Saturday, May 22, 2010


Seems like everybody I know is growing through transitions right now. Either graduating from masters programs or becoming laid off. I, as well, am going through a change in my apprenticeship.

Next week, I will begin the painting of the White Tara. The detailing of the background took way longer than i expected. However, i now feel much more confident in capturing the essence of clouds. We'll start out painting the background before the deity which is the traditional sequence.

I started the grid and sketch of my second painting in the Tara series: Kurukulla, who is a wraithful form of Red Tara. I needed a switch from the posture and attributes of a peaceful deity. On Kurukulla, I'll be able to work on flames!

Back in February, I started the 10-yr Dharma Gar retreat that I mentioned in a previous posting. The refuge yoga section of this ngondro training has been killing my body. However, the combination of prostrations and visualization of the refuge tree has been aiding in my art. During the hynagogic state immediately before sleep, I notice the day's thangka elements vividly in my mind. I'd like to ask rinpoche about this phenomenon to see if it common.

Tsherin suggested that I begin another new project to work alongside the 10-years that I spend in dharma gar. The project would consist of completing small thangkas of all the individuals within the refuge tree. It's a large undertaking but it does sound like it could be fruitful. I'd have to begin slow this year since most of my energy will be focused trying to finish the Tara series.

We've been hunting for Tsherin's new studio space for months now. Last week, I found an ad on craigslist for an art studio compound in Berkeley. He's currently filling out paperwork for it. As soon as next week he could be moving in. This in turn means more time for me to be studying under him.

In 2011, I was asked to visit Nepal for at least a month. Tsherin is setting up a sculpture studio there to have Nepalese artists fabricate his contemporary sculpture designs. I would go see part of that process as well as study thangka painting under his uncle and dad. Plus there are some lamas he wants me to meet at the Rangjung Yeshe Foundation which is three blocks away from his dad's house. Now to come up with a means to fund it. Guess I'll be hunting for more scholarships as well as learning some basic Tibetan.

Finally, If you are in New York City, check out this contemporary Tibetan art exhibit that Tsherin is a part of at the Rubin Museum

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