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  • Writer's pictureMargaret Shipman

A Painting for Early Spring

Daffodil, Crocus, acorns, a bird's nest, pine, Rhododendron leaves, and some kind of fluffy fungus make the ingredients for this 20" oil on canvas from my Mandala series.

Starting in 2019, and going for more than a year, I collected bits of nature from our land and created mandalas once a month. It felt good doing this. I became absorbed in arranging what I had gathered, making the pieces fit together in a pleasing way, turning the elements in different directions to gauge the effect, and observing the how the colors and textures looked next to each other. When the arrangement pleased me I would admire it for a while and sit next to it, just looking around and observing what I could of the land around me. My next job was taking photos of the mandala as a whole and close ups of the different parts. I left the arrangements where I made them as offerings to the land and spirits of the land.

Back in my studio, I used the photos to compose a painting of the arrangement. I might add a color representative of the season to the background or paint the actual ground on which the mandala lay. In this painting, I chose a deep green with blueish circles and bright yellow green smaller circles among the flowers. If feels like spring to me. As I write this, there are daffodils and crocus outside my window. They just survived a late season snowstorm and they are harbingers of the warmth and flowers to come.

This painting, Ostara, 20" x 20" oil on canvas (no collage here!) is framed and ready to hang. It's available to purchase here on my website.

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