Mandala Madness


Circular patterns

painted in pretty colors

helps clear the mind

quieting troubled thoughts

bringing order and calm

to the chaos within my heart


© Julie Rehnelt 2017


I recently experienced a painful heartbreak and have been having a pretty rough time of it here emotionally.  But also during this time, I have found painting mandalas to be quite therapeutic – it’s very focused and takes a lot of concentration, so it doesn’t leave much room in my mind for anything else.  It’s also meditative, so it’s soothing and clearing as well.

At the end of May, I took a Mandala Rock Painting Class at a local art studio and learned how to paint mandalas on beach stones.  I wish I could say I enjoyed the class, but for various reasons (which I won’t make you listen to), I actually found it a bit frustrating.  However, I did learn a few techniques from the two wonderful gals who led the class, and I’ve been painting mandalas nearly everyday since.

The following day after the class, I went out to hunt for suitable stones among the river rock landscaping rock that I have around the perimeter of my house.  Unfortunately, I couldn’t find any round stones, but I did collect a few that were somewhat round that I figured I could practice on, and off I went to the art supply store to purchase some paints and a few other necessities.

When I got home I painted this little oddball…

Don’t look too closely at it, it’s actually a bit of a mess, but it’s much better than the turd one I painted in class – which is so bad, I’m not even going to show it to you.

Unfortunately, the next day was when my heartbreak occurred and I was so sad and stunned, I could barely function.  But for some strange reason I felt compelled to paint.  I had this strong urge to try and create something that somehow represented my feelings, and I painted this…

And although it may have heartbreak associated with it, it also has beautiful, meaningful things, and profound love associated with it, so I like how it turned out.  Even if my heart is blue…

From there, I’ve continued to be compelled to keep on creating more mandalas.  It’s been a fierce urge, to be honest, a sort of madness.  I neeeed to paint them, like my life (and sanity) depends on it.

But the trouble is, I can’t find any round stones to paint them on.  Ask my sister how badly I’ve been obsessing about finding round rocks.  It’s become a joke between us now.

I worked with the little rocks I had found around the house, but unsatisfied with their lack of circularness, I moved onto tiles.  Even though they’re square haha!   I had a few tiles left over from a remodeling project and got an idea in mind of how I could make them work.  And I painted these…

Don’t look too closely at them, they’re not painted very evenly.  Hey, I’m still learning!  It’s a lot harder than you think to paint dots of the same size and to space them evenly.  Especially when you don’t have a real steady hand.  The tile pictured at the top of this post was the 3rd tile I painted, and I’ve since painted 6 others, each progressively improving.

Would you like to see them all, or just the most recent one?  I guess if you don’t mind scrolling, I’ll just share them all.  More blue…

This one got way out of hand and crooked, but the pattern and colors are still pretty 🙂

I wish I had a better photo of this one, the colors got a bit glossed over by the lighting

This one took me the longest. All those dots around dots, around dots… it took me 4 or 5 hours to make.

This last one is the most recent tile I’ve painted, and it’s my favorite so far.  The photo doesn’t really show the full depth and color.  You can click on it to enlarge…

I really like the look and the idea of the tiles.  I might even use these (and any future ones I make) in some of my remodeling projects around the house – maybe as a back splash on the kitchen or bathroom counter, or around a window or mirror or something.  I was using one of them as a coaster the other day, and I even thought I could attach some type of ribbon or wire and just hang them on a wall as they are, the possibilities are endless.  🙂

But as much as I like the tiles, I still really wanted to find some round rocks to paint on.  Remembering the rocky shoreline of Lake Superior, I took a day trip up there with my sister in hopes of finding some.  And in hopes of providing a bit of self care too – the North Shore of Lake Superior is one of my favorite places, being near the water is always very restorative and soothing to me.  ❤

These rocks aren’t exactly round either, but they all spoke to me and said they wanted to come home with me…

I love rocks, and I don’t really even want to paint on these.  They’re lovely just the way they are…

But I have painted on a several of them, and I have to say, I enjoy the feel of painting on rocks better than on the tiles.  If only I could find some round ones.

 This one reminds me of the sun…

And this one reminds me of an Easter egg…

This one I made into the shape of a heart after writing my last post

And this is the most recent rock I’ve painted.  It was a challenge on this elongated shaped rock…


I have no idea where I’m going with this mandala thing, but for now it feels good, so I’m gonna keep at it.  It feels like it’s helping me work something out within myself – while also creating something beautiful outwardly.

