Mandala & Meditation
Mandalas, meaning "circles" in Sanskrit, are sacred symbols drawn with highly symmetrical geometric patterns. The origination of Mandala date from the 4th century and is a spiritual and ritual symbol in Buddhism and Hinduism representing the universe. Although the fundamental concept and meaning are the same, they are called by different names and are made with slight variations depending on the region of origin. In Hindu dwellings, Mandalas are made to decorate entrances or court yards and are viewed as a sign that welcomes people into the home; a tribute to harmonious co-existence; and thought to bring prosperity.
My Mandala drawings normally evolve at the spur of the moment and I enjoy paying a lot of attention to detail. I find the process of creating repetitive intricate patterns meditative and relaxing. In Hindu dwellings, Mandalas (known by names such as Kolam, Rangoli, Alpana etc.) are drawn on the floor with rice paste, chalk powder or chalk but are also made with sand, color powder, flowers, or lentils & legumes. Mandalas, in general, are viewed as a great tool to meditate and help balance visual elements symbolizing unity and harmony. They help transmit positive energies to the environment and are believed to effect purification and healing.
A quick time lapse demonstration by the artist drawing the ancient South Indian traditional mandala art called 'Kolam' on the floor with rice paste.
Culture & Diversity
Culture defines our origin. Cultural values and beliefs shape our identity. In a multi-cultural society, we learn to understand, respect, and embrace each other's differences to bring about unity through diversity.
My inspiration to paint patterns & motifs came from my Indian heritage. Through my work, I aim to reinforce values from my Indian culture and express how cultural traditions around the world influence each other regardless of similarities and differences. Some of my Culture & Diversity paintings are the result of my travel and some are based on study and interpretation from the book named The Grammar of Ornament (by Owen Jones - first published in England in 1856) finessed with my creative vision and style.
I let my imagination lead the way when I paint landscapes. I let it run with no purpose; and, I stop when I find a happy place. I intent to paint dreamy landscapes and enjoy the process of being there. That's soulful to me.
The Art Process
I use materials and supplies that are archival to create my paintings. I prefer to paint on tempered hardboard since it provides dexterity with brush strokes and to incorporate mixed media elements. I use acrylic paint and zero brush for my intricate work. Colors form an integral part of my paintings and the choice of my palette range from a mix of neutral to bold and vibrant.
My art process varies depending on the subject matter. In painting a mandala or any diverse motifs that are intricate my process involves three steps - drawing, transferring, and painting. First, I prepare my panel with gesso to give tooth and strength for the paint to adhere. In order to obtain precision and symmetry, first I draw the motifs on a graph paper. Next, I transfer the motifs using a transfer paper on my painted panel. Finally, I paint the transferred motifs with a zero brush and apply varnish to seal and protect the painting. No matter how laborious and time consuming, I find painting a mandala highly meditative and therapeutic.
For landscapes and abstract works, I use a combination of loose and tight strokes and paint straight on board. I prepare the board with gesso and apply varnish when the painting is complete.
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