Tuesday, December 29, 2009


Six months have past since I mailed in my application. I had almost forgotten about the energy of last springtime when the garden was in bloom. The rains have arrived along with what is considered cold weather for us Bay Area folk. Along with that arrival, came our acceptance form. Tsherin received his paperwork a day ahead of mine so he rang me up to share the good news.

The idea of being accepted into the master/apprentice program took a few days to sink in. At first, I felt strange telling my friends and family since it seemed somehow like a dream. My friend Linda Jo said that I'm the first of her artist friends that has received anything like this "grant". Congratulations and much support came from all around. People were asking what I might need help with in the coming year.

The paperwork was pretty straight forward consisting mostly of release forms for use of our images and words. Tsherin had some extra tax paperwork since he will be in control of the funds.

 Sherwood Chen from ACTA made himself available to us at a place of our choosing to go over the program as well as our goals. We met up with him the following monday at World Grounds cafe for about ninety minutes. This "interview" formalized our goals while we had the opportunity to share more about the practice and history of thangka painting. Other than this initial meeting, we have more documentation at the halfway point as well as during our show/talk next December. Since Sherwood lives close by to us, he might stop by the studio earlier to see how we are doing. Overall, I feel very comfortable about the program once Sherwood shared some of the goals on their end which mainly consist of preserving California traditions and documenting the master/apprentice relationship. Their goal isn't so much on the end results but more about the journey.

Since the letter's arrival two weeks ago, it's begun to set in that I have been awarded a great opportunity to deepen my relationship with Tsherin as well as this sacred art form next year. One of my personal goals is to document my process every week within the blog to see what happens over the course of 2010. This writing will also help provide more documentation for the Alliance for California Traditional Art's archives.

I hope that this site acts as a beckon to other Thangka students so that we can begin a dialogue about the next generation of painters. I've found that many of us work in isolation without knowing about each other or sharing our common experiences. The available technology properly used can make us become more connected.