As I mentioned in my last post, I am taking part in Jane Dunnewold's Creative Strength Training series this year. One of the suggested exercises for this month is making mandalas. This exercise has really caught my fancy. Once I had made one, I was hooked. So now I have added drawing a mandala, along with a stitch meditation, to my daily morning routine.
We were given a 6" circle template with the center marked. Having that template made it really easy to start. Then I found the little ruler advertising my grandfather's construction business that I'd been saving just because...and away I went.
So what does all this mandala-making have to do with the theme of my post - The Choices We Make? There is a connection - at least in my mind, but it's rather circuitous.
I have found that mandala-making, like my daily stitching, is a very meditative process. As I was making my mandalas, the process brought home to me how each seemingly small choice that I made in the drawing had a significant impact on the final design. Dividing the radius up into even 1/2" segments gave a very different result than using uneven divisions. As my mind wandered, I realized that this was a very apt metaphor for life. Every choice we make, however small it seems, effects what comes after--sometimes in very important ways.
As I kept working, I kept thinking about choices we make each day. Small ones and large ones. I couldn't help thinking about this in the context of the current political climate and the often difficult choices we are faced with. As often happens for me, such ruminations lead to ideas for artwork. Art and stitching are often a means for me to work through current issues. I have decided create a quilt from my mandalas and the questions swirling in my head. I have begun creating a series of stitched mandalas and keeping a mini-diary related to choices. The diary includes a list of the types of choices that come mind and the questions that occur to me as I work. Eventually these will merge into something larger, not sure exactly what yet. That will come as I work.
At this point I can just share the stitched mandalas I've completed so far. There will be more to come on this.
Mother & daughter, Ann Lee & Sonja Lee-Austin share their joys and struggles in their art and lives.