Welcome to another episode of Pick up Trash! Make Art!
I love the bright colors of the Coca Cola bottle, especially in contrast to the dark brown cola color. In this case the bottle was empty and crushed, but I added the dark brown color in digital for one of my mandalas.
This was a fun set of mandalas to make. I love the idea of starting with such a common iconic image and potraying it in a new light.
A little more digital fun and the cola bottle becomes an abstract flower. I gave it two more flavors as well, grape and orange.
One of my new favorite things is to take photos of trash and turn them into mandalas.
I love the idea of transformation, turning junk into something beautiful. It is a sign for changing the planet and changing our lives as well. I pick up the trash after the photos too so it helps the environment in a more practical sense too.
I plan on making this an ongoing series called Pick up trash! Make art!
The first candidate is a wrapper from a nature valley granola bar.
I especially love the delicate pattern the lines and small debree in the mud make in contrast to the bold shape of the wrapper. I brought this out even more with the antique gold version.
For this next variation of the nature valley wrapper, I got rid of the details but left the color.
The more I play around with modify images the more intuitive the process becomes. The mandalas often take on a mystical feel and certain theme seem to repeat themselves. Fire is a theme that seems to come up repeatedly.
Next in the series: I have both Coke and Dr. Pepper. I have plastic bags, potato chips bags and scraps of paper.
Instead of putting all my pictures in one very large mandala gallery, I am making medium sized themed mandala galleries. I was going to make them all 30 pictures or less, but there were 32 pictures in my first theme gallery, so now I am saying 35 or less for my theme galleries.
My original mandala gallery
will stay up, but I am not adding any more to it.
I just finished my first one: Beauty from trash.
Here is a preview. Please click on the link for the full collection.
I am doing away with the “no duplicates” plan. The announcements of new galleries will have some pictures that are in my galleries. The blog will still contain some new mandalas that are not going into them galleries.
It is the time of the year where many people think about new beginnings and fresh starts. There are two sides to this – grand dreams and where you are currently. For right now, I am setting aside the the wonderful things I will do when I have the resources, when I have the time, when I have built up my skills. Today I focus on what I can do now with what I have.
In the spirit of right here, right now, I am using a photo I took from my window earlier today.
A bare tree, a parking lot and a rather plain building – not a lot to work with. Generally I photograph things that look interesting or have interesting details. Also I take hundreds of digital pictures and then try out many different ones to see what looks good for mandalas. Today, I am just going with one of two pictures I took from the nearest window.
After a little fiddling I came up with this mandala.
Clean unbroken sidewalks are kind of boring. Old sidewalks with cracks and stray bits of things on them are interesting. The banks of the Potomac River has sidewalks with character. They have huge cracks and large chunks of the sidewalks have been washed away. The river sometimes washes over them filling the cracks with water. Small bits from the trees rest on the sidewalks as well.
From this image I get a set of beautiful, subdued mandalas. Little bits of color from the trees stand out against the gray.
See more sidewalk crack mandalas on Ilah’s Mandala Gallery (in the links).
Go to my Mandala Gallery to see more mandalas. (See the links on the side.)
The mandalas were taken from this photo:
The bridge is located in Washington, DC between the tidal basin and east potomic park.
Photos with strong straight lines tend to make mandalas with star shapes, pentagons, hexagons and other polygons. I generally play around a little bit with the image to make sure the points are not cut off my shapes. The stars and polygons don’t always fill up the whole circle. I tend to select mandala where they do.
Some photos generate the potential for more distinct mandalas than others. If the picture does not have a lot of different elements, like the first set with the pipes, many of the mandalas start to look very similiar. Other photos, like graffiti bridge, with the sky, the trees, the street, the car, and two distict sides to the bridge, generate more distinct possibilities.
Words in images:
Sometimes it is possible to make out an original word in the finished mandalas. You can see “nick” in several of the mandalas. You could probably make out more if the people creating the graffiti wrote their names more clearly. Even when I capture a clear name in the mandala, every other slice is a mirror image, so out the most only half looks like recognizable words. But interesting things happen to the words. As letters are cut at odd places and mirrored to each other, the words become an abstract design. Sometimes the words a bit like they may be part of a foreign language or strange mystic symbols.
About the original picture:
My first mandala series posted is from a photo of two large pipes. It is one of many photos I have taken in the DC area on my lunch break at work. The pipes are from the side of the “south building.” This building was built for offices for the US Department of Agriculture to supplement the original building, which is called the Whitten Building. The south building is right across the street (to the south) from the Whitten buidling.
About the mandala designs:
Using base images dominated by curves often gives a flower petal look to the images. The more slices used in the mandala program the more petals are in the final image. Every other slice is reversed so each petal is actually made up of two slices. Because the main image shows two pipes side by side, it is possible to get two petals out of a pair of slices (like in image #1) but this is an exception.
Starting with an image with strong curves lends a softness to the picture, even one with a very industrial theme. The softness of the design and the hardness of the material make for an interesting combination. Even with an image that is all curves, there are often still strong points where the slices meet.
Just starting with lots of curves does not always mean soft flower petal shapes. Sometimes you get stronger lines like this.
Patten Pie and Kaleidoscope Kreator 2.0 can both give very different looks for the same base image, even if the same size slice is used. This is because Pattern Pie only uses a fairly small portion of the picture [it is cut just like you would cut a slice of pie from a rounded version of your image] where Kaleidoscope Kreator 2.0 tries to use as large a piece as it can out of the image. This is another reason why I like to do images from both programs.
Go to my photo blog (see the links section) to see more mandalas.
I tend to focus on things many people pass by, cracks in the sidewalk, manhole covers, brick wall, handrails. I find beauty in the color and patterns of these ordinary things. Lately I have been using some of these items to make mandalas. Many of my mandalas feature parts of the urban landscape and every day items. I use my mandalas to bring out the hidden beauty all around us. I still do some mandalas of conventionally pretty things like flowers and leaves, but my main focus is urban mandalas and industrial mandalas.
One of my urban photos: