Flashback Fridays - Art Journaling 101: Finding Magic in the Circle Mandala July 22 2016, 0 Comments

Over the years we've been fortunate to have Julie Ann Shahin share some wonderful art journaling series with the TB&CO readers.  We will be re-posting some of them here on this blog.  Please note these may be altered from the original posts to update links, provide information on newer programs, etc


This week I’m back to focus again on the September Adventure Quest in the Art Journal Caravan 2011 (still available as a self-study workshop).  Tangie suggests creating Zentangle Mandalas aka Zendalas.  I thought I would explore Mandalas in general here on the blog. 

About Mandala Art:

The word Mandala means “circle” in the Indian Sanskrit language. Within the circle there is a mid-point where the drawing traditionally starts. Mandala art has been tied to the spirituality of Buddhist Tibetans, Navajo sand painters and the Aztecs.

Even Carl Jung recognized the importance of Mandala paintings and kept a journal of Mandala art.Indeed, Jung's discovery of the mandala provided the key to his entire system. "I had to abandon the idea of the superordinate position of the ego. ... I saw that everything, all paths I had been following, all steps I had taken, were leading back to a
single point -- namely, to the mid-point. It became increasingly plain to me that the mandala is the centre. It is the exponent of all paths. It is the path to the centre, to individuation.... I knew that in finding the mandala as an expression of the self I had attained what was for me the ultimate." (from Mandalas. C. G. Jung. trans. from Du (Zurich, 1955))

The Mandala connects us to our imagination, our inner self.  It gives us an opportunity to move through the layers of our sub-conscious and grow closer to our full actualization. Mandalas are a tool for self-reflection, a mirror, if you will.“…when we begin to take all of ourselves into account, when we begin to honor and balance the dynamic forces within us, we can act in the world in ways that honor our essential wholeness, get our needs met, and allow us to share with others the very best within us.” (Michael H. Brown) 


  • Connect inwardly
  • Private process, done at any time, without a therapist or guide
  •  In visual terms, identify where we are stuck in life as well as where we are accomplished in life
  • Chance to learn from our inner wisdom
  • Regular practice of mandalas allow us to view what patterns repeat
  • Sharing of art with others

“We need to find ways to connect to our inner depths, to heal our wounds, and nurture the growth of new potential within us.  Mandala art is one of the most creative, direct, and transformative ways to accomplish these important goals.” – Michael H. Brown

Mandalas from Art Journal Caravan 2011 Members

Imagine by livingoutloud

This was not the entry I had planned for this month’s adventure quest. I am very early in my learning of zentangling – I only learned about it at Tangie’s AJC chat a week or so ago. But I felt so compelled to use my art to express my feelings of this anniversary of September 11, and to emphasize the healing I see, the healing that has already happened, and the healing yet to come. Paper by Beth Rimmer. 


September Adventure Quest Mandala by scrappingdax

I started with a free mandala template then placed the finished image on a paper from ACJ parcel 9. This is my first attempt at zentangle and I really enjoyed it. Will definitely do more. more. 


Instead of Housework Zendala by tamhanley

Inspired by the Miraculous Mosquito video on the adventure quest page, and using various patterns I found on Flickr (search “zentangle sampler” there are 15 large pictures to study). I discovered that I don’t need a pattern book. I need to LOOK at each pattern and decide which stroke was first, next, etc. It’s exhilarating to see it come to life! 


Zentangle~Mandala by tarthur


Mandala Garden by caubin

For these two pages I created the Mandala and then played with using different copies of it in different sizes. For this version I used hue/saturation adjustment layers to change the colours of the Madalas. Products used: Field Notes II: Fall by Tangie Baxter, Balinesia by Ztampf, Colorsplash by Deviant Scrap/Sommerset 


Zentangle 2 by Fifi

More diversion from real life issues created with Ruth Page’s Doodlicious. The background paper is from Tale of a Lighthouse from Eena’s Creations at Deviant Scrap. 

Art Journal Caravan™ Workshop Expedition 2011 {Self-Study}

[Posted by:Joy]