Latest Posts

Welcome to the Circle

Welcome to 100Mandalas.com and the home of the 100 Mandalas Challenge & Community hosted by Kathryn Costa. If you are interested in drawing, coloring, or working with mandalas, then you’ve arrived at the right place!

Are you new to the 100 Mandalas Challenge?

You may want to start with these links:

Current Workshops & Programs

  • Drawing I – Ten video lessons to get you started drawing mandalas.
  • Color I – 12 Product Demos, Coloring Techniques, and 5 lessons for creating coloring harmony

October Mandala Challenge

This month’s mandala challenge is inspired by the beautiful colors of the Arteza fineliner pens and my fascination with chakras.

Get the contest details and watch me draw chakra mini mandala art in my journal in this quick six minute video.

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How to Enter

  1. Draw a Mandala – Create one mandala or fill a page with several like I did in my journal, see video.
  2. Any Style – You may draw your mandala freehand, geometric design, or chakra inspired. Get creative and have fun!
  3. Only Colored Pens – No black pens. Use one color like I did in the video or have fun trying out different color combinations. There are many pen options like the fineliners that I used in the video, gel pens, even ball point pens.
  4. Outline Only – No coloring, blending, etc.
  5. Photograph or Scan your entry.
  6. Post in the Sharing Circle by October 31, 2018.
    Member log-in.
    Not a Member? Join for Free

Prize & Coupon

One winner will be randomly drawn to receive a set of 48 fineliner water-based pens from Arteza.

Get 10% off Arteza Products using the coupon code* 100Mandalas1, valid until November 2, 2018.

Here are some of my favorite Arteza products to use for drawing mandalas.

Learn How to Draw Mandalas

*AFFILIATE COMMISSIONS: Please note that I am an Arteza affiliate and get a commission on all purchases made using the links above and the coupon code. The commissions that I receive support the work of Kathryn Costa, 100 Mandalas and True North Arts. Commission revenue is used to purchase future prizes and/or to use for demos and lessons. Thank you for your support!

OFFICIAL CONTEST RULES

Local Event: Introduction to Creating Mandala Art

Give yourself an afternoon of relaxation and play. Immerse yourself into beauty, color and form in a practice that fosters mindfulness and awakens your creativity. The mandala is a circular art form that anyone can learn how to draw. Share the creative joy and bring a friend!

This workshop is for you if:

  • An afternoon that nourishes your body, mind, and spirit is calling you.
  • You are attracted to beauty and art, and have a desire to awaken the artist within.
  • You are seeking inspiration and want to feel creative.
  • You are curious to try something new.

This workshop includes:

  • Relaxing guided meditation to release stress and open up to creative flow.
  • Clear step-by-step instructions and handouts.
  • Brief explanation of what a mandala is and examples found in many cultures.
  • How to continue a mandala practice at home.
  • All tools and supplies provided.

You’ll leave with a completed work of art that is as unique as you are!

About the Instructor:

Kathryn Costa is the author of “The Mandala Guidebook, How to Draw, Paint, and Color Expressive Mandala Art.” She has taught thousands of people all over the world how to draw mandalas. Kathryn has taught mandala programs at the Omega Institute and Kripalu Yoga and Health Center. Kathryn lives with her husband Fernando in Manchester, NH.

Sunday, October 7, 2018
2 to 5 p.m.
White Swan Yoga Studio
1889 Elm St, Suite B, Manchester, NH 03104
$40

Register Online using PayPal

For other payment options contact Kathryn Costa at kathryn@100mandalas.com

 

August Mandala Challenge

This month’s featured project may challenge your idea of what a mandala is. We often think of mandalas as have a clear center with shapes, colors, and patterns repeating from the center.

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Swiss Psychiatrist Carl G. Jung introduced to the West the idea of creating circular art for insight and self expression. During a time when Jung had a experienced a personal crisis his journal writings included drawings within circles. He observed over time how these drawings had colors, numbers, symbols, and arrangements that reflected his thoughts, feelings, and dreams. He called these circular drawings mandalas as they reminded him of the Hindu and Buddhist art form.

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This month’s challenge is a project from a course that I teach called, “The Great Round” where we create mandala art to explore twelve psychological stages that we all experience at different moments in our lives. Pictured here is a diagram of twelve symbols in black and white that typify each of the stages and the colored images are sample mandalas for each stage.

