Collage mandala continued 

I worked on my mandala some more today – adding more layers – I didn’t like how prominent  the central mandala was 

Soo drew lots more  pairs of scissors – though I am not sure what concept this is adding – Jon’s mum once gave me a very pretty pair if embroidery scissors that belonged to someone in their family that look very like these. Most of the paper in this had been ripped , my go to method of destroying things, so there is a tension achieved by adding the scissors . I found  the scissor template and was drawn to the shape and the ease you can use it to make mandalas……..

I like the look of the piece as a small photo , but it is very large and dynamic in my living room , so I am not sure if it is liveable with – I might draw in sharpie all over it. I am vascilating between a flower mandala and one of my more recent succulents ….

I struggle with making large art, it seems so invasive, you can’t getaway from it and it can’t be put away in a drawer when it’s finished. The flat is too small to put it in another room and for get about it for a bit lol 


Large collage mandala -a training course – breaking free 

I attended a fab training course at SafeSpace in Dunfermline at the weekend – the course was mainly aimed at counsellors, but was very interesting and the more work I do in this area the more I want to know about it.

I have been feeling quite tight and restricted recently. My doodling has reflected this with my mandala type images getting more and more detailed and layered. 

This was particularly noticeable  during my visit to the US. You would think international travel would be an opening / stretching of consciousness type experience. I think this time since Joe’s accident has been one of  of huge anxiety for me – very inward looking and diminishing 

The course felt very liberating,  learning about how emotions are affected during child development. How empathy in counselling can liberate stuck patterns, was liberating 

Being with a group of people in an intense learning situation again was exhausting and fabulous all at the same time. 

Jon has been trying to push me towards working on a large scale again. Yesterday after work,coffee with a friend and a snooze this happened……

I have a couple of large canvases in my store room from last year- they were cheap and didn’t respond well to layers and layers of wet collage and paint. However, the size appealed to me. 

It’s funny in my head I had a pile of mandalas waiting to be used in a box somewhere – I forget they are under collages in my journals or ripped up and added to other art all the time. I think one of my favourite things to do so far in this process is to rip up my mandalas and work very quickly with great big brush strokes as I paint on the glue , lol.

I had 6 as a starting point about 6″x10″- in black and blue ink , mostly on the insides of security envelopes and a few photocopies 

Not enough to fill this – but I think that is quite a good thing – I will have something to work on over the next few weeks.

Writing this I am enjoying looking at the piece, drying. 

I like the fact that I work in my kitchen. It is a pain to be always surrounded by mess- but I like to be able to get on with house hold jobs in small spurts. 

I think the course was a bit of a break through, physically I feel as if I have been to see the osteopath and had a right bashing – I can feel clear tingling pathways through out my body. Something has definitely shifted – it’s a good job we have a couple of weeks before the next couple of sessions. So that I have time to digest and recover before the next bout. 

My mandala so far – that blue section in the middle needs disrupting a bit,  other wise I quite like what is happening 

I am not sure if I will cover up all the white or not – because I have used a couple of photocopies – the ink has run in several places ….

Memories of California-  wood and succulents 

Memories of my recent trip to California keep popping up in my head. I was thinking about blogging this morning and I decided that my prevailing memory is wood, houses, paintwork, floors, textures and succulents as big as dinner plates  

Living in Europe you don’t see many houses made totally of wood. 

 I remember a friends wooden kit house as a teenager and being very curious about it – wooden window frames and doors have to be constantly protected from the weather, how long would it last? (That was in the 1970’s it’s still there) 

In San Francisco ,Monterey and Sacramento there are lots of wooden structures – maybe because the weather is so clement – without our European extremes – the wood doesn’t need as much protection? 

My Dad and I commented whilst in SF on the quality of the paint work – we thought it would be a lucrative job being an external painter and decorator . 

I couldn’t stop taking pictures of the houses in SF . They are alien to my Edinburgh and Oxford raised eyes. 

The last weekend of our stay ,in Sacremento the weather was hot and sunny – you can tell by the clothing Jon and my Dad are wearing and the light , that it was not always so in SF lol. 

Visiting 3 locations  in 2 weeks , my eyes were constantly looking at different textures and decor- The SF house was quite dark , full of books and art 

One of the things I love about Airbnb is living in other people’s houses and looking at how they decorate and the stuff that they leave in situ when people visit . 

Monterey was the least looked after location that we stayed in – but it was decorated with fab stuff and had a charm of it’s own -looking back  it was a haven from the bustle of SF and the overwhelming business of the wedding 

Below a Monterey wooden house

Sacremento – the house was near Fair Oaks a suburb about 10 mins drive from my daughters law’s home. This was light and airy with a jacuzzi and a pool 

Succulents – I have always liked what Megan’s mum calls ‘Hens and chicks’ my Dad always says that a ‘good  big piece of art is much better than small piece’, I have found the same with the succulents  after my visit to California 

Early morning with my Apps 

I don’t know if it’s my age, menapause , or just the fact that I haven’t recovered from my California jaunt ( we have been back over a week) but I am not sleeping well and was up at 6am wide awake playing with my iPhone ( again)  I only went to bed at 1am…..

Morning routine – tea, check face book, email and Instagram feed. 

If that hasn’t put me back to sleep , then I play with my apps .  

To day it was manipulating my TV doodle from last night  – which was ridiculously intricate 

I tried reflecting it but the shape was too round and the results too flat 

I wanted to add colour without any real effort – so I layered it with another set of doodles from this week using  Imageblender and finishing it off in Snapseed

It was still only about 6.30am 

I fancied layering this with a photo with good contrast- so I checked back with some of my California pictures ( I can’t quite believe I can say that) 

Oakland bridge 

Then I couldn’t resist reflecting it 

Still too early to get up …. 

I remembered my image from Sacremento airport – Imageblender and into Prisma


And back into Reflection , using the invert colour filter , rotate and then layout in Instagram , finally  a yawn …… 

Reflections and Image Blender 

We are doing lots of fetching and carrying this week as my family arrived in California for the son’s wedding- today my Dads flight was delayed so I played about with my reflection in a glass lift/ shiny floor at Sacremento Airport terminal A.

I walked away from the lift shaft towards the window on the other side of the building taking photos- I had to time it getting the fewest number of other people in shot 

I liked the way the floor and the lights added to the reflection and how my figure distorted. 

I wanted to overlay them to see if I could get a better feeling of time and space 

This one lost the sense of the figure – I layered it with the largest one first 

You can still see the smaller figures inside the larger one – I liked this layout much more 

Then I played with the filters – this is called ‘difference’ 

‘Plus darker’ 


A different blend using ‘hue’