Inspired Art and Living with Fiona Stolze

Painting a Silk Mandala as a Slow Meditation – Nourishment for the Soul

I get asked so often how long it takes me to paint a mandala. It’s that “How long is a piece of string?” time again. It totally depends on what size it is, how detailed it is, how much I have going on around its creation and so on…

I decided to share some of my thoughts on this with you in an article because it always helps me to get clarity on the whole process.

First and foremost painting a mandala is a meditation. I always get a sort of ethereal nudge when it’s time to make up a frame and begin the creative process of birthing a mandala. It’s never left up to me to just say – okay today I’m going to paint one. So it’s a sort of cosmic ordering, if you like. I remember the first time a lovely gentleman came up close to my stand and after a few minutes of

"Stargate" mandala on frame

admiring my paintings asked me – where do you get the templates from? That really made me smile. What a lovely question. I began to explain to him that I never really know what the paintings are going to look like when I start them. The quicker I get out of my own way and allow everything to flow, the better. That’s when the magic starts.

Many of you will know that I stretch my silk onto the frame, mark the centre and then draw several random concentric circles with a fabric marker and compasses. I then take my bottle of gold gutta, the resist that creates the pattern, and start to draw the pattern, circle by circle, going out from the centre.  I allow it all to unfold freehand, so the mandalas have a natural, easy symmetry without being too exact.

There are a few exceptions to this. One or two of my paintings depict specific sacred geometry and so they had to be created using the compasses and ruler. An example of this is my “Stargate” which shows a five and six-pointed star nestled into each other, coccooned in a mandala. With some of my larger mandalas, the process of applying the gold gutta takes on a really meditative tone as some of the outer rings take

Fiona Stolze painting "Stargate" silk mandala

one hour at a time. I normally play some of my favourite spiritual music and then completely surrrender to what is happening. There have been times that I have stood back and said – oh, wow, that’s what you look like. It’s only when I stand back and put down my tools that I get the bigger picture.

And during this time the colours just choose themselves. They step forward in an easy and effortless process, so I don’t have to think about it. Knowing that any colour goes with any other one makes everything so simple. 🙂

And to the question of my having a lot of patience to do this kind of artwork, well, it’s all about being in the present moment, the extended now when I paint. Then linear time ceases to exist. It’s a moment and an eternity in one.

These photos here show “Stargate” being created. I painted it in the summer months and so was able to have the patio doors open to let the warm air in to circulate in the room. I lost count of how long this painting was actually on the frame. At the end of the day it doesn’t really matter. It was a pure joy to paint. The chakra colours run up through the two stars with high-vibrational magenta in the centre.

But one thing is very clear. Painting in this way is a nourishment for the soul. Colour is pure energy. And energy allowed completely free flow is a potent form of healing. So healing the world with these beautiful colours seems a very worth while way to be.

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April 28, 2010 Posted by | PAINTINGS IN PROCESS | , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Silk Painting Mandala Workshops

MANDALA POWER: Create Your Own Personal Mandala

A Silk Painting Workshop with Fiona Stolze

Current dates available: Saturday

Venue: Bristol – details given on registration.

Time: 10am – approx. 4pm

Cost: £50 including materials. Light lunch included.

Come and join in with this day workshop of silk painting and high creativity. I will be introducing you to the concept of the mandala as a tool for focussing and calming your mind. Mandala originates from Sanskrit and means ‘mystical circle’.

Each workshop will take place in a small group and so you can be sure of lots of personal attention and guidance.

We’ll start by me sharing some basic colour information and then you will learn some basic silk painting techniques using gutta (resist), silk dyes and salt. You’ll then start to create your own personal mandala on satin silk with my help. This will be purely your own unique expression. During the day I’ll be chatting to you about colours and their different and giving you lots of hints and tips along the way. Your power mandala will reveal itself to you moment by moment: a unique piece of artwork to be treasured.

I’d like to warmly welcome both complete beginners as well as those of you who have painted on silk before. Come and participate in this workshop as no previous experience is necessary at all. The process is gentle and powerful and you will find that the vibrancy of the colours effortlessly draws out the artist within you.

I will send your artwork on to you by post after I have steam-fixed the dyes. This process lends the silk a translucent sheen and intensifies the vibrancy of the colours.

You don’t need to bring any materials with you as everything provided during this workshop. Tea, coffee and water will be available. We will take a short lunch break at around 1pm.

Pre-booking is essential.

If you’d like to register, please get in touch as soon as possible. I look forward to having you with us. 🙂

Email me at info@silkandart.com and put  Silk Painting Workshop in the subject line – thank you.

**I run regular workshops. Please leave your details with me so that I can contact you with future dates.

June 3, 2008 Posted by | MANDALA ART | , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 11 Comments