Watch the video above to learn about Stage Three and the Umbilical Cord Mandala Project.

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Take the Challenge!

  1. Create an Umbilical Cord Mandala
  2. Photograph or scan your mandala art.
  3. Post your entry in the Sharing Circle.
    The Sharing Circle is a free membership website for mandala enthusiasts.
    Not a member? Join Here: It’s Free!

The deadline to enter is August 31st.

July Mandala Challenge

Mandalas with all of their shapes and spaces lend themselves well for drawing repeating patterns. In this challenge, Kathryn Costa invites you to play with the design principle of repetition. Watch this quick video to see examples of how patterns can easily add detail and beauty to your mandalas.

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How to Enter

  1. Draw a mandala.
    You may also use one of the many coloring pages found in the members library of the Sharing Circle. Be sure to select a mandala with lots of open spaces.
    Get your entry counted twice if you create a mandala from the Drawing I course.
  2. Fill the mandala with repeating patterns. Color is encouraged.
  3. Scan or photograph your art.
  4. Post your entry in the Sharing Circle. It’s a free membership website for mandala enthusiasts. Join Here.

    Deadline to enter is July 31, 2018.
    Winner will be announced August 8, 2018.

  5. No limit to the number of entries.See Contest Rules

Prize

One person will be randomly selected to win a copy of The Great Zentangle Book by Beate Winkler

Related Links

The Mandala Guidebook – Refer to chapter 4 for pattern ideas.

Mandala Drawing I – Learn how to draw the mandalas featured in this video. 10 video lessons under 10 minutes each. Perfect for those who are just beginning, experienced mandala makers looking for more mandala design options, and tangle enthusiasts in search of a drawing practice that compliments their love for pattern play.

Color I Course – If your color confidence is low, this color course gives you an introduction to creating color harmony. Includes product demos to learn how to use a variety of mediums popular among mandala enthusiasts.

The Zentangle® Method

My Favorite Supplies

Here is a short list of my favorite supplies and the one’s that I used to create the mandalas that you see in the video.

Note: These links will take you to Amazon where I’m an affiliate. I receive a small commission for each sale at no extra charge to you. Your purchases help support the work of this site and provides art supplies for demos and prizes.

Drawing Mandalas

Compass

Coloring Mandalas

Faber-Castell Pitt Pens – India Ink

TomBow – Water-based brush pens

Spectrum Noir – Alcohol markers

Micron Fineliners

Marvy LePen Fineliners

Uni-Ball Signo Gel Pen – My favorite white gel pen. The broad point works best.

Faber-Castell Polychromos Colored Pencils

Prismacolor Colored Pencils

Gamsol

Blending Stumps (aka Tortillons)

Mandala Meditation: Ganesh Yantra

“Where do you get all of your ideas?”

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard this question. I’ve been known to say, “Inspiration is everywhere.”

I think I’ll add to that statement, “Inspiration is everywhere. Look around you.” Thinking more about this, it’s more than looking around you. It’s about getting curious. It’s one thing to see something, it’s another to ask, “Why?” or “What if?”

I have a long list of topics that I’m currently exploring. I can never study just one thing. My mind loves devouring several topics at once and making connections between them.

One of my long time interests has been in exploring the meaning of our mandalas. The colors, shapes, symbols, and how they are arranged can tell us a lot about where we are in the moment. There are long standing traditions where mandalas are created with specific symbols and colors. One such tradition that I’ve been curious to learn more about is the Hindu yantras.

The earliest yantras date back 1,000 BCE in northern India. Throughout the ages, sacred teachings have been shared through mantras (sound vibrations) and yantras (visual representations).

The basic shape of a yantra is a circle with a ring of lotus petals. At the center, is a geometric pattern often with one or more triangles around a central dot. The entire shape is contained within a square with four “gates” in each of the cardinal directions. Color plays an important role in yantras as they bring energy, meaning, and intention to the design.

Yantras may be a part of a mandala where the yantra design is at the center and additional shapes, patterns, and colors are added as an expression of the artist’s exploration of the yantra’s energy and meaning.

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To begin this new exploration, I thought it fitting to start with the Ganesh Yantra.

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Lord Ganesha is commonly associated with the beginner of both inner and outer journeys and the remover of obstacles. It is also a good yantra as this is a foundational year for my career. There is a lot of uncertainty and my intention for creating this yantra is to bring clarity, confidence, guidance, and good fortune to my endeavors.

