Tag Archives: play

Just Another Rainbow Mandala

Sometimes it do be like that: a little off kilter, ragged around the edges, and with the lines from something you husband drew on the back of the paper showing through in the corners.

I wasn’t planning on posting this image, or the image in my next post, but my brother saw them on my desk and wanted to know why not, and I didn’t have any particular reason. I used to post mandalas and dragons all the time. There’s no reason why not, except that the last couple years have been sort of detrimental to my health as an artist.

For the last 8+ weeks I’ve been working my way through Julia Cameron’s The Artist’s Way, which is a sort of an emotionally painful and psychologically brutal. I used to say that drawing mandalas could help you view the state of your spirit, and this one—complicated and colorful but off-kilter and imperfect—seems to follow that pattern. Even before I started the book, I’d been working on playing—making art fun again instead of a job—and this mandala and the dragon drawing I have slated for later in the week are part of that.

I’m fully vaccinated and will be clear for hanging out with other fully vaccinated people on the 30th. I can’t help but feel like if my spirit had been in a better place, this pandemic would have been a much more productive time for me. I did create some things, but not as many as I would have liked. And now my time is going to fill up with other people again. But here we are: the world keeps moving.

Dragon Comics 78

In reality, the Girl's reaction to being swarmed with butterflies would not be quite so favorable, and would definitely involve a lot more shrieking

In reality, the Girl’s reaction to being swarmed with butterflies would not be quite so favorable, and would definitely involve a lot more shrieking.

This was originally meant to be a comic about The Man, but I wanted him to write his own dialog and he fell asleep instead. Ergo: the kids.

When we were little, my mother taught us that boredom was our own fault. If we were incapable of using our brains to entertain ourselves, then that represented a sort of intellectual laziness. I had a sister and a brother, and we played together, but I also spent a lot of time alone, with my own head, which was, and continues to be, a magical place. Sometimes I still went and whined to my mother about not having anything to do, but since her response was usually along the lines of, “If you’re bored, go clean your room,” I learned not to ask her for entertainment advice. We read a lot, did puzzles and art projects, went to the park or bike riding, and made up our own games, constantly. TV was pretty limited–we didn’t have cable for the most part, and even when we did, there wasn’t that much programming for kids anyway, and even if there had been, our mother wouldn’t have let us sit in front of it all day long–so we used our imaginations.

I do worry what effect on-demand video technology has on kids. I see too many of them who are utterly incapable of filling in their own minds without a screen. Even with the ubiquitous screens, they’re still bored all the time. I mean, I like the Internet as much as the next person, possibly more, but I can also think of a million fun things to do without it. It’s a great tool; it’s a great friend. But it’s not everything.

It’s funny how when you put people–kids and adults–outside, out of reach of wifi, their whole outlook can change.