March Mandalas

“What’s a mandala?” people wanted to know in the lead up to our March Mandalas workshop on Friday the 13.

Well, before getting down to those details, we should explain a couple of important points.

First, Art Partners was awarded a Community Inclusion and Participation Grant from the Disability Services Commission to run a series of art workshops and activities.  We were keen to test drive the idea of mandala-making, an activity that artists and those who consider themselves to be not quite so artistic could potentially enjoy while working side by side.

Second, Peter Sproul, who is the Executive Director of Community Living Kingston and District (Ontario, Canada), and his wife Karen were scheduled to be in Bunbury on March 13.  Peter was visiting Australia to learn about human service systems, and we were given the opportunity by consultant Leighton Jay to meet with Peter and introduce him to the Art Partners world.

Peter and Karen Sproul

Peter and Karen Sproul

A talk-fest can be a fine thing. But, better yet is an activity in which one actually does.  We thought why not marry test driving the mandala workshop and the visit from Peter.

And, so March Mandalas was born.  Before we go any further, and according to the website Art is Fun: “A mandala is a complex abstract design that us usually circular in form.  Mandalas generally have one identifiable center point, from which emanates an array of symbols, shapes and forms.  Designing your own mandalas can be both inspirational and therapeutic.”

A group of 12 gathered at The Red Mill Studio Gallery, and set about creating mandalas using paint applied to stamps of different shapes (loaned to us by the Bunbury Regional Art Galleries).  The variety of mandalas clearly reflects the many personalities and artistic backgrounds of those who attended.

Chris and Mike

Judging by their smiles, these two brothers clearly enjoyed themselves.  At the end of the workshop, Chris was wearing his mandala like a king.

Tracey and Billie

Tracey (camera shy) and Billie, a long-time Art Partners mentor, produced beautiful mandalas which combine geometric and organic forms.

Janine and Beryl

Art Partners pals Janine and Beryl (the duo had teamed up for last year’s December Doodles) were right at home at The Red Mill Studio Gallery where they attend a weekly art class.  We are unable to show you Janine’s finished mandala, as she whisked it away at the end of the workshop to show friends and family.

Peter and Karen

Peter, who claimed to be not so artsy, proved otherwise.  Both he and Karen produced lovely mandalas, with Peter choosing to outline his shapes with a fine brush rather than a black marker.

Emma and Helen

Emma, who is very fond of drawing cartoon characters, and Helen, the Art Partners Consulting Artist, produced mandalas of very contrasting styles.  Emma’s is structured with Helen’s being very organic.

Kathy and Wanda

Both Kathy and Wanda found mandala-making to be very engaging. Wanda didn’t quite finish hers, while Kathy’s finishing touch – a happy face in the centre – ensures it will always have the right orientation.

Workshop Evaluation

Everyone was asked to decide if they would like to attend another workshop to make a second mandala or try their hand at something else.  The responses were evenly split:  four for more mandalas, four for something else, and four for both (mandalas and something else).

Thanks everyone for coming along and test driving the workshop!

Over to You

Do you think you would enjoy a mandala-making workshop?  Or, would you like to try your hand at something else?  Let us know in the comments section, and you could win (by random draw) two gift certificates to Bunbury’s Grand Cinemas.  Comment by April 17, and you’ll be eligible!

Post Script

Special thanks to photographer André Pilon for helping us sort the white balance in some of our photographs!

38 thoughts on “March Mandalas

  1. Kathy Boxall

    What a wonderful write-up of the workshop Wanda, and the photos are great. I thought the workshop was excellent! I really enjoyed trying my hand at doing art in such a friendly and welcoming space. Thank you Art Partners!

    Reply
    1. Art Partners Post author

      Thanks so much Kathy. It was great that you were able to come to the workshop and enjoy making a mandala. Please stay tuned to find out where our collection of mandalas might be heading.

      Reply
  2. BRAG WA

    Hi Wanda. This looks like such a wonderful workshop and learning experience. It’s great to see the different ways that the Mandala form can be used. And I love love love all the colours!

    Reply
    1. Art Partners Post author

      Thanks Amanda! We really missed you. We’ll work on giving you more advance notice next time around so that hopefully you can make the next workshop.

      Reply
  3. Barb

    The carefully placed and bright colours of the mandalas, they are looking good. Great photos and nice to see Chris and Mikes there.

    Reply
  4. Leighton

    The artwork looks fantastic. Well done everyone. It’s great to see Art Partners taking this next step in offering and leading some workshops in your own right. Well done. And how fabulous to have other Ontarians join you eh? Keep up the great work and initiatives.

