Daily Lenten Mandal 5

Yesterday the task was to meditate on a creature that might not have any brilliance or “greenness” in Hildegard’s terms.  I found that hard, but began to think about cancer cells and deadly viruses.  This mandala is a very loose representation of the actual beauty of microscopic enlargements of malignant melanoma brain tumor cells.

Copyright Deborah Baldwin Fair 2013

Copyright Deborah Baldwin Fair 2013


I’ve just posted my first four mandalas (in the last 4 posts) from an on-line retreat I am taking through Abbey of the Arts for Lent based on the work of Hildegard of Bingen.

I tend to be doing more mixed media work these days rather than fiber arts, although I’ve done a bunch of knitting that I’ve neglected to photograph or record.  I’m also trying to make a stab at getting back to garment sewing, but that’s going quite slowly.

I’m not sure how or if this blog will evolve, but for now I’ll post the mandalas from the retreat and see what happens.  I definitely am moving more in the direction of spirituality and creativity and/or arts and theology.  That may mean a new blog, and perhaps a full website, but I’m still working on that.

Maybe I’ll actually get to some sewing this week.

Mandala 4 Veriditas 3

Mandala 4 Veriditas 3

Copyright Deborah Baldwin Fair 2013

Here was made food for humanity
and there was great merrymaking for those who ate. Therefore, o gentle Virgin,
in you there is no deficit of joy.

All of this Eve scorned
Now sound praise to the Highest.

—from O Viridissima Virga, Hildegard of Bingen

Mandala 3 Veriditas 2

Mandala 3 Veriditas 2

Copyright Deborah Baldwin Fair 2013

In you have flourished the beautiful flower
whose fragrance was given to all
who thirsted.
And thus all appeared in complete greenness.
From heaven, dew spread over the grass
and the whole earth delighted,
because her womb grew fruit
and because the birds of the skies nested in her.

—from O Viridissima Virga, Hildegard of Bingen

Mandala 2 Veriditas 1

Mandala 2 Veriditas 1

Copyright Deborah Baldwin Fair 2013

O greenest branch, hail,
who came forth in blowing wind from the holy and wise.
So the time has come that you bloomed in your branches, hail, hail to you, that the heat of the sun infused
the fragrance of balsam into you.
–Veridissima Virga, Hildegard of Bingen

Mandala 1

Mandala 1

Copyright Deborah Baldwin Fair 2013

First of “daily” mandalas created in on-line retreat on Hildegard of Bingen through Abbey of the Arts.

Hodie Aperuit

Today a closed portal has been opened that which the serpent suffocated
in the wise-woman
is revealed to us.

Now the flower of the Virgin is alight in the dawn.

–Antiphon by Hildegard of Bingen

I completed my Book of Hours last week, but am just now getting a few minutes to post it.

I created a cover with 140lb cold-pressed watercolor paper.  On the outside I used washed watercolors and threw on some salt to make the colors move.  Then I painted the inside with gold acrylic and edged the outside with gold also.

Book of Hours Outside Cover — watercolor, ink, acrylic

When everything was dry I accordion-folded the long painting into “pages” and scored each fold with a bone folder.  I attached the first and last pages to the cover with matte medium and also attached ribbon for a closure by wedging it beneath a gold triangle of watercolor paper.  The ribbons wrap around in opposite directions to tie in the front.  I wasn’t happy with the lettering on the front, so it’s not a bad thing that the ribbons cover most of it.

Book of Hours — Inside

Book of Hours — Closure attachment

Book of Hours — Completed Front

Book of Hours — Completed Back

The book is very small — 3″ x 5″ index card size so it fits in the palm of my hand, reminding me of the small illuminated prayer books that people in the middle ages are said to have carried.

My next project is going to be a prayer box modeled on a layered paper box in “Adventures in Mixed Media” by Jane Davies.

I’m not sure when I’ll get to start it, though, as I’m working on repairing a quilt I made nearly thirty years ago for my daughter that has now begun to rip and show a lot of wear.  Repair-work is my least favorite kind of project, so it will probably take me a while.  Maybe I’ll reward myself with the prayer box project when I’m finished.