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Vagabond Mandala Om

By Kathryn Colvig

Reviewed by Alexandra Heep

· Mandalas,Hand Drawn

Vagabond Mandala *Om by Kathryn Colvig, published by CreateSpace, is volume 4 of the Vagabond Mindfulness coloring book series. These are all mandalas inspired by Moroccan architecture.

There are 108 pages in total and the images are all printed on the right side of the page. All of the designs have a border around them and stop well before the spine, so you can remove the pages or spiral-bind the book easily enough, should you choose to do so. Not all images are centered and the perspective differs. Some of the mandalas are close-up view, some are off-centered. All this enhances the book’s visual interest, and the border still keeps everything neat-looking.

The last page is a test page for colors, and even that shows attention to detail because it’s full of little hand-drawn pencils that are arranged in a loose mandala pattern! The back cover has a thumbnail preview of all 25 designs that are in the book.

Have you ever colored a design and, when finished, wished you could get a do-over? Well, with this book you can. You get 25 different designs and each one repeats, so you get a total of 50 images to color. This also gives you a chance to see what a particular design will look like when colored differently. The designs are a wonderful assortment of complex, intermediate and simple designs.

What else is pretty nifty is that all the designs are named and indexed in the front. Each page is numbered, so just look for the corresponding page number in the index. Note that all the designs are on even pages, but only the odd pages (on the reverse) have the number typed on the bottom of the page as to not intrude on designs.

For example, the first design in the book is one page 2 (the index page in the front is not numbered). As such, the subsequent designs follow on page 4, 6, 8 etc. So, just look for page number 1, 3, 5, 7 etc on the left-hand side to find the particular name of the design. The name of the number 2 page design, for example, is Deva Om, and it repeats on page 52.

What really impresses me about this book is that it’s really hand-drawn, not computer generated yet very symmetrically done. Nothing bothers me more than unbalanced images, and I’ve seen that several times with computer generated mandalas elsewhere. I can’t even imagine the amount of work that went into this book.

Since the designs span different difficulty levels, I see this as a fun addition for family time. If you’re buying the book just for yourself, you can experiment. For example, if you have shied away from more complex designs for fear of “ruining” them, you get a do-over since each design appears twice. Plus, you can move back and forth between challenging and easier images. Additionally, those with health challenges can still feel accomplished. I myself get frequent headaches and such, so I am always relieved to see designs with less intricacy, but I also like more challenging images for "good" days. This book delivers on those counts.

Kathryn has a Facebook group called Vagabond Coloring Book Club where you can see and share completed pictures from her books, including this one.

*According to dictionary.com, "om" is a mantric word thought to be a complete expression of Brahman and interpreted as having three sounds representing Brahma or creation, Vishnu or preservation, and Siva or destruction, or as consisting of the same three sounds, representing waking, dreams, and deep sleep, along with the following silence, which is fulfillment.

This is one of the simpler designs. The name of this mandala is "Tara," which in Sanskrit means "star." I colored it in remembrance of a friend from a coloring group who passed away. That's why I went with the limited color scheme of red, orange and yellow. I wanted happy, bright colors. I used brush markers on this.

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