Tag Archives: Patterns

Frost Mandala 6

Frost Mandalas

Winter is in full force in my part of the world.  Most days, I feel like I live inside a snow globe.

And it’s cold!  When the temperatures goes  below about 10 °F there is often frost on a few of our windows. The  frost phenomenon happens on windows when there is a some moisture and extreme cold.  Two windows near our bathroom often have frost in the morning when the nighttime temps have been in the single digits or below.  One of my winter delights is to check the windows in the morning for frost and see what sorts of interesting patterns the frost has made.  The patterns are usually back lit with the rising sun so they can be particularly beautiful.

Last week there were some particularly interesting frost patterns, like feathers. I couldn’t wait to see what they might offer in the form of frost mandalas.

I hope you enjoy these feathery frost mandalas.

Stay warm and think warm thoughts!


We spent some time at the beach a few weeks ago.  I wanted to capture some more long exposure images of water.    When I’m doing long exposures there’s a lot of time waiting around, so I took my handy Canon G16, a great little point and shoot camera, and walked around capturing other things while my “big” camera was working.

One of the things that captured my eye was the debris that was just outside of the sand dune fences.  There was an wide assortment of bits and pieces and the patterns they made were interesting.  I had an inkling that they might create interesting mandalas as well.

Beach Debris ©GSHaile

Beach Debris ©GSHaile

It’s so interesting to think that these lovely patterns came from a bunch of beach debris.  


Please share!  It really helps! Thanks

Sea Shells by the Sea Shore 2

Last week, I shared some mandalas that I created from an image of an oyster shell.

This is actually the first shell that I found that made me think, “Oh, I need to see what kinds of mandalas this shell will create.”  I just loved all the different shades of brown and the textures. It’s quite small, just and inch or so at it’s longest point.  I can’t even tell what sort of shell it is.

It’s important to pay attention to those small bits of beauty as well as the grand, more obvious,  scenes of beauty. 

©Gail Haile_Brown Shell

©Gail Haile_Brown Shell

I see all sorts of things in these mandalas.  What do you see?

Do you know anyone who would be interested in this?  Please share it with them.  Thanks!   

Sea Shells by the Sea Shore: Mandalas

A beach in Delaware was where I spent most of my time last week.  There was not a lot of beach reading or sun bathing on my part.  When you’re at the beach with a 2 1/2 year old, playing in the sand, collecting shells, flying kites, and getting wet were the main activities.  In truth, those are my favorite beach activities any way.  It was great fun!

This beach didn’t have many stones, like this one in Block Island that I visited last year, or whole shells, like Sanibel Island, in Florida, where I was in March.  South Bethany Beach is mostly very fine sand with a few bits and pieces of shells and small pebbles.  It was wonderful for walking.  The one exception was a whole oyster shell that we found.  Below is a close-up image of that shell.

At first an oyster shell doesn’t seem to be the most beautiful shell but  I knew when I saw the colors and patterns that I wanted to see what kinds of mandala patterns it might hold.

©Gail Haile_Oyster shell

©Gail Haile_Oyster shell

I love the variety of patterns that emerged and the soft colors.  Such a humble shell held all this beauty!  

Check back next week for more shell mandalas from a rust colored shard of a shell.  

What’s your favorite beach activity?

What have you encountered that seemed mundane at first but held much more when you looked closer?

Do you know anyone who would enjoy this?  Please share it with them.  Thanks!  

Seeing the Trees

During a recent visit to the Marie Selby Botanical Gardens, I photographed many of the trees.  What I was intrigued most by was the texture and patterns of the bark, so these are not your usual images of trees.


“The question is not what you look at, but what you see.”

The 19th century writer and naturalist Henry David Thoreau made this simple but profound observation in 1851.  It’s a thought that travels with me often as I photograph.  We can become so used to what we are looking at that we no longer see (experience) it and all the detail and beauty that it contains. We can also have such preconceived ideas of what we are looking at, that the we miss subtle nuances or changes that may have occurred.

My day at the botanical garden was a practice in seeing not just looking.  How can you practice seeing today?


Being Golden

I spent a few days in Golden, Colorado last week.

