Sometimes I paint a mandala just like I would any painting. I don't have anyone or thing or purpose in mind. Maybe I had a brief flash of inspiration and away I go. Then sometimes, when that painting is done, it reminds me of someone. That is the story here for Rachel.
The center form is a strawflower, (Helichrysum bracteatum). Strawflowers are known for showy, colored heads even when they're dried. I've seen this gal early, I've seen her late. I've even seen her in the pool. Similar to the strawflower, her intrinsic beauty is always present regardless of the circumstances.
The genus name for the flower is derived from the Greek words helisso (meaning to turn around) and chrysos (meaning gold). Both also incredibly appropriate in this case. Rachel is often looking forward and back and is a lover of fine things, golden and otherwise.
In addition to the strawflower and basic geometric forms, there are light red carnations in each corner. I have used these before (in the Patty mandala) to signify admiration. I use them here again as this is something of which I also have for this woman.