The Way I Create a Mandala

I first go to a location and photograph a particular setting extensively. Mostly this is near home (beautiful British Columbia) but, once or twice a year I'll get away to other places like Louisiana swamps or Jousua Tree National Park. I shoot not only standard landscapes but do macro textures as well; trying to captures both big, medium and small scale images of the landscape. I'm hoping to capture some of the spirit of the location. After this process, if I feel I have enough good material, I start to create a mandala.

I use some mandala shapes inspired by the wonderful Tibetian mandalas and others are based purely on my geometric constructs. Despite the wonders of the digital age, it is certain that I will never match the mandala artistry of the Tibetian tradition.




I do a drawing, like shown here but much larger, that provides the basic shapes that will contain photographic imagery. I then begin the exciting creative process of cutting photo images to fit the shapes looking for a compelling composition. This part, done in PhotoShop, is defintely a labour of love. 

The manadala shapes themselves, especially those of tradition such as the Tibetians, bring a certain harmony and unexpected delight when exploring photographic combinations. When successfull, I (in concert with the inherent power of the mandala) not only create something beautiful, but also, in the case of some of my mandalas, an image that captures the essence of a particular location.

You can see these mandalas in the mandala gallery.