Life circles

Nature mandala

Credit: Tim Phelps

In his day job, Tim Phelps portrays human anatomy in exacting detail. He is a medical illustrator and assistant director of the School of Medicine's Department of Art as Applied to Medicine. But four years ago, searching for a way to portray the beauty of biodiversity, he began experimenting with the expressive possibilities of mandalas. The result has been two volumes of Nature Mandalas—Wonders of the Garden and Wonders of the Earth, Wind, and Sea. He says, "I suspended my inner critic to see where the mandalas would take me. There was great satisfaction in being able to create art with limited rules, contrary to my profession of medical illustration that must adhere to many rules."