coloring outside the lines: watercolor mandalas
This past Saturday I attended a four-hour watercolor mandala class with Michele Faia, called “Painting as a Path to the Heart.”
I’d signed up at the urging of a good friend, who thought I’d love it.
She was right!
Michele taught art history at our local community college, teaching watercolor mandala art workshops outside of academia as an artist. Her self-published book, Art in My Heart, features both her own mandala work as well as those from her students.
The supply list is minimal: watercolor paper (preferably 140#), basic student grade watercolors–she suggests we start out with a Prang palette, which I found in the elementary school supply aisle–and a round watercolor brush, somewhere between size 5 and 10.
She guided us through some basic skills in watercolor painting to doing a personal mandala, adapting the lessons to accommodate those of us who were newbies and while supporting her returning students.
The emphasis is on process, not making Art.
Michele was demonstrating how to “lift” watercolor off the page by tapping the brush on a paper towel and soaking up paint off the page. She pointed out that some colors run (spread out on the page), while others just sit. The cadmium orange began to run within the small 1″ square wetted area on the paper.
“I just love how the colors run. I think it’s more interesting than just flat color.”
I agree. I like the variation in color, though I struggle with the randomness. What? I can’t control the paint?!
It took awhile to let go of this idea. I was trying too hard to get to where I thought I should be, rather than letting the process guide me forward.
Eventually, when my colors bled into each other, I was at the point where I could simply observe in appreciation.
comment zen: be kind. play nice.