Artist Turns Ocean Stones Into Tiny Mandalas By Painting Colourful Dot Patterns
Mandalas are temporary by design. But that’s not the case with the ones that Canada-based artist Australian Elspeth McLean paints on stones. Colorful dots are arranged in a radiating (or centered, depends on how you look at it) pattern, making the stones a treat for the eyes. The comparison to mandala isn‘t accidental, either – that‘s how the artist calls them herself. And for Elspeth, painting the stones is a meditative practice. The stones themselves are usually collected from the ocean shore in Canada, though she probably doesn’t pass up pretty pebbles from her Australian homeland either.
Elspeth paints in a style she calls “dotillism”. Growing from her use of stippling in pen drawings, it helps her show transition between light and dark, pattern and texture. To that end, she favours acrylic paints, since they dry fast while leaving thick and tactile dots, the three-dimensionality being an important part of painting.
This line of work helps Elspeth express her world view: “By using bright and vivid colours and intricate dot work style, the artwork I create becomes a direct expression of my experience of life. I tend to focus on the more uplifting and beautiful aspects of this world because I think there is already enough darkness. This mindset helps me keep alert, in the moment and I try to see the positive aspect in any situation.”
No wonder her bright and warm stones keep flying off her virtual Etsy shelves.