welcome to my new blog location just moved over from my original blog begun in 2007 at lindasawaya.blogspot.com. please visit that archive blog to see many images and thoughts previously posted and bookmark this page for new posts as of august 30, 2014.
Water Blessing Mandala, gouache on heavy watercolor paper © Linda Dalal Sawaya 2014
an opportunity to participate in the Recycled Rain Project, where artists are invited to collect rainwater and make a painting using this water, occurred this spring with an exhibition opening in may.
since i had recently made two mandalas, one in gouache on heavy watercolor paper which i had not done since 2004, and another mandala—a mosaic using fused glass pieces and scraps from my dear mother, alice, on a table—for auction to benefit a community organization that gives home furnishings to the poor, mandalas were on my mind!
experiencing drought conditions and springtime, the obvious theme for my mandala was water in all of its forms. the painting begins with drawing the sacred geometry of the mandala. then, the ring of fire is painted next to the outer ring. the ring of life is then done. in this ring of life, i explore many forms of water: ocean, streams, snow, glaciers, floods, sacred water crystals, waterfalls, and rain.
moving into the center from the ring of life, there is a transition ring, and we enter the wasteland. for me the apparent wasteland image is parched, dry, land without water. the way this shows up in the mandala next to the orange transition ring and the addition of the pathways into the center feels beautifully asian to me.
one of the aspects i love of this mandala process is the spontaneity and unexpected images and colors that emerge. there is a well-defined structure, and process, yet all the rest is done moment by moment without a preconceived plan. it is a spiritual and intuitive process, one that involves meditation prior to each step. this suits me well—i love watching how it evolves in a rather magical way, one that i might not have predicted.
it is a blessing to make these mandalas, which i was taught by a friend in 2004. seeing the process photos here makes evident the teaching from a wise painting teacher long ago: the minute you put the paint brush to the canvas, you destroy what was there, and create something new.
after the wasteland, another transition ring to contemplate the journey thus far, and to prepare for entering the threshold, where demons may be found. further entering the center is the guardian square which protects the central portal and final circle, the place of bliss and peace. finally the outer binding ring is painted to complete the mandala. this mandala was going to be in a square frame, so i then painted the remaining watercolor paper with several watery washes to complete it prior to framing.
the images occurring throughout my water blessing mandala are based on water and came to me via meditation and contemplation. my friend and i co-taught a workshop in this process in 2004 with a small group: some painters and a few who had never painted. each of those mandalas followed this structure and process, yet each was a total reflection of that person’s unique experience and spirit.
if you would like to attend a workshop in creating a mandala such as this, please email me, and i will let you know when the next one is scheduled.
the recycled rain exhibition was a great success with over 30 artists participating. a lovely couple was discussing my mandala when i arrived at the opening, and after a delightful and lively conversation, they decided to buy the water blessing mandala painting and i am so happy to say it now is a part of their art collection.
also, i am in process of doing a mandala painting as a commission. please contact me if you are interested.
water blessings to the earth, and to one and all!