy little way. This time my eyes saw waistlines, ones that went curvy in and curvy out. And I realized all too well that that’s what mine did. Mine waist curved in and over time curved out. And then I thought, “I’ll paint a mandala for all women, a celebration of our curves. And I will put all of us proudly loving ourselves in bikinis.” Women adored the painting. It made them laugh, and it made them feel GOOD. I decided to title the mandala “Bikini Beach”. Why not? And that is how the first WOMANDALA was born.
Shortly after fishing the painting I headed down to South America. There a new style of WOMANDALA flowed onto my papers. I never know where my drawings or land art will take me. A new curvy element appeared while I was in Buenos Aires. I don’t really know what to call it but I can describe it. Depending on how I add color and detail the element can look like a petal of a flower or a leaf, or a caterpillar. I like to think of the last one as the stage before the chrysalis and ultimately the birthing of a beautiful butterfly.
The WOMANDALA titled “Community” was the first using that new element. The mandala is multi-generational. It depicts three generations of women all holding hands in unity, connected and bonded together to support the global village. There are multiracial mothers, aunts and sisters all holding the hands of their young daughters, their nieces and their neighbors. In the center there’s a circle of small girls at play. They look like they are having such fun that I just want to sing a song with them.
A “Gazillion Lights” again is multi-generational. There are little “bumpkin” caterpillar stage butterflies in the center positioned head to head with the pre-teens.
“We go up, we go down, we go round and round together.”
Holding them all together are the young women. The gathering is set up in the sky which is a symbol of unlimited potential. All around the circumference of the mandala 100 lit candles shine brightly by the heads of the young women, our world’s next generation of leaders. This is a mandala of great energy and hope. Our young women are the guiding lights of our future.
“Silent Circle” is the female energy of women supporting one another and coming together in prayer for all that is good in our world and in our lives. At first when I completed this mandala I thought that I should go back and give the women mouths so that they could speak out, but then I saw something very special. My unconscious mind had flowed a potent image into painted form. The mandala was indeed finished. Nothing needed to be added. It is very powerful when women come together in unified silent prayer. My soul knew that this mandala was finished and my head was getting in the way. An added message to the artist, “Stay quiet and listen to the spirit that guided your hands.”
“Tribal Women” depicts the celebrations that woman take in circle. We are strong alone and even more mighty when we join together. This mandala depicts an evening woman’s circle, a community mediation. I can almost hear the soft rhythmic sound of the drum calling everyone to come to the fire. Whether it is a full moon, crescent moon or new moon and no matter whether it is north, south, east or west, women for centuries have joined under the starlit sky to give and receive healing and support.
BUBBLES & PETTICOATS
“Bubbles and Petticoats” just bubbled up in great fun The image I had in my mind was transparency or translucency; colors that lay on top of other colors creating new shades and tones. This happens whenever we connect with other another person’s energy. We are individuals in metaphoric bubbles and we also overlap.
I travel near and far and my friends are very important to me. We are souls connected yet often physically separated. It’s normal for us to intuit when to call or email one another. Some people call this woman’s intuition but truly it’s genderless. Sometimes the only way we can get to one another is by some form of technology or… simply getting quiet and accessing a sort of ethereal telephone system. Call it fantasy, or imagination or remembered sensations, it doesn’t matter. Either way we can still kick up our petticoats and spin together and no one cares if any of us is having a bad hair day.
And there you go. A brief history of how the first WOMANDALA was born. I hope that you enjoyed this story. I also hope that it sparked a little imagination, creativity and hope. Please share these images with our world’s young women. They are the guiding lights of the future.
AUTUMN 2016 – ON THE ROAD SERIES