    Reply
    1. Art Partners Post author

      Yes Leighton, great to be offering inclusive workshops in our community. And, how special to have guests from Ontario, Canada, join in on the action.

      Reply
  5. Kandy

    Another awesome artwork and what a fantastic way to end Summer and move into Autumn – a myriad of colours and shapes intertwining. Congratulations Art Partners on a successful workshop with Peter and Karen.

    Reply
    1. Art Partners Post author

      Kandy! I think we have to get you down to Bunbury so you can experience things in person. But, yes, the workshop was terrific, and we really enjoyed the company of Peter and Karen.

      Reply
  6. Robyn

    The mandalas march, proudly produced by inspired artists. Stamping their print in the artist world. The colours are rich like the experience art partners facilitates. Awesome effort all.

    Reply
    1. Art Partners Post author

      Thanks Robyn for this colourful and thoughtful comment. You’ll soon be able to see the mandalas in person when they hang on the BRAG wall for the month of April. More details will be available soon.

      Reply
  7. Mike

    Hi! I’m glad that I was free to make it to the workshop, so thanks for putting it on! Being a non-arty person it was a great couple of creative hours in a relaxed and friendly atmosphere. I’d definitely go again, or even try something different…

    Reply
    1. Art Partners Post author

      Thanks so much Mike for coming along. It was great to have you, and your smile really lit up the room! We’ll definitely be keeping in touch about future workshops.

      Reply
    1. Art Partners Post author

      Thanks Helen. Yes, the ‘no pressure’ is certainly something that participants responded to. In fact, had we had a more detailed evaluation, I’m rather certain people would have said they enjoyed the ‘no pressure’ atmosphere. Great that you were able to be with us.

      Reply
  8. Rob Holmes

    Loved the mandalas and in particular the composite image which has such vibrancy and energy, clearly people must have really enjoyed making them. The inclusiveness of the workshop reinforces the concept that Art Partners really is for everyone and we, the community, are the stronger for it.

    Reply
    1. Art Partners Post author

      Thanks so much Rob. Yes, it was a super workshop. And, the composite image turned out beautifully. The mandalas are being framed at Southern Picture Framers and will make a lovely BRAG Wall exhibition. Coming soon…

      Reply
  9. Johanna

    What an amazing workshop. Loved the creative results, and all quite different. Would be lovely framed for keepers on a wall … what about creating a huge composite mandala as a big feature wall piece – that would be lovely. (Oh see from the comment above that you are framing some – well done!)

    Reply
    1. Art Partners Post author

      Thanks so much Johanna. Yes, the mandalas are all framed and look splendid along the ‘Wall’ of the Bunbury Regional Art Galleries. They’ll be hanging until April 25. So, if you’re in the Bunbury CBD…

      Reply
  10. Isabell

    I was at the Bunbury Regional Art Galleries last week and saw the mandalas proudly on display. One of my favourite things about Art Partners is the time and consideration taken into cherishing and respecting the art following the workshops and sessions, so participants can really feel a sense of pride in what they have achieved. Well done as always!

    Reply
    1. Art Partners Post author

      Great to hear from you Isabell. And, great feedback. It’s good to know our efforts are appreciated. It’s all made possible with our special collaborators. In this case: Southern Picture Framers and Bunbury Regional Art Galleries.

      Reply
  11. Billie

    What a wonderful way to connect with people and partake in my favorite activity as well. What a joyful sight seeing all the works together! Thankyou to all involved for opportunities like this to connect with our community.

    Reply
    1. Art Partners Post author

      We are delighted Billie that you were able to come to this workshop (and the last one too). It’s great to have your support. We look forward to having you with us as the future unfolds.

      Reply
  12. Tracey Musham

    Once again Art Partners brings a kaleidoscope of colour & personalities together in Bunbury. Such a positive environment is definitely welcome & necessary in our world. Blessings✨🙏✨

    Reply
  13. Jen Hourquebie

    Hi Wanda,
    This workshop looks like such fun and some beautiful works were created – I like yours!
    I have a big soft spot for mandalas – I try to make one every Monday on my washing machine with flower petals or small items from around the house. It’s a beautiful meditative making process 🙂

    Reply
    1. Art Partners Post author

      Thanks so much Jen for commenting on the post. I love the sound of the ritual you have going. Beautiful. By the way, there was a story on the mandala workshop in the South Western Times (Thursday, April 23) page 10…just in case you still have it hanging around.

      Reply

Looking forward to hearing from you!

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