Since last fall I have been part of the Gold mastermind group with Alyson B. Stanfield, the Art Biz Coach.  It is a diverse group of artists that includes painters, collage artists, jewelry designers, paper artists, and this lone photographer.  It’s all art, though, and we worked together to help each other better market that art.  As one who works alone much of the time, the creative synergy of a group was so energizing and inspiring.

I had given myself the gift of going a day early so that I had an extra day to explore Golden. Much of the day was spent wandering the beautiful historic area and the lovely campus of the Colorado School of Mines, taking pictures, and drinking lots and lots of water to combat the fatigue and vague queasiness that came with the high altitude.

I was traveling light in regards to camera equipment, having brought a small Canon G16 that has an amazing amount of functionality for a point and shoot camera.  Sometimes, it’s not convenient or even necessary to carry my big equipment and the G16 is great for those times.

Often when traveling, I come home with at least a few stonesso it’s surprising that while visiting this place rich with stone and rock that I didn’t have an extra 10 pounds in my suitcase.  I did find a few stones to photograph, however.  This one, in particular, was beautiful with the sandstone and quartz and a few other things that I couldn’t identify.  But, for one, it was part of the sidewalk design and it was the size of a 5 year old, so taking a few close-up pictures of it and making mandalas would have to suffice.

The soft rosy glow  and the complexity of these patterns are a prefect representation of my week in Golden.

It was a good Golden week.   How was your week?

If you know someone who would enjoy my work, I’d be happy if you would share this with them.

If you are interested in prints of any of these mandalas, contact me and I can make that happen. 🙂

Sea Grape Leaf Mandalas

One of the many, many things that I love about traveling is seeing and experiencing new things.  On a trip to Bermuda, 20 years ago, I first saw the sea grape trees, aka bay grape trees.  They are everywhere on the island and many hotels, guest houses, and restaurants pay homage to the ubiquitous plant in their name.  They were unlike anything I had ever seen growing up and living in the northeast US.  I’ve never seen the grapes of the tree, having never been around them in the late summer when the fruit develops, but I just love the large, round, sturdy and leathery leaves.  Small ones are about 6 inches and the large ones seem like they could make great dinner plates. When new, they are a shiny bright green with yellow ribs and veins.  As they age they become a beautiful red that contrasts wonderfully with that bold yellow.

©Gail Haile_Sea Grape Leaf

©Gail Haile_Sea Grape Leaf


For the past week, I was fortunate to be able to escape the cold and spend some time in southern Florida, another place where sea grape trees abound.  I also took the opportunity to play with some new ideas and photography equipment.  The image that I used for today’s mandalas is an underwater closeup of one those beautiful red and yellow sea grape leaves. I liked how much detail was revealed by photographing the leaf in that way and knew I wanted to see what would be revealed with mandalas.

As always, if you’d like prints of any of these mandalas, just email me.  Also, if you know anyone who would enjoy my work, I’d be grateful if would share this with them.


Play Mode: Mandala Monday

I rediscovered play this week.  We’ve all had those times.  They come into our lives for many different reasons.  We all have times when it seems the joy of doing what you love is either gone or a bit dimmed.  For a great many reasons I was there the past few weeks. My brain and body were tired from a busy month, some traveling, exciting happenings, family visiting, new ideas and projects to learn…all good things but I was tired.

I’ve never been good at taking that pause to just be and to let myself rest before moving on. There was a commercial for something or other at one time that used the tagline, “the pause that refreshes”.  There is refreshment that comes with slowing down and pausing instead of just barreling ahead full steam on to the next thing. (more…)

Blue Reflections: Mandala Monday

The end of January can be a very blue time in many ways.  It’s cold, much too cold, and I get very weary of being indoors yet cannot make myself go outside much more than to rush from one heated place to another.  So everything looks blue and feels blue.    But as I said last week, blue is my favorite color.  I find it comforting and comfortable and actually cheering rather than “blue” .  (Well, there’s something I might like to follow up with regarding color theory. 🙂 ) January is often a time of reflection also, so blue reflections seemed to fit.  I shared this mandala with you last week with the promise of a peek in to the stages of it’s creation. Blue-Mandala-3_Gail-Haile