Is anyone else fascinated with patterns and puzzles?  I’ve always loved doing puzzles, all these seemingly random pieces and little by little, one by one, you discover how they fit together (if you don’t give up).

Patterns are a bit like puzzles to me.  I try to extract the little parts that make up the pattern.  I’m fascinated with how shapes or colors or lines, when repeated in some way,  create an interesting pattern.  I’m sure there’s all sorts of theory about patterns (seems I remember a very fascinating program on tessellations at an honor society dinner when my daughter was in high school).  I’m less interested in the theory of patterns than the way they look and make me feel.  There’s something very calming about working with patterns.  And I love to discover hidden patterns.  Mandalas are typically tremendously pattern laden, so it makes sense that I would be intrigued with the mandalas that I saw a couple of friends creating. (More info on mandalas )

I belong to a Creativity Group that meets monthly (more about that another time). Two of the women in the group were always coming in with mandalas that they had either colored from a predesigned pattern or created on their own.  I was intrigued with the intersection of colors and lines.  I bought a mandala coloring book but coloring the mandala, to me, wasn’t enough.  I scanned the mandalas and imported them into Photoshop and filled up the spaces with colors…  again, somehow not enough.  So, I thought, there must be a way I could use my photographs to make mandalas.  Googling  “photographic mandalas” yielded a binder full of possibilities and methods.  I took a bit of this one and a bit of that one till I had a couple of systems that worked for me.

Creating mandalas is a very calming activity for me.  I love the process as well as the unfolding of and the surprise of the pattern that was hidden within an image.  Many of my photographic mandalas have been created in the wee hours of the morning when my thoughts have created a barrier to sleep.  During the day, it’s often what I do to clear my mind.   After the creating, it’s the pattern that draws me in and shows me something new each time I look.

The mandalas shown here were just created a few days ago when I needed a break from the technicalities of setting up my new website and store.

The last image  was the source image I used, taken while on a hike  in Switzerland (we have family there), hence the name Swiss Roots Mandalas.

What do you see when you look into these?

Have you played with patterns?

What do you do to calm your mind?