To Inspire, Transform & Heal

Linda Wiggen Kraft
Creativity for the Soul

Mandalas and Sunflowers for Ukraine

Mandalas and Sunflowers for Ukraine

The latest Mandala Circle was in late March. The war in Ukraine was already a month old. The heartbreak felt then and now is deep.  The colors and shapes we created in our art were to recognize the people of Ukraine and honor their strength and sorrow.

 

Christine’s Mandala for Ukraine

Christine drew a sunflower, not knowing until we shared at the end of the session that sunflowers are the symbol of Ukraine. The colors are iridescent watercolors.

Ann’s Iridescent Mandala

Ann used blue and yellow washi tape around an iridescent circle, like the moon a few nights before.  The words written in white in the mandala are: “shanti, shanti, shanti”.  Shanti is the Sanskrit word for peace. Repeating it three times represents  peace in body, mind and spirit.

Ann also shared the wisdom of this  Irish Proverb.

Ann’s writing of an Irish Proverb

A small Ukrainian flag is outside the calming greens of Ann’s second mandala. Mixing colors blue and yellow of the flag creates the greens of the mandala.

Ann’s Calming Green Mandala

My sunflower mandala holds seeds of prayers in the center. The large sunflowers with many seeds remind me that each seed can be a prayer that will be planted and grow. There are many prayers from many people around the world sending seeds of hope and actions to end this evil of war.

My Sunflower Mandala for Ukraine

Sunflowers in the Garden

Sunflowers are in my heart these days. I am urging people to plant sunflowers in their gardens this year.  My recent article in The Healthy Planet goes into detail about the connections with this native plant of North America with the people of Ukraine and Eastern Europe. Sunflowers have been planted by Native Americans since 3000 BCE. Sunflowers were introduced to Europe in the 1500s. It was there that it was developed into the large single sunflower with a large many seeded center on each plant. These sunflowers came back to North America with Russian immigrants in the 1800s and today is the image we think of as sunflowers. More history and kinds of sunflowers to plant are in my Healthy Planet article. Here is a link.

 

Over the years sunflowers have grown in my garden, mainly planted by squirrels and birds from the seeds put out for them. These are usually multi-branched like the original sunflowers of thousands of years ago.

 

 

Each sunflowers has a center with many disc flowers. Each of those flowers becomes a seed. The yellow petals  on the outside are called ray flowers surrounding the many disc flowers.

 

 

And sunflowers aren’t always yellow.

Pink Sunflower I saw in one of England’s most famous gardens – Great Dixter 
Here’s a link to the house and garden 

 

Sunflowers Inspire Connection & Art

Sunflowers are an inspiration in my gardens and art. Quick contour drawings are one way to really look at the shape and colors. Looking at the flower so closely opens a heart connection between the flower and person making marks. These marks are a recording of the eyes dancing along the edges as the marks are made.

Contour Drawing of Sunflower Buds

 

Mandala Painting of Sunflower

Sunflowers for Ukraine – Sunflowers in Clay

Inspired by the strength of Ukrainians against the evil of destruction and death from their attackers, I created ceramic porcelain sunflowers with the colors of the Ukrainian flag.

 

 

These pieces are just out of the kiln. The larger ones are meant to be worn as a pendant, or to be hung on a wall or in a window. Yellow satin cording is used, as shown in the far left bottom of the photo of all the ceramic pieces. Some are in my Etsy shop (link here) . A portion of the sale will go to World Central Kitchen (link here) to help feed those displaced by this senseless war.

And For More Flowers
Fantasy Flowers Watercolor Workshop – June 25th

 

 

 

I am teaching a workshop on Saturday June 25th titled “Fantasy Flowers Watercolors”.  Sunflowers and other flowers will be our inspirations. This all-day workshop will be spent creating flowers on paper with watercolors, inks, pens, pencils. It will be a fun playful experience of really seeing and connecting with flowers while creating life like and fantasy flower forms. No art experience necessary. Here are more details.

CREATE, ENJOY & TAKE ACTION FOR PEACE

 

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