That’s all I got for now.  Thanks for letting me share my mandala madness.  Hope you all have a wonderful weekend.  I’m off to check on my garden (which is doing splendidly this year) and then I’m heading to Minnehaha Falls for the day for a picnic and a free Bluegrass concert.


“I saw that everything, all paths I had been following, all steps I had taken, were leading back to a single point — namely, to the mid-point. It became increasingly plain to me that the mandala is the centre. It is the exponent of all paths. It is the path to the centre, to individuation.”  

~ Carl Jung




✿~Peace & Love~✿

Peace and Love 1

36 responses to “Mandala Madness

  1. I like your mandalas Julie. My favorite is the one with yellow, orange and red. I know lots of people say they are soothing to create, including some fellow bloggers. May your mandala madness bring you much peace and joy, Enjoy your music festival.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks so much Brad, I’m glad you like them. I really like the ones with those colors too, so sunny and cheerful. I have to admit, I don’t know much about mandalas, but since becoming immersed in them, I’ve been curious to look more into their meaning. All I know is that painting them is helping me in some way.
      Thanks, I’m looking forward to the concert in the park today. Hope you have a nice weekend. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I really like them all, and I couldn’t find any flaws in them, but the third tile from the bottom speaks to my 70’s upbringing. And I am so glad you are going to a Bluegrass Music Fest because that music form needs to live on. Bluegrass and Celtic music have a heartbeat that speaks to the drummer in me and stories that speak to my humanity.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks John, I’m glad you liked them. Yeah, that one probably emerged from out of my own 70’s upbringing. 😉
      I’m with you on the Celtic music – it speaks so much to me. And I’m not even a drummer. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  3. These are gorgeous! What a talent you share. Keep on, keepin; on and spread those dots of love! Have fun at the picnic and enjoy that music. ❤

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I’m sorry to hear of your heartbreak, but happy that you have found something to help you cope through this adversity. These stones are so beautiful 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  5. First of all, I am sorry you’re feeling the blues, but wow, when life gives you lemons, you sure know how to make lemonade! I LOVE these and I think you ought to sell them on Etsy, SERIOUSLY! Folks would have a hard time deciding which ones to buy. I think you are too critical about the need to make them ‘perfect’ coz, girl, life AIN’T perfect. Did you know the Amish make a little ‘mistake’ in every quilt because only God is perfect. 🙂 ❤
    Okay, so let us know when your Etsy store is open. 😉

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thanks so much Eliza, I’m so glad you like them! And it really means a lot that you think they’re good enough that I could sell them. I’ve had a few people tell me that I should try selling them, so I may look into it. Although I’d have to make others for the selling, because I’d have a hard time parting with any of these – they’re like a part of me. 🙂 ❤
      I've heard about something called the "humility square" in quilting that may be similar to what you're saying about the Amish. I think I was just feeling a little self conscious about showing my amateur artwork.
      If I do open an Etsy store I will definitely let you know haha!

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Julie–I think these are all beautiful. Quite honestly, I don’t know how you did these–I mean, they all look perfect to me. Perfect and so painstakingly amazing. I am sorry for your heartbreak, and hope this is helpful for you. ❤

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Beautiful and stunning work Jewels! What a great diversion therapy for you, God must have known you needed it before the heart break, will be praying for comfort and peace as you resolve your grief. Keep up the great work, you are such a passionately inspired soul.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks so much Ashley, it has been a great diversion therapy and I’m thankful it came along at just the right time. God is good. ❤ Thank you for your prayers and your kind words, I sincerely appreciate them.

      Liked by 1 person

  8. While I’m terribly sorry you’ve had a recent heartache, I’m charmed completely by the mandalas. Good grief, you’re over there apologizing for the lack of perfection, and I’m like, *GASP* So beautiful! Each one more than the last! But I do so love the heart, and the tiles. Oh, the tiles! You’re incredibly talented, and what a steady hand you must have!
    All the love ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks so much Joey, it really means a lot to me that you like them! ❤ Oh gosh, keeping a steady hand is a huge challenge – and so is even seeing what I'm doing – some of them dots are sooo teeny…

      Liked by 1 person

  9. I LOVE these … especially because they are not perfect! Accuracy comes with manufacturing and quality standards … and these are an expression of you 💕🙏💕

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Absolutely beautiful! Peace, love & happiness to you.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Those are so beautiful! It makes me want to try. They are peaceful just to look at. I’ve been quieting my inner voices with crochet these days. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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  13. These are really beautiful, Jewels. I think creating helps us heal.

    Liked by 1 person

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