As I walked around my neighborhood after a recent rain, I found myself amazed and intrigued by the water droplets sitting on leaves and petals, perfectly round and acting like tiny magnifying glasses for the textures and patterns beneath the lens of water. Then this morning as I sat down at my art table to consider what symbol to focus on today and began to play with some luscious, vibrant new Echoline watercolors I just received, I decided to explore the meaning and significance of circles. I think I could spend the entire 100 days of #the100dayproject exploring circles.
Circles appear in every aspect of our lives
No other symbol occurs as often as the circle across religions, art and science. Our cells are even made of tiny circles. A friend recently shared this image of healthy cells in a Facebook post related to Covid-19 and I found myself falling into the photo, intrigued, wondering if I could recreate this beauty in my artwork. Haven’t tried yet but I will.
In yesterday’s post I talked about roses, another type of circle as are many flowers like these yellow beauties seen on a walk yesterday.
Exploring Circles in my Art
I love working in the round or within circles in my art and creative process. I love creating mandalas and one of the early ways I reconnected to my own creativity was with a beautiful Mandala Coloring Book. I would sit with my kids and we would all color while watching Food Network on tv. Those were precious hours. That evolved into my son and I co-creating a coloring book of mandalas a few years back and using one of my original mandalas on the cover of my bestselling book The Artful Marketer.Â Even the one page visual business plan that I teach my creative clients is a mandala.
And the JourneyCircles™ process that I use personally and with clients is one of the most powerful tools I have in my toolkit for accessing subconscious stories, beliefs and dreams that we hold. This mixed media process uses collage, paint, words and images to create revealing stories all captured within the sacred circle.
Why am I so obsessed with circles, mandalas and working in the round?
Because the circle represents both the whole and the sum of all the parts. In Sanskrit, the word mandala means circle. There is something magical that happens within these sacred containers with no hard edges. They feel limitless and yet safe all at once. I love this quote from T.S. Elliot I found in an article on circles as I feel he captures the journey that we take as we dive into exploration of this sacred symbol in our lives.
We shall not cease from exploration
And the end of all our exploring
Will be to arrive where we started
And know the place for the first time. ~ T.S. Eliot
Circles are Everywhere, Even My Coffee Cup
And on a humorous note, coffee cups are round for the most part. At least my favorite red mug is. And I can’t live without my coffee. Other circles we use daily include plates, bowls, vases, jars, and yes, rolls of toilet paper too. I invite you to look around you today and notice all the ways circles are present in your life.
This is a fun game to play with yourself or your kids. Do you remember I Spy with my little eye… look around you today and see what circles you can see and how present they are in your world.