Dear Mandala Family,
Serendipity has been showing up again and again in many ways for me. A couple of months ago I designed a “virtues shield” that you’ll see further down on this post to go with a magazine article. Then, a couple of weeks ago I was reviewing the different projects for Stage Seven of the Great Round in Susanne Fincher’s book, “The Mandala Workbook” and came across a “mandala shield” project. How cool that what I had created for the magazine article was published in July the same month that we study Stage 7. I seem to be in synch!
The mandala shield project is similar to a project that I learned about in my training to become a Virtues Project Facilitator. The prompts from the VP training are more specific than what Susanne offers in her book. Pictured above is the mandala shield that I created this week for myself. I started by drawing a circle, dividing it into four and drawing a circle at the center.
In the upper left quadrant, I picked a virtue that is one of my strengths, ENTHUSIASM.
The rays of sunshine and brilliant stars in the sky are examples of how my enthusiasm lights the way for others.
In the upper right quadrant, I picked another core strength, CREATIVITY.
I often depict my creative ideas as spirals or swirls or even little seeds. The white dots in this illustration remind me of the “million possibilities” mandala from Stage Two of the Great Round.
In the lower left quadrant, I picked a virtue that is a challenge for me: STEADFASTNESS.
Can I keep my boat steady during turbulent times? Looking back over the challenges thrown my way over the last few years, I would say that I’m very RESILIENT. I have to admit, that when things don’t move as quickly as I would like, I begin to falter and lose my PATIENCE for the process. TRUST in divine timing is key here for me.
In the lower right quadrant, I thought about a virtue or traits that I have in common with my family members: FOCUS. My father, grandmother, son, and I all have an ability to focus on a project, goals, or learning a new skill.
I depicted this quality by having all of the arrows point in the same direction as if many things come together to focus.
The last space in the mandala shield is the center where I placed a personal symbol. It probably comes as no surprise that I would place a glittery, vibrant, hand drawn mandala at the center of my shield.
For the coat of arms that I designed for my friend Mae to go with her article in Parable Magazine, I took the same concept but adapted a few of the prompts to make it faith-based. You’ll see too that I brought in a combination of painted papers, photography, and digital imaging along with illustrations.
Upper left – A core “strength” virtue.
Upper right – A family virtue.
Lower left – A “challenge” virtue. Here I used an inspiring quote to help Mae with TRUST, her challenge virtue.
Lower right – A saint that inspires Mae during challenging times. The rose represents Ste. Therese who is known as the little flower.
Center – A symbol of her faith.
I worked with some of Mae’s favorite colors. When I sent her the design, she cried! She felt that I had captured who she is and what is important to her. To download the template to create your mandala shield as a coat of arms, CLICK HERE. You’ll also find in that download a list of virtues that will help you in selecting words that speak to you.
I loved creating my own mandala shield. As I reflected on my core virtues, I felt like I was reconnecting to who I am and my soul purpose.
Materials I used:
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Derwent Watercolor Pencils – Used in the upper left quadrant (sun rays). Color like you would a colored pencil and then with a wet brush (not soaking wet, lightly wet) activate the color with light brush strokes.
Japanese Watercolor Set – Gold, Red (pinkish colored quadrant), Blue mixed with red to create the purple, Brown in the boat, comes with a water brush.
Reeves Student Grade Watercolor Set – Colors used: Payne’s Gray, variety of Blues and Greens. I shade with Payne’s Gray and in some areas I used the black gel pen and then with a brush spread the color.
Uni-ball Signo White Gel Pen – I prefer the broad point. My favorite white gel pen.
Art-n-Fly Glitter Gel Pens – Details were added using a variety of glittery colors from this set of 40 gel pens.
Micron black fineliner Pen – drawing details.
Now It’s Your Turn
Create your own mandala shield and share it with us over in the Sharing Circle.
Want to learn how to draw mandalas? Check out my book, “The Mandala Guidebook.”