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As I considered the shapes and colors for this yantra, I drew upon what I’ve learned from studying and teaching the Great Round and my knowledge of the chakras.

I thought of the root chakra and chose red for the square and “gates” for three reasons:

  1. The root chakra is about safety, security and having a solid foundation.
  2. Elephants are associated with the root chakra and Ganesh bears the head of an elephant.
  3. The sturdy square with the four gates is reflective of Stage 7 in the Great Round where we “stand four square in who we are.” Red is among the colors typically used in this stage.

Triangles indicate a direction and here the upward pointing triangle conveys moving forward.  We see upward facing triangles in Stage Four of the Great Round when we are about to start something new, a burst of creativity, or it can refer to our aspirations. It is the symbol for the element fire and is associated with masculine “doing” energy.

Within the triangle is the six-pointed star formed by two triangles, one pointing upward and the second one pointing downward. This perfectly balanced symbol brings together and harmonizes both the masculine and feminine qualities.

Blue is associated with emotions and I chose to color the inner symbols in blue to soothe and balance my mind and emotions, with what I’m thinking and feeling.

Green was chosen as it’s the color of the heart chakra. What better container for the mind and emotions than a circle of love?

Orange and red petals capture my creative spirit and passion which I know will help me and my projects to blossom.

Lastly, I added a gold dot in the center, referred to by Hindus as the bindu. The bindu provides a focal point for centering one’s attention during meditation.

After I decided on my color palette for this yantra, I allowed my mind to float as different thoughts about my hopes, aspirations, and dreams emerged while coloring in the shapes. At times my thoughts veered down memory lane and different work scenarios. As each color was applied, I felt my energy and excitement rise.

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Meditating with this Yantra

I finished this yantra late in the evening. When done, I sat with it looking at all of the colors and memorizing each of the lines, shapes, and symbols. It wasn’t until the next morning during the liminal space between sleeping and waking that I intuited the meaning that this yantra had for me.

In my mind’s eye, I pictured the shapes and colors. I tuned in and felt my uncertainty and doubt around two recent projects. In both cases, I was doubting myself which is not a common feeling for me. Usually I’m decisive and when I take action, I accept that what is done is done. This time was different, perhaps because I’ve been feeling attached to the outcome.

Later in the morning, I spent time writing in my journal with periodic glances at the yantra. In a flash, I realized how much energy I was wasting by second guessing myself and listening to the opinions of others. When we put other peoples ideas, fears, and opinions before ours, we give our power away. Ah-ha! Now I see what is blocking me.

In my heart, I truly believe that the outcomes will be for the highest good for all. There is no need to worry. This is a time to relax in the uncertainty. As I easily and effortlessly released the worries, feelings of excitement filled my body, mind, and spirit. I can’t wait to see where my curiosity and creativity will take me next.

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Traditional Colors for Ganesh Yantra

The next day I returned to the Ganesh Yantra and this time used the traditional colors. I added flowing lines within the green areas, my own artistic invention, to represent the flow inward that happens when obstacles are removed.

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Version 3: Going with the Flow

Looking at my first two Ganesha Yantras, I decided to create a third one that is a fusion of some traditional colors with some colors and elements of my own choosing. I believe intention is the very most important ingredient in making powerful art. Before sitting down, I knew the palette and design for this yantra so I was able to fully let go into the process of creating it. Some of the lines are not precisely drawn, and I love it just as it is for it’s a reflection of my own perfectly imperfect container (aka body).

Thoughts drifted to the idea of flow, which coincidentally is my word-for-the-year. I thought about the importance of recognizing and releasing limiting beliefs and which ones that are blocking me. After I finished creating this yantra, I was moved to take an action step on an opportunity that I’m pursuing. I was impressed how the words for my letter flowed from my mind onto the computer screen.

This is the power of creating mandala art. We can relax and tap into our inner wise self, our inner Ganesha. The process of creating and coloring can be an opportunity for brainstorming, discerning, reflecting, and planning. It’s certainly so much more than making a pretty picture.

GreatRound-2018-Overview

Are you curious to learn more about the meaning of your mandalas?

For the first time in three years, I’m offering my Great Round course in the fall. It starts on August 26, 2018. It’s a fascinating series that will give you insights about yourself and your life experiences. You’ll find the exploration both insightful and empowering.

