Author: Kathryn Costa

Mandala Workshop at Yoga Balance

Creating Mandalas for Relaxation & Self Expression Saturday, Apr 8, 2017 at 1:30 pm – 4:00 pm Yoga Balance Studio 135 Hooksett Road, Manchester, NH This workshop will be a fun opportunity to channel your inner artist! The workshop begins with an introduction to mandalas: the origins of the mandala; where mandalas show up in various cultures and in nature; and how mandalas are used as a practice for relaxation and self-expression. After centering with a short Gentle Yoga practice, we will learn how to construct a symmetrical grid as a basis for our designs, which we will then add shapes and patterns to create beautiful individual mandalas. We will finish with a closing ceremony to witness and honor everyone’s work. No art or yoga experience required. Beginners are encouraged to attend. All materials and supplies are provided. Fee: $45 per person; $40 before April 1. REGISTER NOW & SAVE!

Mandalafest 2017 Seeking Sponsors

Our first Mandalafest in October 2016 was such a huge hit that I decided that we’ll do it again! Preparations are underway for our next Mandalafest and that means collecting prizes and designing the official Mandalafest Party Planner. About Mandalafest Mandalafest is an event to celebrate the joy of creating and coloring mandalas. Mandala is a Sanskrit word that means “circle” or “center.”  Mandalas are circular designs that often have repeating patterns and colors radiating from the center and popular in coloring books. During Mandalafest, partipants are encouraged to share their love for mandalas by hosting a mandala party for their friends and families. Mandala enthusiasts from all over the world gather online during Mandalafest for live Facebook videos and contests to win prizes. Mandalafest is hosted by Kathryn Costa, author of “The Mandala Guidebook: How to Draw, Paint, and Color Expressive Mandala Art” and the host of the popular “100 Mandalas Challenge.” Event Date: April 22 – 30, 2017 Promotional Period: April 1 – April 30, 2017 Seeking Prize Sponsors Prizes can be art …

Your Mandalas Tell a Story…Discover Yours

Did you know that the mandalas that you create have a story to tell? The lines, shapes, symbols, colors, and arrangements in your mandala art reflects your unconscious at a particular moment in your life. Sometimes it’s hard to put into words your feelings or what’s troubling you. The expressive arts is a way of creating a visual representation that aids you in unlocking those words. When those stories are unlocked, there’s a feeling of release and relief. There are 12 psychological stages that we all go through in life. In fact, we experience these stages over and over again. In this series called, “The Great Round,” we explore these stages by coloring, drawing, painting, collaging, and crafting mandalas. No art experience necessary. What do those psychological stages look like? Here are a few that you’ll recognize: Milestones in Life: birth, adolescence, graduation, leaving home, marriage, parenting, caring for aging parents, retirement, etc. Creativity Cycles: feeling creatively low versus highly productive and energized; unfocused versus focused periods Life’s Challenges: Loss, grieving, falling apart, health issues Embracing …

Blessings Jar

I was a single mother for many years. My son and I had a nightly routine that began with four familiar words, “It’s time for bed.” As soon as I would begin to utter this announcement, we’d race headlong to my bed. The first person to get there would exclaim, “Name three things that made you happy today.” We’d take turns recounting good things from our day but the last person to get there had to go first. Here’s what we discovered: We started looking for good things in our day. We knew we were going to report on it later in the day, so we collected good things to bring back home. We noticed patterns in our expressions of gratitude. Often they involved connecting with other people, accomplishing a goal, finishing a project, or learning something new. The blessings were not always big things, but were more often something really small like smiling and being kind to a store clerk and noticing how it would brighten their day or the smell of coffee and …

Solstice Mandala Calendar

21 artists from around the world submitted mandalas for this Community Mandala project. It is a count down calendar to the Solstice. Each day starting on December 1st and finishing on December 21st a different mandala is featured. When I was a child I loved my Advent Calendars that counted down to Christmas. Each day I would eagerly await to see what the next picture would be. There were some years when my brother and I would get those cardboard calendars with the little chocolates behind each window. My brother would invariably gobble up all of his chocolates by day three while I was patient and would enjoy the little treat each day. Inspired by this fun memory, I designed a countdown calendar only in this case we are counting down 21 days to the Solstice. This mandala project is about creating something beautiful as a community that will light up and inspire all who see it. As we create mandalas during this Solstice season, may we recognize the light within ourselves and the light …

