Tuesday, July 08, 2008


Fellow mandala maker and intuitive artist Milliande asked me to show the progression of the birth of one of my mandalas. I have been aware of the flowers produced by a certain type of palm tree for the last year or so, but this is the first year I have actually been able to get pictures before the blooms were spent. I've been trying to determine the species of the tree without any success yet, but I love the texture of the blossoms (not so apparent in this picture but totally captivating standing under the tree and pointing my camera lens upward!)

First step is to copy the source image and paste into a circle template.
Duplicate layer, flip horizontal, reduce opacity, merge visible layers a few times (I think 5 times) until a pattern emerges (see here for more detailed instructions). Looks kinda muddy and murky at this point, I know...think mandala in the raw ...
Now I begin the fun part of playing with adjustments, filters and blending modes. What will appear? Will I be able to capture the light the way I want to and let the story of the flowers really emerge?
More playing. Begins to feel pretty good to me. Time to choose a background

I may or may not be done, but right now this image feels satisfying. If I were to do anything else, it would be some kind of background embellishment (subtle textures, etc). Hmmm...I haven't yet named this mandala.

When I look at this image I have a feeling of an old soul telling a story. What do you see?

~Sue O'Kieffe
Sacred Circle Mandalas

Hey! be sure to visit me at Sue Doodles!


Anonymous said...

I feel ice, the formation of crystals, hands reaching out throuht the cold ... to retain form ...

thanks for sharing

... Milliande

Doe Grozs Art said...

Diamonds.. reminds me of brilliant diamonds.
thanks for sharing the progression.

Cheryl Finley said...

This is so cool, seeing the process in steps. Thank you so much for sharing that...and your wonder-filled mandlas!

Bobbie said...

I have the feeling of changing from one being to another, the original fading then glowing near completion. I enjoyed this demonstration. Thank You!

John M. Mora said...

Lovely, Sue - you know I am most partial to the white angelic ones - pure and from which your other colors and patterns pulsate....very very special. Alive.

NicciN said...

Thanks for sharing the process. It is beautiful.

healingmagichands said...

Hi, Sue. I nominated you for an award because I truly enjoy your work and hope that this brings other people to your blog.

Steve said...

It is very nice to see the process. You might be able to see that I like to show the process sometimes.
As far as why I make mandala art--well, I would say that mostly I find myself following my instincts or my heart or my gut feeling or whatever you might call a feeling of "it is time to do this certain thing." The first mandalas came from a similar process to yours, except it was a breaking down of physical materials (magazine images) to make what I titled "Jeweled Chakra" and then other "chakras" from magazine images. These got a great response from people. After those initial ones, I made a couple more out of breaking down 3D anatomy posters and fabric samples. I really loved making those. I do have other interests in art, but the latest mandalas are different from the earlier ones because I am painting or drawing them directly onto the paper. It is a little different than arranging pieces. All very fun. As far as what they "mean", I am drawn to the idea of the circle as all inclusive.. like one or oneness. Mostly for me though, it is the beauty of the mandala that gets me excited!
Thanks for adding me to your list of M.Makers and thanks for asking the questions. Can I add you to my links? Admittedly, you may have already answered this in your blog, but why do you make mandalas?