Early Bird special, enroll before June 27th at get $20 off.

>>Get the details and sign up here.

 

Color Inspiration Challenge

This month the mandala challenge is all about noticing the colors around us creating a color palette for coloring our mandalas.

Watch this short 4-minute video to get the details.

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Download Your Gifts

Do you have a muse?

All my life, friends, family and acquaintances have said, “You are so creative!” I feel like I can’t take credit for my creativity. The creative process may look like a solitary act on the outside, but it isn’t. I often feel like a creative conduit where the ideas flow through me.

The best way to explain it is to share a story.

Each month, I host an interactive online journal class. Participants get an envelope in the mail with a few items tucked inside to use during our time together.

A new theme is explored where I work in one of the four elements, air, water, fire, or earth and I invite an animal ally to join us. The design of the envelope picks up on elements from the theme. Invariably these envelopes design themselves.

Sounds a bit crazy, right?

Read on as the story behind the latest workshop envelope may be evidence that the creative process is a co-creative act between the artist and something divine.

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For my next journal workshop, it was time to work with the element of earth and I settled on the idea of the “soul garden.”

I sat down to work up the envelope design a couple of times, but I felt resistance and the pieces were not falling together. When this happens, I walk away and return another time.

One morning last week, I had it on my to do list to get this envelope finally designed. I didn’t feel any pressure and in fact, started my day connecting with a friend on Zoom. My spirits were high and my outlook hopeful. The sun was shining and a wonderful breeze blew into the room.

Sitting on the arm of my futon in my studio were two journals. The journal on the top, a simple drawing pad, was filled with mandalas that I drew each day for 21 days while doing an Ayurvedic cleanse last spring. Having renewed my commitment to getting healthy, I had pulled it out to reread the entries.

After I finished the chat with my friend, I looked over and noticed how the wind had blown the journal open. As I walked over to the journal, I couldn’t believe what I saw.

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The title of the journal page read, “The Gentle Gardener.” It couldn’t have been more perfect! This was the very direction I needed for developing the design for this next workshop.

Excitement and energy coursed through my body as I read the notes in my journal taken from Collette Baron-Reid’s “The Enchanted Map” oracle deck.

“Be your own person. Be a conscious co-creator.”

I thanked spirit and my inner shaman for guiding me as I scanned the mandala and set out to design the envelope.

But wait, there’s more to this story of divine co-creating.

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I selected some painted paper that I had made about seven years ago. The color and pattern reminded me of a beehive and would look great with the vintage bee illustration. As I dropped the scan into my envelope design, the words, “trust that our souls are embraced” filled my computer screen. I paused in awe, speechless.

Trust that our souls are embraced.

I looked around the page for more messages and I found, “claim the sacred” and “soul sparks.”

These little messages were hidden within this painted paper design from seven years ago and waiting for this moment. I call these incredible moments examples of divine synchronicity.

This is how this workshop series has been for me, filled with spirit, inspirations, synchronicities, and co-creation. This is the same for the participants who find the Soul Journey guided meditations relaxing, the oracle card readings meaningful, and the journal prompts playful and fun.

In these journal workshops, I create an experience that allows participants to listen to the wisdom of their soul, trust their intuition, and activate their creativity.

What makes these journal sessions so special are the people who attend from various locations around the world. We delight in hearing and seeing each other as we share the stories of our experiences.

“You have something really special here,” said Yvonne during the last workshop.

I would agree, it’s indeed very special.

Would you like to join me for the next workshop in June?

Vision Journal Workshop #5
June 2018
Online Class

After your register, you’ll have the option to select the date/time that is best for you.

SESSION 1: Friday, June 22, 2018
6:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m., EST

SESSION 2: Saturday, June 23, 2018
10:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m., EST

Can’t attend live? You’ll get a recording of the event.

There are only 20 spots!

This workshop fills up so quickly!

$35 (same low price for US and International orders)

It’s recommended that you register before June 10th so you get your envelope and goodies in time for the event. Register sooner if you live in a remote location or outside the US.

>> CLICK HERE to REGISTER <<


Missed a Workshop?

There is a limited supply of workshop envelopes available. When you order, the envelope will be mailed off to you and you’ll get instant access to the workshop recordings.

