Sue Buck

Mandalas, to me, are a creative blending of art and math. I'm drawn to both - I was an engineering major for two years before I decided to pursue my education in art.

I choose my mandalas to be of the sun because we are made of star dust.  Round, geometric centers signify the organized chaos that is the physical heart of the sun.  The curved, organic simplicity of the rays is just because I like the idea.  The occasional variation of leaf filled centers was a slow and easy progression, grown from drives along the Blue Ridge Parkway.  And, well…. moon mandalas seem like a natural extension of sun mandalas.

The thread common to all my paintings is mathematics.  I use compass, protractor and ruler to draw all my designs.  Suns have 24 divisions, a reference to our Earthly 24 hour day established by the Egyptians and Greeks.  Moons have 28 divisions, a complete lunar cycle; it’s fun to experiment with the fortnight and one-week subsets in the configuration of the central disk.  I also continue to explore sacred geometry.  Ages and stages.

I commenced this series of mandala paintings in 2017, and soon was using more vibrant color.  I began applying the watercolor paint quite heavily, and the affect/effect cycle began in earnest.  As one result I discontinued traditional watercolor framing.  I varnish the paintings and mount them on panels; they need neither frame, nor mat, nor glass. The addition of varnish makes the painting a mixed media piece, because the paint absorbs the varnish.  Varnishing watercolors does have deep artistic roots.  Artists have been doing it since the Italian Renaissance, or earlier.  The Sistine Chapel’s ceiling is varnished watercolor, painted in wet plaster.

All materials are professional grade and archival. The varnishes include UV protection.

I’m lucky to have my studio in my home, where I can paint at all hours.  And I do.