It’s the circle of life and it moves us all
Through despair and hope through faith and love.
Till we find our place on the path unwinding
In the circle the circle of life.
Elton John / Tim Rice
The Circle of Life – The Lion King Soundtrack
My earth mandala series of original mandala drawings feature creatures of the earth and sea, some of my favorite domestic animals and earth elements, too.
Most animals carry their own symbolism. But when you start layering in colors and other objects, the mandala can take on a whole other look and meaning.
Elephants are among my favorite animals. I enjoy seeing them in art and prints, and, when I am lucky, in person. I once watched an elephant paint a picture with its tail at the circus in Philadelphia. They are truly gentle giants with playful spirits and believed to be lucky and wise. I like to present them the way I often see them in Indian tapestries and fabrics.
I’m also drawn to the majesty of lions, and how they wield their power, strength and great beauty. Like food caught in someone’s beard, I like sneaking ornamental patterns and other small unexpected animals and images into their manes to make the design more interesting.
Many of my mandala drawings feature fish because they are a great shell to work with. But they also show up as supporting actors in my other mandalas all the time. This should come as no surprise because they are so versatile in life, populating our lakes, seas and fish tanks, and dinner tables, too. They are really fluid and can mean many things depending on their environment.
My dogs and cats also make a few cameo appearances in my work. They are such wonderful companions and bring so much joy to our lives. And I do my best to communicate their personalities, which can range from enthusiastic to affectionate to territorial, with color.
Trees are another favorite element. There are so many different kinds. But I admit I am partial to the ones found in the northeast, where I grew up. I love working with different kinds of leaves, too.
All year long, I look forward to the time of year when I get to decorate several real trees and put them on display in my own home. I am one of those people who leaves my Christmas trees up as long as possible every year. You can do this when you have artificial trees.
The mandalas in this section, like most of my drawings, are done on 12 X 12 pieces of acid-free, textured scrapbook paper that be easily and affordably framed in a frame designed to hold album covers.