Feb 16, 2019

Tibetan Temple #2

From The Once and Future King by TH White:

“It is God who keeps the price secret, Uther. Not I.”

“God? God? What god? I have heard you speak of so many gods. If you mean Mithras...”

Says Merlin, “Mithras. Apollo. Arthur. Christ. Call him what you will. What does it matter what men call the light? It is the same light, and men must live by it or die. I only know that God is the source of all the light which has lit the world and that his purpose runs through the world and passes each one of us like a great river and we cannot check or turn it but can only drink from it while living and commit our bodies to it when we die.”

God is in the details. Of everything. And the Light.

The Shrines to the Divine project began in early 2018. I have cataloged here in the blog the process of the first little tea house and the final Japanese Shrine, the Zendo, both built in 2018.

Along the way of my life, I have had the privilege to study with, cook for and generally be around some lovely teachers, in the name of art, or food, or spiritual advice. I have sat at the feet of gurus, pranced around the fire as a deer with a Huichol shaman on Mt. Shasta, meditated on Paramahansa Yogananda's houseboat with Steven Seagal, studied with and fed Deepak Chopra and myriad other pop culture stars, looked at Tibetan Buddhism through the eyes of the Thangka painting monk, and cooked for large groups at a retreat center while spending my nights in a 400 square foot tipi. Alison Stillwell Cameron lived next door to my mother and sparked my interest in Chinese Sumi painting, my bookbinding instructors shared Japanese print making, Shibori fabric design, marbled papers and so much more.

I feel closest to the source of all the light when I am being creative.

The top image above floated across my Facebook timeline, posted by a friend. It is an art deco painting by Vittorio Zecchin who died in 1947. Look him up. He blows my mind. The Dominican nuns never showed us his paintings in Art Appreciation class.

When I saw this painting, not just the goddesses themselves but the intensity of the colors hit me like a whack in the chest. The moment pushed me into the long talked about Tibetan temple, because I had to get involved with those colors.

As a dedicated DIY nut job, I set out to make some fabric for the backdrop to the buddha's throne. Although I used red and gold on black in my first draft of the fabric pattern, the colors of the shrine with mimic those above in Zecchin's: orange and purple and violet ...with some red.

I took a photo of the finished 12 x 12 canvas and shrunk the design to the size of a postage stamp, repeated the pattern to fill an 8.5x11 sheet of paper-backed silk for printing, and voila!

A tiny silk curtain of my own design.


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