Object of Affection: Mandalas

12 February 2014

I’ve become increasingly aware of the incredibly dreaded “weather conversation.” Everyone wants to talk about it!  I was once told by an old boss never to engage in discussing the weather. No real value is derived from learning the other person’s current climate. The conversation is a colossal bore!  

OK – I will admit, this weather might be weighing on me a little bit. So, before I sound too frigid (meteorological humor) I’m telling myself again to skip the micro-banter and keep my eye on the prize: the change of the seasons.

Which leads me to my current obsession: Mandalas, which means “circle” Sanskrit.

I was first introduced to Mandalas by former Ocean Violet, Girl Crush, Jeanne Ciasullo. We were brainstorming different ways to incorporate symbolism and nature into my upcoming nuptials. Symbolically, circles are very powerful and found in almost every culture. In Indian and Tibetan religions Mandalas are used to facilitate meditation. Carl Jung, the founder of modern and analytical psychology used Mandalas as part of his patient’s therapies as a sort of pictorial aid for meditation.

No matter the medium: dried leaves, flowers, twigs, sand, pen and paper; the act of creating a Mandala is very repetitive and symmetrical. It’s a centering practice one does with intention bringing focus. I am particularly fond of the nature Mandalas which celebrate the earth around you.

A few of my favorite creations:

Kirsten Rickert, blogger, environmentalist +  mother of two of the most beautiful little girls created the nature Mandalas in the featured image and below.  What a wonderful family outing to understand whats growing in your backyard while creating something meaningful and beautiful.  I highly suggest following her on Instagram for some serious doses of fairytale life I’ve ever seen. Read more about her nature Mandalas on her blog.

“Everything about sitting and doing this makes us feel good, we are playing with nature, being exposed to the texture, the aroma, and the detailed beauty of each little blossom, and sometimes, each little petal. The outcome is so rewarding. It takes time and patience, and is both relaxing and grounding. I consider this holistic creative play, which any child or adult can benefit from.” – Kirsten Rickert


photo-21 81e8b0bb2fa21e8fd6c7f3917dbaf8c5

Just a few weeks ago Bergdorf Goodman featured ten artists for ten different rooms.  Adam Parker Smith designed one of the windows with food inspired Mandalas. Ten Artists for Ten Spaces was created in collaboration with Kyle DeWoody, Co-Founder and Creative Director of Grey Area.   Grey Area is, in their own words, “the undefined space between art and design where art is made functional and the functional is made art.” Wondering if one could pull those doughnuts off the wall and eat them? Functional if I do say so myself.  You can see all ten displays through May.

muse magazine

those models look hungry. photo from: muse magazine

California illustrator and graphic designer, Kelley Worrall, creates original drawings using graphite and color pencil on bristol board then digitally enhances them to create stunning mandalas prints. She incorporates violets, roses, daisies and more in her pieces.  The yellow in this  California Poppy Mandala is warming and cheerful in itself. I could see a grouping of these down a long hallway to brighten up the space. You can find more of Worrall’s designs on Etsy.


Happy ChristmasI’ll be posting a few photos of the Mandala I’m making soon too. Perhaps an even more cheerful/colorful one in March when I escape to warmer climates. I’d also love to see your creations as well – feel free to share!

PS: 35 days till Spring.


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