Mandala Matryoshka by Arizona Artist Beth Cornell
For Beth Cornell, painting a nesting doll for the first time was a fun challenge. As with many artists, one small hurdle was getting used to the three-dimensional surface. Luckily, the process of painting on a rounded wooden surface gets easier with each doll in the nesting doll set.
Beth decided to paint her 6 piece wooden stacking doll with a colorful Mandala style; a recurring theme in her artworks. The results are fabulous! Mandalas have generically become any image, diagram, or geometric pattern that represents more than itself, such as the cosmos (metaphysically or symbolically); a microcosm of the universe. This symbolism paired with the Russian nesting doll just seems to work impeccably.
The mandala artwork of Beth has been influenced by Western Pennsylvania Dutch folk art; easily seen all around her as she grew up. There are also some other influences as she progressed, such as Tibetan style.
Below are some of her free-spirited mandala drawings:
Beth's painted modern artist's nesting doll:
I asked Beth the following:
Did you have fun painting the nesting doll; what was the most fun part of this project?
"I really enjoyed the challenge of painting on the 3d surface. For me, envisioning what each of the dolls represented was awesome and I could probably paint a few more sets!"
Could you elaborate on your title, You are a Rainbow?
"This set represents the colorful energetic bodies that we have but rarely consider or utilize in modern living. The choice was not simple. I had many ideas! I have been drawing and painting Mandala for several years now. I began hand making Mandala coloring books in 2010, long before the adult coloring craze began because I felt there is real benefit to relaxation and something quite marvelous happens when you color or draw your own Mandala. The book contained simple templates (outlines) and also some points of reference for starting from scratch with a blank piece of paper."
Any advice you would give someone who wants to try mandala type paintings for the first time?
"My advise is to go for it! You will be amazed at what you can do! I am teaching Mandala Drawing this fall at Sun City Grand Learning. One of my teachers said, every good painting begins with a great drawing. Drawing and painting Mandala are actually quite easy and fun for novice artists - there is a lot of room for the individual's own technique and interpretation. Small flaws often are not seen when the mandala is taken as a whole by the eye. Everything you contribute to the Mandala is useful and beautiful. You can reflect on the Mandala as a sort of meditation when you're finished. Everything you put into your art piece comes back to you and can be quite harmonizing for your inner world."
Do you have any one piece of artwork that is your absolute favorite?
"A piece is from 2006, called Green Ship of Safety. It's currently being shown in downtown Phoenix at ASU’s Community Arts Program “Of Land, Sea, and Sky” exhibit through December 10th. "
Do you have any Russian ties?
"Other than my time in Germany during and after the fall of the Berlin Wall, where I learned about Russian culture at that time, I don't have any ties to Russia. It is a fascinating study from an art history perspective for me..."
More information about the artist:
1. Visit her website: BethCornell.com
2. Visit A Shot of Java in Glendale AZ where some of her paintings are for sale.
3. Visit her studio, sign up for a workshop or party painting class. Call 602-309-1915 to inquire and/or schedule!
Pictured above: "Cruisin'" and "Summer Mandala"
About the author
Lindsey Mae is freelance artist who enjoys writing fun blog posts for Arina Anashkina and The Russian Store.