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Journal Workshop #1
Topic: New Beginnings

New beginnings are so exciting. Tucked inside the envelope you’ll find a beautiful door, sparkly stars, and an antelope ally to play with in your journal as you explore the new beginnings and many possibilities in your life.

Number of Envelopes Available: 10 (backordered will ship after June 4th)

Order Now

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Journal Workshop #2
Topic: Unexpected Blessings & Surprises
Element: Air

Unexpected blessings and surprises await you! When we open our hearts, slow down and listen, we notice the divine synchronicities around us. In this workshop, we are guided by bird spirit and given golden wings to help us to shift our perspective from being caught in the weeds to becoming the sacred observer.

Number of Envelopes: 10 (backordered will ship after June 4th)

Order Now

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Journal Workshop #3
Topic: Grit & Pearl
Element: Water

I invited a starfish and nautilus to join us in this journal workshop as we explore the gritty parts of our lives and the pearls of wisdom. Tap into the wisdom of your soul in the Soul Journey and Oracle Card reading activities.

Number of Envelopes Available: 6

Order Now

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Journal Workshop #4
Element: Fire
Topic: Follow Your Bliss

Following Your Bliss can require you to muster up courage. In this journal workshop, you’ll tap into your inner strength, confidence, and determination; recognize your strengths; and discover the secrets of lucky people.

Any time you are feeling like the scared traveler, return to the Soul Journey in this lesson. Know that you have everything within you to pursue your dreams.

Number of Envelopes Available: 6

Order Now

 

Product Review: Arteza Watercolor Brush Pens

Arteza reached out to me asking if I would give an honest review of three of their products: 48 Water-Based Ink Real Brush Pens, Water Brush Pens, and Premium Watercolor Paper.

Run Time: 14:27

Related Links

Color I Course – For more product demos and lessons on creating color harmony. 

Mandala Drawing I Course – Learn how to draw mandalas. Ten video lessons, each one under ten minutes to get you started creating mandalas quickly and successfully. 

Sharing Circle – I’d love to see you in our online community for mandala enthusiasts. It’s FREE!

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Arteza Affiliate Links

Arteza provide the products for this review. I was not paid for this review. I’m now participating in the Arteza Affiliate Program, which means if you click on the product links in this post and make a purchase, I receive a small commission at no extra cost to you. I use these commissions to purchase products to giveaway in my monthly mandala challenges or to use in my workshops and courses.

Arteza Watercolor Real Brush Pens (Set of 48)

Arteza Water Brush Pens (Set of 6)

Arteza 9×12” Watercolor Pad (140lb/300g, 32 Sheets, 2 pack)

May Mandala Challenge

I’m often asked where I get all of my ideas. For this month’s challenge, I thought I would show you how I take inspiration and turn it into my own unique mandala art. The theme this month is Mexican Inspired Mandalas.

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Here is a look at my design notes inspired by pieces of Mexican folk art.

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Here you can see how I applied the design elements to a final mandala design.

Watch the quick 4 minute video to get the contest details and to see the fabulous prizes donated by our mandala sister, Mary-Anne Betrand Schoenike.

I can’t wait to see the colors, shapes, and patterns that will show up in your Mexican inspired mandala art this month!

~ Kathryn Costa

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Challenge Details

  • Create a mandala inspired by Mexican folk art.
  • For inspiration check out my Mexican Art board on Pinterest.
  • Post a photo or scan of your mandala in the Sharing Circle.
  • Not a member? Join the Sharing Circle. It’s Free!
  • Deadline to enter is May 28, 2018 at midnight, EST.
  • One winner will be randomly selected to win the prize package of assorted Mexican gifts.

Introducing True North Arts

Ten years ago today I published my first blog post. Since then I’ve claimed the title, “artist” even though I didn’t go to art school; my artwork has appeared in several magazines and exhibits; I’ve published my first book; and taught thousands of people in my online courses, workshops, retreats, and popular Youtube channel.

My favorite part of this journey are the meaningful connections that I’ve made with people from all over the world.

I originally started True North Arts a year after I started blogging and put it on hold four years ago while I focused on my work with mandalas. I was working a full time job and didn’t have enough time and energy to do everything.

Here I am feeling like I’m coming full circle as I relaunch True North Arts and connect all of the dots along this ten year journey.

Swing by my new website: www.truenortharts.com

I’d love to hear what you think of it!

{soul hugs}

Kathryn Costa