Mandalas and Shadows

November 18th, 2008

Posting a little late tonight. I went to take pictures of my art of the day, only to realize that my camera's battery was out of juice. It worked out well though, because while it was charging, I got motivated to bring to life a second piece of artwork that had been in my head all day.

The first piece I created is above. Last night I had gessoed over an old record, so I knew that I wanted to paint on it today. I wasn't sure exactly what I was going to paint, but I thought maybe I'd do a mandala. I ended up squirting red paint directly onto the record and then going from there. Around the edges, I put little blue elephants that I think are pretty darn cute. I put it up on the wall with a clear pushpin and I'm loving how bright it is.

So even though I'd done my art for the day when I finished the mandala, I had a strong urge to follow through on an idea I'd had in the morning when I read the entry in Soul Coaching. There were some intense exercises in the book today and yet it really resonated with me. I even had a feeling as I read, that the art I'd submitted to Jamie for the group blog would be up there today (and it was). Also, today was day 17 in the book, and 17 is my lucky number (I say lucky, but I really mean it's the number that I see everywhere and consider to be a wink from the universe.) So with all these little synchronicities, I felt like I had to honor my idea-spark from this morning and bring it to life. And I'm so glad I did!

The idea came as I was reading Denise Linn's discussion of the shadow, the darker side to our psyche. She asks the reader to look out for places where we might be projecting our shadows onto others. I don't know where I read about this originally, but it's a great practice. Basically, the idea is to notice when you're annoyed with or judging someone or something. And when you notice, you stop to think about whether this someone or something is reflecting a part of you that you are annoyed with or judgmental of (whether that part of you is part of your past, present, or perhaps your future.)

I'm calling this piece "Shadow Self" and it's done with acrylic on 12"x16" watercolor paper. I was imagining this sort of vivid and active shadow self down below, while the real self is somewhat subdued because it is trying so hard to ignore the shadow. (I'm really liking this size right now!)

Other bits of today's exercises from the book included turning your "shoulds" into "coulds" (something I like to do and was glad to be reminded of), looking at our sexual history, getting our skeletons out of the closet, and then dancing out our dark and light aspects. It was all a cathartic experience, especially the dancing piece which I surprised myself by really digging into. So, all in all, today was a super expressive day, one of those days it was just pouring out of me. And with that, I'm off so that I can get this posted!

p.s. Thanks for the interest in the calendar I'm creating! I'm waiting for a sample copy to arrive, so I know that the quality is excellent before I start to sell them. As soon as they're ready to go, I'll let you know!

15 Responses

I am speechless…

What insight you gained today. And I love that painting…let me know if you are selling it. It completely speaks to me!

I have to ask–what album was that? :)

I’ve been thinking of circular compositions lately (tondos), so it’s funny you did one today.

I really, really love that second painting, the tornadoes and birds, or roots and swelling waves beneath the surface, contrasting with the faceless, handless, grey upper half.

I love the record – it looks like a lotus to me. LOVE it!
congratulations on this part of your journey – well done!! xo

Lovely paintings for today, Leah….I particularly love the Shadow self one. I so enjoy hearing the process behind your paintings. Interesting synchronicities too.

I was thinking mandalas today also except mine was just done in pen.

love,light and peace,
Serena L

The Shadow projection thingy is Jungian (you hit both my guys today: Campbell and Jung). It is an idea that I have spent years trying to get my arms around only to hear son spout it easily and in full understanding as a result of his work with AA. But then he has always been my best teacher (although most of it I learned kicking and screaming). Am enchanted with using a record for a mandala – no need to draw that infernal circle! It’s already done! and Love the “underwaterness” of the shadow in your painting – so perfect for the actual concept. Awesome!

oh my goodness. i love the mandala on the record. so creative. the colors pop for me. the shadow self work is powerful. i do want to get your calendar. so count me in. many blessings for all you are doing. everybody is inspiring me to keep my creative juices going.

Once again I am just blown away by the work you are doing throughout your Soul Coaching process, the work inside and out ! I admire your openness to delve into the assignments and really find what moves you. It really is very inspiring. I am gathering the courage to move forward as you have from the dark shadows and looking for things that will help on the journey. Your documentation of your process is more helpful than you could know.

The painting of the Shadow Self gave me shivers, it is so beautiful, you know the way a perfect voice singing makes the hairs on your arms rise up…your voice was perfect here, Leah, perfect…

ooooohhhhh!!! i love your elephant mandala!!! well you know me and my ganesh obsession… but i also love mandalas. i’m currently working on a time mandala that i should be posting tomorrow-ish. when i do i’ll link it here.

but that second piece! wow it really took my breath away… i love the color combination, how simple it is but how much it speaks about shadows. and the whole root system below the lady, again speaks volume simply. thank you for sharing! beautiful work!!!

have a gorgeous day!!!

I LOVE your little blue elephants Leah, I do!! Painting on a record, now that is totally creative! “Shadow Self” is a beautiful personal expression. WOW!

Breathtaking. Our shadow sides are interesting to acknowledge. I’ve been exploring mine in my morning pages but am not yet ready to share it on my blog. You’re honesty and bravery are inspiring to me. I can’t say enough how much I appreciate that you share your feelings so genuinely. I am truly loving getting to know you in this way, through your art and your words. Thank you for that. ~Sara

What a beautiful, powerful day! The synchronicities, the insights, the creativity – awesome.

It was a pleasure to share your art today! And to see your new creaitons too. The shadow painting is full of intensity!

I love the shadow painting! Just gorgeous.

And 17 is my ‘lucky’ number, too. :)

I like the little blue elephants very much.

But the concepts underlying the other painting are what I walk away with tonight. Wonderful post. Wonderful day – thanks for sharing them.

oooh, I love the madala, lala! “it is round” those elephants make me smile, so bright and joyful. Love the lollipop trees too, awesomeness abounds, luf!

These are once again just beautiful and filled with so much emotion. Hugs from Desire

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