May 23, 2008

Garden Mandallas

April Showers Copyright 2006 Hyacinth Copyright 2006

I started painting garden mandallas a couple of years ago to focus on the plants in my garden I thought so beautiful or interesting they deserved to be celebrated in a painting. A mandalla is a radial design that has been used in cultures around the world to express wholeness and connectedness. Based on the shape of a circle and symmetrical in every direction, it is a nearly foolproof way to organize visual elements into a satisfying composition. I often use this as an art lesson for children because it allows everyone to make a successful drawing or painting. I also make collaborative mandallas with friends and family. It's very fun working (playing!) together and a great way to get artistically shy people involved in creating art.

But I digress. Here are a couple of my first garden mandallas, representing spring with water lilies and hyacinth bulbs. Attached in the center of each is a 3-dimensional frog. I couldn't keep them off....they were so at home with these lovely garden specimens.

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