My inspiration for the shades outside the mandala came from my neighbor’s 5 year old daughter. She and I color our mandalas together. I am amazed by her natural talent for color combinations. Her colors come out really vibrant which I love. I have thought about it and I think the beauty of her work comes from her inhibition and lack of preconceived notions about how to color, which color combinations to select, where to color (e.g. within lines), etc. I, on the other hand, am all about following the rules. But I am trying to rewrite them 🙂
The name for this mandala comes from heARTwork – a project and brand from NOWPDP. Network of Organizations Working for People with Disabilities, Pakistan (NOWPDP) was founded with the vision to promote the creation of an inclusive society which values and upholds the rights of people with disabilities. It aims to provide a common platform for all disability organizations in Pakistan to come together and bring about change with impact.
heARTwork is one of the initiatives of NOWPDP. The heARTwork mission is to empower people with disabilities through promotion of their craftsmanship, thereby making them valued members of society. The project manager, Tabinda Baig, is a passionate young lady whose team of differently-abled individuals is like a family to her. I met her in a meeting, and got inspired by her passion and her team’s beautiful craft work. Check out more details about the team and the project at http://www.heartwork.org.pk The beautiful craft work from heARTwork can be found at http://www.heartwork.org.pk/pages/our-products.html
I was talking to my family members while coloring this mandala, and made a ‘mistake‘ i.e. colored the top rectangles pink instead of green (as I had originally planned). Oh what to do now! No worries. We’ll create a new pattern. Luckily the bottom rectangle wasn’t yet colored. So, I colored it pink to create a new pattern. This was my jugaar (or Jugaad, as some people spell it).
Jun 08, 2014 (07:13PM): Jugaar
This one I colored using Dry Erasable Board Markers and regular color markers. The title comes from the book The Fifth Mountain (by Paulo Coelho) that I was re-reading at the time when I colored this mandala. As mentioned in one of my earlier posts, it is my most favorite book of all time. The book talks about the unavoidable and the growth.
The idea of the unavoidable in one’s life and the possibility of growth as a result is quite powerful. It is unavoidable for the flower to leave the state of a seed. But this unavoidable results in its growth into a beautiful flower. I am a risk averse person (on most occasions). Given a chance, I’d avoid taking any risks as it may lead to change inevitably. However, sometimes, risk and change are unavoidable. The only option, or the best option, in such a case is to accept the unavoidable and use it for growth – personal, professional, family, community, etc.
Jun 05, 2014 (07:09PM): The Unavoidable & the Growth
I finally took out the time to visit the art supply shop and buy myself new set of markers. The manufacturer was different from the one whose product I had been using earlier. Welcome back – reds, pinks, greens, and oranges! 🙂
Interestingly enough, as I started working on the mandala I noticed that the colors looked different. I mean, the shades were different even though the colors were the same i.e. red, pink, green, orange. Wow! I have a wider range of shades now without even planning for it. Lesson Learned: One can get a wider range of shades just by trying products from different manufacturers/sources.
Secondly, I made a ‘mistake‘ i.e. colored one of the bulbs purple instead of red. ‘Mistake‘ because I wasn’t planning to color it purple. Hmmm.. what to do now? How to manage this unforeseen situation? Luckily, the opposite bulb was yet to be colored. Voila! I’ll color this one purple to bring symmetry.
I have painted this mandala earlier as well. This time it looks different. Lesson Learned: Same situation, different resources, different combinations, different results. Pay special attention to resource identification, selection, combinations, and usage.
May 29, 2014 (07:51AM): Different Resources
One of the aftermaths of working with toddlers is that you end up with markers having no nibs. Also, somehow, the colors that you lose happen to be some of your favorite ones! I lost red, orange, pink, and light green colored markers to my 2 kiddie neighbors. For a few days, I felt like I was living with my hands tied. Then I decided to make do with the colors I was left with. To be honest, the result surprised me. I realized that sometimes we end up with with limited resources. Or resources that do not have the attributes/skills that we’re looking for. The number of these resources may seem to be not enough. You don’t know how to work with them or how they’ll work together. But, if you give them a try, they might surprise you. Just as my limited collection of markers did!
May 25, 2014 (07:52pm): Make Do (with Limited Resources)
This is my first attempt at coloring a mandala using pencil colors. The new colors didn’t really come out as bright as I would’ve liked. However, my neighbors’ daughters have taught me how to use them. By applying the force to make sure the colors are vibrant enough. Sometimes, one has to learn to work with the new resource(s). Expecting every resource to behave in a similar way is but a mistake. Pencil colors are not the same as markers which, in turn, are not the same as water colors.. even though they’re all just colors. It’s the same for human beings as well. Our diversity needs to be enjoyed, appreciated, and celebrated – every single day.
May 19, 2014 (10:04PM): Bells & Whistles
This is the second time I painted this specific mandala. I love the design with its intricacies. So much fun to color it. While coloring this particular mandala, I felt that it represented friends. For so long I’ve thought about how I have a network of friends – a network which consists of sub-networks. Some parts of these sub-networks intersect while others don’t. There are some commonalities (e.g. shared values, passion, ideologies, interests, etc.) but some differences as well. All of them collectively define my circle of friends and acquaintances. They have impacted me in one way or another, and have a share in making me who I am now. However, there are a few friends who are special and form the inner circle – the most intimate one. They have inspired me the most. To each of my friends and acquaintances, I offer a special ‘Thank You!” for crossing my life and staying in it.
Apr 20, 2014 (10:08am): Friends
I absolutely love this one. The colors came out quite vibrant and I felt really good after finishing this mandala. To me, this mandala represents life. Sometimes, everything in life appears to be random. But, at other times, one can see beautiful patterns in it. The individual threads work together to create a master pattern containing sub-patterns.
Apr 17, 2014 (07:00pm): The Threads of Life
It’s interesting (and, sometimes, annoying) to see that some colors can come out as completely different than what is expected. Case in point: The red colored permanent marker which actually came out as ‘brown’! However, even with the brown shade, the end result was quite good. My clouded patchwork – you could’ve looked different, but I love you for what you look like now 🙂
Apr 15, 2014 (06:42pm): The Clouded Patchwork
This is my first ever attempt of coloring a mandala using permanent markers. I was at my office and felt like painting a mandala. Since I did not have water colors with me, the next choice was the available permanent markers. The result was unexpectedly good. When life gives you permanent markers, use them!
Apr 11, 2014: Geometry of Life