Mandala in B&W

I never know what to expect when I begin a mandala - at least I've learned this much!

Today I decided to use Z's colored pencils. I carefully marked the bindu (the center) - and then wasn't sure where to go from there. I was still in a Japanese mood, so I looked for something on google images (I've decided there is no such thing as "cheating" when it comes to mandalas), and found the one of the tree (click on the subject of this post to see it).

Hm. Okay, how about a road and a tree? So I drew a couple of lines curving and swooping away into the distance, and two more lines next to them as borders (not sure why I feel such a need for borders), and then set about drawing stepping stones along the road.

For some reason, I began drawing from the distance and moving toward myself, instead of from close to far away. And as the stones came closer, they turned out not to be stones at all, but fish! Okay, I thought, it's a stream, or a river since there are so many of them. They are swimming downstream, by the way, which I take as a sign of my optimism. I planned to color it in blues.

Then I messed around a bit & found a good spot for my tree. I tried to replicate the tree in the photo, but I'm no good at that, so I just gave up & made it fit the shape of the circle. I put twigs where I thought I could get away with it, and had one curly loop down just because I wanted a curly loop.

At the last minute, I realized that the end of the longest branch really needed to feed into the river, and that the tree was growing out of the river itself. Which meant the whole picture was a natural b&w.

Which was what my previous mandala had started out to be but wasn't.

This process of mandala creation certainly opens up my psyche in interesting ways.

Here is #3. I call it "cycle." It represents where I am in the process of studying mandalas at present.

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