|"Embrace the Chaos." Pitt Artist Pen and watercolour pencils in bound sketchbook.|
It's been a while since I last shared any of my sketchbook or art journal pages here. Part of the reason is that I just haven't been making very many pages lately. I was working quite a bit in my gluebook art journal earlier this year, but now I haven't touched it in weeks. And although I enjoy making art in my journals, I really do consider myself a writer before an artist, and recently I've been focusing much more on my writing than on creating visual art.
This mandala is actually from early last December (yikes! so long ago already!) and, oddly enough, it is a fairly good representation of my philosophy around planning and organization, although that was certainly not my main intent when I was creating it! My basic philosophy is that you can have all your planners and calendars and to-do lists and all that as much as you like, but ultimately you can only truly plan and organize a small part of your life. There still needs to be room for spontaneity, unexpected occurrences, and everyday chaos, from pots boiling over on the stove to falling in love. Trying to do too much - to plan or organize too much, to set too many goals - only leads to stress. This mandala reminds me of that for while the centre is a highly ordered, symmetric pattern with each colour in its place, the outside of the mandala is much more chaotic, with colours blending into each other and flowing out from the centre and off the page and onto the facing page.
I created this mandala at the end of my last semester of university, when I was feeling stressed with my heavy work load. Creating this mandala was a great way for me to relax and remind myself to embrace the chaos of life and not worry so much about planning and organizing everything. Looking at this mandala now, I'm reminded of how much I enjoyed creating it and that I should get back to working in my sketchbook and art journal again.
Do you use art to relieve stress and relax? Do you sometimes discover things about yourself when you create art? And how do you maintain a regular habit of creating art, whatever it is that you do?