I decided to try something somewhere in between the mandala method I have been doing recently which are intuitive and unplanned and the ones I was doing earlier which were fairly structured. The idea (we’ll see if it continues) is to meditate on a word and then see how it impacts what I do. In this case, the imagine sprang into my mind pretty much as drawn so I sketched it out to make sure the celtic knots would work and then inked it. The butterfly was a late addition to the party but I think he belongs.
Tom’s poetic meditation on gratitude:
Complex weaving of our lives
into beauty unexpected
lifting us to build and thrive
keeping true and undeflected
by the buffeting of days
that would push us from our ways
running side-by-side through time
steady on along the line
that arcs from start to end, a bow
of light refracted in the dew
between we happy, lucky two
to fly together, high and low.
Whatever else tomorrow brings
Two voices each to each we sing.
This one was really asking for vibrancy …and it ended up quite a riot of colour hence the name! Although this mandala is definitely summer themed, since the coming weekend is Easter, if you want, you could imagine those are Easter eggs hidden in there. 😄
Tom seems to have noticed this one was particularly colourful as well!
When too much colour fills the world
it spills into the summer flowers
brightly etched and roughly knurled
raising up their fecund powers
to create new generations
with pollenistic exhalations
spreading life beneath the sun
as the summer’s long days run
from dawn to dusk and back again
the fields of fragrant flowers wave
while dragonflies find what they crave
beneath the summer sun’s long reign.
The world is painted bright and wild
Each colour on the others piled.
Well hello! So glad you’re here!
Isn’t it just grand today?
Never such a thing, my dear,
has been ever seen, I say!
There’s this and that and over there
and look again, go everywhere!
Such a glorious event
so sure to leave a modest dent
in the annals of our time.
Never have so many known
the very best, as I have shown.
To not be here would be a crime!
Now come sit down and have a chat
And tell me what you think of that?
Raccoon on the other hand is much more concerned with doing the right thing…
Dowsing down upon the beach
some tasty morsel washing clean.
Neglecting it would be a breach
of all that’s good and right, it seems
that often children in these times
don’t care for elder ways, such crimes
against good taste and proper form
leaves me feeling lost, forlorn.
But then I think of my own youth
when I would run around so wild
the older folk seemed tame and mild…
so now it’s my turn, that’s the truth!
And I will keep to custom taught
And honour thus my place and lot.
It has been some time since I posted a mandala! This one was actually started back in January and after a long pause, I finished it this week. It’s a bit early to be craving summer but flowers and such are always a pleasure to draw and I tend to go with whatever evolves out of my meditative mandala creation process. Hopefully looking at it will bring summer to your heart, if not your surroundings!
Here is Tom’s wonderful, playful poem just written for this mandala!
Behold soft pennants brightly waving
above the boldly blooming flowers
awakening Creations’s cravings
beneath a passing summer shower
that waters daisies in the fields
whose petals form a soft white shield
between dry Earth and open sky
where an errant dragon flies
to meet a knight more brave than wise.
All the field’s abuzz with life
awaiting Knight v. Dragon strife
whereby cold truth will conquer lies.
Dry paper blossoms catch the breeze
The dragon glides above the trees.
It has only been fairly recently in my life that I have had the opportunity to spend much time near an ocean. One of the beautiful mysteries that result from the rising and lowering of the tides are the tidal pools. These pockets of water range in size and contents but even small ones usually have some signs of life and a good long stare is rewarded with a miniature darting crab, the spotting of an anemone, limpit or sea urchin. Once your eyes are in tune, a tiny world comes into focus.
Tom grew up with tidal pools so his haiku is in sync with the pool and the season.
anemones and urchins
cool spring tide rises
A happy dog to wish you Happy Chinese New Year! This is a small ink and watercolour I did for a card.
And a happy poem to celebrate from Tom!
Puppy dog, “Woof!” he barks with joy
as the Moon and year turn New
heralding the call, “Good boy!”
while time is passing over, through
the weirs that humans set to catch
one fleeting moment, striking match
that sets the fireworks alight
to bring us joy upon the night
when bounding in from twelve years gone
the faithful dog at last returns
his loyalty forever burns
like the light of new year’s dawn.
Faithful, friendly, happy, true
may this year bring all to you!
A study of the local Gulf Islands landscape. The ink part was done with carbon black ink in a fountain pen with an ultra fine but flexible nib – really nice to draw with! A quick wash of watercolour brought it to life.
Tom’s evocative haiku! (I took the title of the piece from the haiku – not vice versa.)
face turned up, warm sun
cedar island dreams
It seems like a long time since I have posted a mandala! I have been much more focused on other types of ink drawings and oil painting recently but I did finish this small (6×6) one. Do you think maybe I am thinking about spring already!
Tom wrote a poem for it full of warmth and energy – just what we need at this time of year!
The spinning vortex of bright spring,
to the outer edges flings
the buds of bursting flowers.
Leaves in warming sunlight wave
like flags upon the breeze
snapping sharply on their staves
of branches. In their lea
a titmouse rests in perfect calm
awaiting season’s turn
to bring the summer’s warming balm
and ease the vernal churn.
First art of 2018! Here are a couple of drawings of river otters. These are on watercolour paper starting with a fountain pen and finished with a Chinese brush and ink wash. It’s imperative that the ink I am using – carbon black – is quite water resistant otherwise all the details would have been lost.
Tom likes otters too! Here’s his poem celebrating their mischievous character.
As changeable as summer light
when thunderstorms go by
flashing rain and lightning bright
then clearing blue the sky
So is Otter in the sea
and by the river banks,
embracing change in changeless glee
engaging in such pranks
As to cause most mischief for
least effort: that’s the fun!
And when a human comes to roar,
far off has Otter run!
Another otter sketched on rice paper. I like how smug he is!
Tom wrote him his own poem …Otter is quite sure he deserves it!
“If you don’t want me coming ‘board
you shouldn’t leave the hatch
open, unlocked, not dogged down,
just captured by a latch
that will not stop the likes of me
so clever with my feets
from opening up and wandering
around your cotton sheets
that once were free from otter-prints
but now are signed quite well
with muddy water, algae too,
and sorry ’bout the smell!
Yet I’m sure we both agree
’twas worth it in the end:
my joy was mighty, don’t you see,
so thank you, my dear friend!”
Today’s raccoon is a young’un with no worries …adventuring without a care!
Tom’s poem for him wonderfully captures that mood.
Some days a little beast must wander
here and there and over yonder
wide-eyes watching everything
wondering what time will bring.
All the world is new and bright
glowing in the morning light
dripping dew and rising mist
Earth by Sun is gently kissed
as I go off exploring wide
down the beach where ebbing tide
reveals a world that’s strange a new
and full of tasty things to do!