A Gratitude Mandala Exercise for Those Challenging Times

It is easy to count our blessings when everything is sunny and cheery, when the kids are behaving, and the bank account is flush. We need our gratitude practice the most during challenging times. In this exercise, think about an area in your life where you are struggling. Maybe you are having a difficult time at work or with a specific person? As you work on this mandala design, think of eight things you are grateful for about this challenging situation or person. When you are done, I guarantee you’ll feel a greater appreciation for the situation, and you’ll have had fun making this mandala. Bloom Where You Are Planted Step 1: To create this mandala, I drew two circles and divided the outer ring into eight equal segments using a protractor and ruler. (45 degree increments) Step 2: Fill each segment with doodled patterns using a black fine liner pen. Be sure to leave spaces for writing words and short phrases. Step 3: Fill the shapes using bright juicy colors. Color has a way …

DIY Gifts to Lift the Spirit

This last year I had been contributing mandala art for the Heart to Heart column in Parable Magazine. When the editor of the magazine saw my book, “The Mandala Guidebook” she approached me about contributing a project for a new column. I came up with the name “Prayerful Projects” for the column to tie in with Mae Edwards’ new focus for her Heart to Heart column about making time for one self in the form of a personal retreat. Pictured above you can see the layout and how our columns face each other. The first project in this series is a journal project designed for the non-artist who wants to create a special place to record their thoughts, ideas, inspirational quotes, and prayers. A plain notebook is transformed into a lovely space with the addition of a mandala colored, cut out and glued on the cover. My mandala practice – creating and coloring mandalas – as well as journal writing offer me a quiet time to relax, reflect, and renew. In this weary world, we need …

Gratitude Mandalas

42 gratitudes. Pictured above is the Flower of Life pattern made up of 42 petals filled with declarations of people, accomplishments, and gifts that I’m grateful for. At the center is my “inner circle” including my devoted husband, son, colleagues and dear friends. In the white petals are words that describe the qualities that I’m grateful for within this circle. The other circles in this design cover a variety of gratitudes: Family Friends 100 Mandalas Community Accomplishments Gifts and Talents that I’ve nurtured in myself Authors and Artists who I admire If you look closely at my mandala you’ll find some keywords that repeat: friendship, connection, creativity, curiosity, support, love, sharing, and caring. I see each of these words as invitations. Invitations that point to what to focus on in 2017. Last year I did this exercise and it is interesting to look back on how I filled in the design with color and gratitudes. I didn’t look at last year’s mandala before working on my gratitude mandala for this year until now as I post them here in this …

The Great Round Series

Did you know that the mandalas that you create have a story to tell? The lines, shapes, symbols, colors, and arrangements in your mandala art reflects your unconscious at a particular moment in your life. Sometimes it’s hard to put into words your feelings or what’s troubling you. The expressive arts is a way of creating a visual representation that aids you in unlocking those words. When those stories are unlocked, there’s a feeling of release and relief. There are 12 psychological stages that we all go through in life. In fact, we experience these stages over and over again. In this series called, “The Great Round,” we explore these stages by coloring, drawing, painting, collaging, and crafting mandalas. No art experience necessary. What do those psychological stages look like? Here are a few that you’ll recognize: Milestones in Life: birth, adolescence, graduation, leaving home, marriage, parenting, caring for aging parents, retirement, etc. Creativity Cycles: feeling creatively low versus highly productive and energized; unfocused versus focused periods Life’s Challenges: Loss, grieving, falling apart, health issues Embracing …

Giveaway: Zen Doodle Workshop Magazine

Join me on Facebook for a live video event where I’ll show you my mandala parasols featured in Zen Doodle Workshop Magazine. Mark your calendars Tuesday, November 1, 2016 at 8:00 p.m., EST http://www.facebook.com/100mandalas During the video: Get a close up look at the two stunning mandala parasols featured in Zen Doodle Workshop Magazine. Listen to the story of how one of my parasols was completely ruined just days before the submission deadline. I’ll tell you want I did wrong so you don’t make this mistake. You may be surprised by what I used to embellish these paper parasols. Come with your questions! Four people will be randomly selected to win a copy of Zen Doodle Workshop Magazine (pictured above). This gorgeous magazine is filled with inspiring projects perfect for those who love to doodle. There are unique projects and instructions for both on and off the page. Official Contest Rules DRAWING 1 is for participants of the LIVE Facebook event. To enter the first drawing attend the live Facebook video (www.facebook.com/100mandalas) on Tuesday, November 1, 2016 at 8:00 …