The Way I See It

The Mandala Series: A Peaceful Center in a World Gone Mad

Mandalas have fascinated me for a very long time. It coincided with dreamwork and my study of Jungian symbols (of which mandalas play a primary role) and the vast richness that transpersonal psychology holds. According to Jung in Memories, Dreams and Reflections:

“The mandala is an archetypal image whose occurrence is attested throughout the ages. It signifies the wholeness of the Self. This circular image represents the wholeness of the psychic ground or, to put it in mythic terms, the divinity incarnate in man.”

In the late 80’s I made a few colorful mandalas using watercolors but have no idea where they are now–probably hidden away in a drawer of my flat files where they shall forever remain.

Then in 1992 I was fortunate to watch Tibetan monks create a beautiful sand mandala for close to a week at The Frick Pittsburgh. The monks created a Chenrezig Mandala which is a manifestation of compassion and was meant to be viewed as an architectural plan or structure. I brought my sketchbook and made a few quick studies of the designs but (sadly) I don’t think I took photos. It was pre-digital cameras–and cell phones were just phones.

Study of Tibetan sand painting mandala; sketchbook page; 1992

I went almost every day they were there. One day they permitted me to try using their tools and colored sand. As can be expected, it was much harder than I thought to get the sand to fall evenly in the designated area. Have a look at these beautiful photos of a Chenrezig Mandala–this mandala was created in Salisbury, England in 2013 is very similar to the mandala I saw being created.

Jumping to the present day, I wanted to create circular patterns based on my own version of repeating patterns within a circular (mandala) form. I sought to make a mandala based on quadrants but bisecting those 4 quadrants into 8 separate spokes to form a more complicated pattern. Are these mandalas representations of my inner self? I really don’t know, but I do think they are my attempt to create a sense of wholeness and a place where I can feel a peaceful center in a world gone totally mad.

Here are the first 2 mandalas (with detail shots) in this new series. Hopefully the third mandala will be finished today–there are at least a dozen more ideas ready and waiting in the wings.

Mandala 1 (Ribbonesque); Graphite on paper; 22 x 22 inches; 2018

Mandala 1 (Ribbonesque) detail; Graphite on paper; 22 x 22 inches; 2018

Mandala 2 (leaf); Graphite on paper; 22 x 22 inches; 2018

Mandala 2 (leaf) detail; Graphite on paper; 22 x 22 inches; 2018

Now completed–the third one!

Mandala 3 (Nest); Graphite on paper; 22 x 22 inches; 2018

Read more →

1967/Swirl

The 1967/Swirl print is complete. It is a “companion” to my larger 1967 Swirl painting from the Sixties Paintings series. The print is a 2-color laser-cut linoleum block printed by Brent Bond at Santo Press. Stay tuned–there may be a few more prints in this Psychedelic series. Plans are in the works for some small editions using decorative chine collé papers.

1967/Swirl is 11 x 14 inches on Hahnemuhle paper 15 x 17.5 inches; printed in an edition of 30. It is available for $250.

 

Read more →

Collaborative Reduction Prints with Brent Bond

Brent Bond and I just signed a new collaborative print called Swirladelic. It is the second collaboration print we have done and I couldn’t be happier! Both prints are published by Santo Press. Swirladelic and Psychedelic Blues are from my psychedelic-inspired series loosely based on art and patterns from the sixties.

Brent is the true star of these 3-color reduction prints–he is the one who hand-carved them, selected the color palette and printed them. All I did was provide the artwork.

Swirladelic is priced at $225 and Psychedelic Blues is $100.

Swirladelic; 3-color reduction relief print in collaboration with Brent Bond; image size 11 x 14 inches on Hahnemuhle paper 15 x 17.5 inches; edition of 30; published by Santo Press; 2018.

Psychedelic Blues; 3-color reduction relief print in collaboration with Brent Bond; image size: 8 x 7 inches on paper 12.5 x 11 inches; edition of 22; published by Santo Press; 2017.

There are two other prints in this series, one was a 2018 calendar print for Mesa Contemporary Art Center (1966) and the other a combination archival digital print with laser-cut linoleum block relief print (1966 Tie-Dye) They can be viewed in this portfolio.

 

 

Read more →

1967 Swirl

Today I completed a new painting 1967 Swirl that will also be made into a relief print by Brent Bond at Santo Press. The painting is a combination of two patterns that meld The Sixties series with my Swirls series.

The idea was haphazardly generated in my sketchbook when I collaged both patterns on one page. I really liked how it worked and after mulling it over, decided to push it further.

I wanted the pattern to be a very “clean” image (unlike the above collage) knowing that I wanted to make a laser-cut relief print out of it. So, I bit the bullet, and made as precise an ink rendering as I could manage of a one-quarter section of the pattern.

The above ink drawing was then scanned and mirrored in Photoshop.

And then I painted it…


The finished acrylic gouache painting is 15.75 x 20 inches (on paper 18.5 x 22.5 inches).

Look for the print (which will be smaller) to be released in a month or so.

Read more →