Archive for mandala

In Progress Work by Amanda

Posted in Art, Design, Drawing, Personal History, Red Fox, Soul Food, wild creatures, Woodblock Printing with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on June 14, 2016 by WanderArtist

Drawings submitted for consideration in the Yellowstone: Color It Wild book published by Yellowstone National Park and the Yellowstone Association. The bison and animal tracks images were used in the book.

Select drawings & sketches from the past few months…

In Raptures…

Posted in Art, Decorative Arts, Design, Drawing, Personal History with tags , , , , , , , , , on February 25, 2013 by WanderArtist

Being a big fan of Jane Austen, I recently re-read Pride and Prejudice… Then my sister gave me a copy of another entertaining tale, Pride and Prejudice and Zombies. While working diligently on my table, a quote from that book stated by Miss Bingley in Chapter 10 keeps popping into my head (in a faux English accent, of course) – “Tell your sister I am delighted to hear of her improvement on the harp, and pray let her know that I am quite in raptures with her beautiful little design for a table, and I think it infinitely superior to Miss Grantley’s…”

We can assume it would have been a decoupage design that Darcy’s sister was creating on a table… The craft was then called the art of Japanning (a term that was derived from the Asian lacquer technique.) Whatever Ms. Austen was referring to in her classic tale, I am sure it was quite different than my table design. I confess, however, that I do hope it would also qualify as “superior to Miss Grantley’s”!

Coaxing the right colors from tubes of paint can be surprisingly time-consuming for a perfectionist! Color is usually more complicated than we realize, but I am really enjoying the process. All of the painting is done free hand – without the aid of taping edges or lines. Though I feel this technique enhances the organic feel of the design, it does take a steady hand and a great deal of concentration.

Slowly, as I apply more coats of paint, little details are added to enhance interest. The richness of color is revealed as layer after layer makes the blues, greens, yellows and reds more opaque. Many hours are spent perfecting the paint, the edges, the color…

It is a bit obsessive, but somehow also meditative and enjoyable. I really get drawn into the process and find it difficult to pull myself away, despite my aching neck and lower back!

Eventually I decide that the table looks complete and it’s time to stop. Occasionally I ask someone else to look and make suggestions, or tell me “It looks great! Stop now!”

The paints I’ve used to create my mandala table are rated outdoor acrylics and are UV and water resistant. It isn’t intended that it remain outside indefinitely, yet it can easily be folded and carried out to the porch to enjoy with your morning espresso and scone!


Posted in Art, Decorative Arts, Design, Drawing, Personal History with tags , , , , , , , , , on February 19, 2013 by WanderArtist

1. In Oriental art… a schematized representation of the cosmos, chiefly characterized by a concentric configuration of geometric shapes, each of which contains an image of a deity or an attribute of a deity.

2. In Jungian psychology… a symbol representing the effort to reunify the self.

The Arms & Legs Auction is an engaging event in which one-of-a-kind works of art are donated by local artists to be sold at auction. The objects are mainly tables and chairs – hence the event title. A few years ago I painted and découpaged a little sewing table and donated it to the auction. More recently I found the perfect folding, round-topped table to paint for the benefit.

After putting the word out that I was looking for a small piece of furniture I was invited to look through the attic of my lovely friend Sadie. The first table she showed me was in the garage and had obviously been used for many years as the surface on which to place other things while you painted them… It looked rather forlorn, and was folded and tucked in next to the freezer. Hmmm – maybe.

We climbed up the steep steps to the attic and looked at all the other options… I narrowed it to two… a cool 1950s folding wooden chair with a fabric seat, and a little magazine rack/table. But then the round topped table in the garage came back to me, and I went back to it… I realized it was THE ONE, especially when Sadie said she could never seem to give that one away (in other words, no one would ever take it off her hands!) Of course it is perfect, but it didn’t dawn on me how great it would really look until I began sanding it…

I brought this ridden-hard-and-put-away-wet aged beauty home and cleaned the cobwebs off.

After evicting the spiders I sanded every surface and began thinking about the transformation. Aahhh… a conversation begins. Along with the details of the folding mechanism and the many colors of paint remnants, I really loved the crazing on the surface of the table. I imagined all the other objects that had been painted while sitting on this table, and about the life it had led until then!

While sanding the top, I almost hated to see the shadows of other paint sessions disappear, but I had bigger plans for this circle. After preparing the table I headed inside for the evening to begin a drawing of the design.


After drawing what I had in mind and outlining the design with black pen, I experimented with adding color – hence the varied color combinations in the paper drawing above. Once the drawing was complete and I had decided on the colors, I began painting the table. The first step was to paint the legs with black acrylic. After coating the outside three surfaces of each leg I decided to keep the interior leg surfaces as they were, showing old layers of black and white paint along with some interesting crazing and finish variations. It was the “distressed look” in its most honest form! I had sanded them along with all of the table surfaces, and they looked lovely.

After preparing the legs I primed the top, then began to duplicate my paper design. In order to create a mandala on the table, I made the largest compass I ever have by sinking a pin into the very center of the top and tying a string and pencil to it!

I started by drawing a few circles and then moved on to measuring out the segments of the top. Eventually I transferred my entire drawing to the table, but on a much larger scale than the original. Once I had the drawing the way I wanted it I applied black pen to the lines. Excess pencil lines and marks were then erased and my painting began.

The colors were all added straight out of their bottles, in what I would call another primer coat. For later coats of paint I will be mixing the colors to create the color-palette I’ve imagined… for this first layer, however, the primary colors will form a strong base.

As I added each color to the surface my “sketch” gradually took shape on the tabletop. A few of the colors were close to what I pre-visualized, but most of them would require mixing for the final coats.

Black paint was added to the edges and finally the white was gone… none of the first coats completely covered the white paint as much as I would like, thus they’ll all need to have second and third coats added to give the colors the impact I want.

A second application of black was applied to the outside border… and more will be needed. The next step was to begin mixing the colors… The crazing of the old layers of paint can still be seen, adding character and interest to the top and legs of this old workhorse.

The next steps are coming in another edition… stay tuned!

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