Kate Friedman

Lifelong Learner

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Drawing Mandalas (Easy, Fun, & Creative Art Therapy to De-Stress Yourself)

I was a kindergarten teacher who was fed up with the public school system. In one swift move I gave all of my posessions away and moved to India where I lived in a sustainable reforestation community. I became obsessed with mandalas. I decided that drawing everyday for at least an hour was a kind of relaxing, meditating, art therapy. I began churning out mandalas. Having a plan- to make a repetitive circular drawing - made it easy to do everyday, explore different art materials, and sort of zone out while drawing to calm myself and let my emotions bleed onto the page. 

In the beginning I used pencils and traced in ink. Then I experimented with color and used markers and avoided black. Then I thought about patterns and background. Then I explored open spaces, layering, and different pen thicknesses. 

Square paper makes a difference. Trust me. A circle fits perfectly inside a square and helps you draw with instinctive mathematical proportions. It just happens. I promise. It was hard to find exactly the size square notebook paper. Many square notebook papers include the binding so that you can't draw to the edge. So I began making my own books that were a smidge wider than a square so I could cut the paper out and have a perfect square. This makes me very happy. 

With this mandala I experimented with background patterns and filling space with lines and designs that move your eyes outward.                       

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With this mandala I experimented with flourishes that differ from the bulk of designs to see if I could make this very linear mandala a bit softer. 

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With this mandala I was thinking about color, layering, blending, and repitition of triangles. 

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