Monday, May 31, 2010

Butterfly Mandala - Completed

Butterfly Mandala
Primacolor Pencils on Paper

Well I am finally finished with the Butterfly mandala.  I worked on it, on and off for about 5 days.  My focus is a little off, so I would draw for a hour or so, put it aside and come back to it again, several times a day, with taking a day off in between.  Something about this process, has helped me find my clarity of focus and as I worked I could tell my that my mind got clearer as my stamina grew.  

Day by day I feel stronger and have more confidence in my legs.  The butterfly seems a fitting symbol for the healing process I am engaged in at this time.  

Whats next?  Well maybe another mandala, getting out my journal again, or just sinking into a book or another movie as I rest in between practicing walking and stretching my hip.  

The interesting thing about having this blog, is that as I recuperate I have avenue for sharing, show and tell of my art, which I love to do.  It allows me not to feel so alone or isolated in this journey.  I am a rather extroverted person, and being house bound and dependent on others is a challenge.  So I appreciate this venue as well as any comments from other readers, viewers, voeyuers out there across the  universe.  

Speaking of Across the Universe, I saw that movie yesterday, and I loved it.  Check it out, it is an under rated, off the A list gem of a movie.  Ciao.  Caterina

Friday, May 28, 2010

Butterfly Mandala

Another day and moment by moment I am feeling better, day by day.
So the butterfly has become the focus of my newest mandala.  It is the perfect symbol for the healing journey that I am on now, as I heal from major surgery.  This is the begining of the mandala, done with white prismacolor pencil, using the scale of light on black paper.

      The butterfly counts not months but moments, and has time enough.  ~Rabindranath Tagore

Overwhelmingly, cultural myth and lore honor the butterfly as a symbol of transformation because of its impressive process of metamorphosis.

In process, the original drawing begins to change and it seems as if the antenna are forming arrows, but that doesn't feel right, creating to static a pattern.

                           If nothing ever changed, there'd be no butterflies.  ~Author Unknown

Imagine the whole of your life changing to such an extreme you are unrecognizable at the end of the transformation. Mind you, this change takes place in a short span of about a month too (that’s how long the butterfly life cycle is).

                This mandala feels more about spiraling into expansion for me so I changed that part of the mandala.

Happiness is a butterfly, which when pursued, is always just beyond your grasp, but which, if you will sit down quietly, may alight upon you.  ~Nathaniel Hawthorne

The butterfly unquestioningly embraces the chances of her environment and her body.  This unwavering acceptance of her metamorphosis is also symbolic of faith. Here the butterfly beckons us to keep our faith as we undergo transitions in our lives. 

This point in the drawing process starts to become fun, when I enhance the each image with the scale of light.  It is drawing the light around and within the images, bringing the light of energy and direction into the mandala.

We delight in the beauty of the butterfly, but rarely admit the changes it has gone through to achieve that beauty. 
~Maya Angelou

So it is our responsibility to make our way in faith, accept the change that comes, 
and emerge from our transitions as brilliantly as the butterfly.

The essential core of the mandala is complete now

The fluttering of a butterfly's wings can effect climate changes on the other side of the planet.  ~Paul Erlich
Here it is for now, the next step is the leap into adding color.

At first when I began with the orange butterflies I was disappointed.  It is always a big risk to add color to the black and white image.  It is like diving into the unknown, with the part of myself who wants safety, and to be close to shore, resists, diving into the deep of risk and transformation.  Once, I begin, though, there is no turning back and I am forced to move forward until it comes together.  
The blue green into purple in the negative space around the mandala changed everything, and I am now in love with what is happening.  Who knows what will happen next.  I will keep posting this ongoing mandala journery as it emerges.  Until next time...

I do not know whether I was then a man dreaming I was a butterfly, or whether I am now a butterfly dreaming I am a man.  ~Chuang Tzu 

Thursday, May 27, 2010


Exactly two weeks ago today, I had total hip replacement surgery on my left hip.  I had the right one replaced 4 years ago.  So, the past month of my life has been  a busy 2 weeks of preparation for this surgery and then....the surgery, return home and then recuperating.  So this blog has been totally on the back burner of my mind and my life.

Now I am finally beginning to feel rather like myself and with a successful surgery behind me, that will make my life transform in terms of physical limitations.  I am moving daily into more and more gratitude.  I went into the body shop and had a part replaced and now it is time for self nurturance and healing.  Art has always been a healing, transformative activity for me, and now more than ever, I find myself longing to get back to drawing.  So...
Prior to my surgery I painted background pages in my most recent journal. About a week after surgery I spent time here and there doodling and working randomly on a few of the pages, moving energy and letting artmaking begin to be a part of my daily recuperation schedule.   

So as I doodled two of the  themes that emerged, were  butterflies and mandalas.

                                          Here are some other  pages that I worked on.
                               Windows opening to other windows....possibilities, new ways of looking at things
The movement and energy I need for healing, instinctual energy, wild ness contained and focused.  
The image of flowering came up for me during a hypnotherapy session before my surgery, as here it presents itself to me in my journal process.  Reminding me that healing is a growth process and happens naturally, just as the process of drawing unfolds naturally.  So, yes healing happens. 

     Each of these pages, were instinctual, spontaneous drawings, that unfolded as I went back and forth from one to the next and back again.  My mind roaming, my hand moving, and my energy begining to move.  Now a week later, and two weeks exactly from my surgery, I have taken the butterfly and began a new mandala.  Using that symbol as a healing image to help with my transformation to health, vitality, freedom of movement and the ability to walk with ease.  I will post more of how my art and healing merge in the days to come.