I have been inundating everyone with samples of my artwork more than usual since the pandemic hit. As I’ve mentioned before, zentangling and drawing mandalas have been a great stress buster since the past few months and I’ve immensely enjoyed working on these.
One of my sisters suggested I conduct a workshop for all my sisters so we could all experience the art of mandala drawing together. I picked a basic mandala for all of us to do together.
All of us have a background of drawing the traditional South Indian kolams with rice flour paste as well as North Indian style Rangoli designs with colourful powders. So I was very confident that all my sisters would be able to come up with beautiful mandalas, even if they didn’t know it yet.
One of my sisters unfortunately could not join our call but our neice who is an artist in her own right joined us as well so we were still five of us.
The video call lasted about one and a half hours. What is most amazing was that even though we all drew the exact same mandala – each one was unique and different. Just like the five of us are.
I’m going to start with my own mandala. You will see why very soon. It’s the least impressive version. But I’m super proud of it because of how well my sisters did!
Next, this was drawn by my eldest sister Bala. She added a few bits of her own unique flourishes to the design.
My second sister Lakshmi went in a completely different direction. Still the same mandala but here’s her interpretation:
My fourth sister Raji went a slightly different way too. Here’s her version:
Last but not the least, here is my artist neice’s version. Like her mother, she took a colourful route too but chose a different set of colours for another completely unique version:
It was the very first workshop I conducted and my sisters and neice were the participants. Together they made my first attempt at teaching whatever I knew about mandalas a resounding success.
At one point I asked my eldest sister who had written herself off as someone who cannot draw whether she was enjoying the workshop and whether I was doing a good job of teaching them how to do it.
She said, “Mona, the results will show how well you taught us”
It’s true. The results absolutely speak for themselves. Absolutely super proud of my artistic family!
We hope to do this again very soon!
Until next week, when I hope to share a project that was a wonderful labour of love.