Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Transcriptions #23 - Peace Wall

Peace Wall 18" x 18"
Transcriptions #2


Prayer: Peace

My goal in creating this painting was to produce something of a conceptual "closeup" of the wall in Transcriptions #9 and keep the same focus on Peace.

This time I used two pieces of canvas cloth, sewed them together, and left an opening in which to insert the rolled up pieces of painted cloth.


Transcriptions #23
In Process


#23 is the third Transcriptions painting inspired by the Western Wall. It's becoming a series within a series. I am fairly certain that this will not be the last and that I will return to Prayers of Peace again and again.


Transcriptions #23
Closeup



Transcriptions #23
Closeup


Monday, November 20, 2017

Transcriptions #22: Ho'oponopono

Ho'oponopono 12" x 12"
Transcriptions #22


Prayer: Ho'oponopono
Transcriptions Series

My connection to the Ho'oponopono prayer has continued since completing Transcriptions #16. I have found comfort in the silent chant of "I love you, I'm sorry, Please forgive me, Thank you." So in this painting, I return to the words that have become a part of my everyday life.

This painting began to take shape by cutting strips of canvas cloth and fraying the edges. When I placed them side by side on the back canvas, I found that the strips were longer than planned. Hmmm... what to do? I played with several ideas on how to resolve the issue of the excess length before choosing a path that worked quite well with this series. A fold would be formed within each of the strips and mini scrolls inserted.


Transcriptions #22
Closeup

The back canvas has been textured with string, sand, and paper beneath the layers of paint.

To learn more about Ho'oponopono, visit my blog post for Transcriptions #16.


Thursday, November 16, 2017

Transcriptions #21: Gratitude Library

Gratitude Library 12" x 24"
Transcriptions #21


Prayer: Gratitude
Transcriptions Series


For years, I have spent much of my time focusing on gratitude, with 2 published gratitude journals, The Gratitude Habit blog, and Facebook page. So, of course I wanted to create at least one painting in the Transcriptions Series with words of gratitude. Gratitude is universally embraced by cultures and religions around the world and has been since ancient times.

I searched for prayers of thanks and collected the words used to express gratitude in many languages. There are close to 30 languages incorporated within this painting.

A 12" x 24' canvas was chosen because I loved working with that particular size when creating Transcriptions #6.


Transcriptions #21
In Process with Textured Background


I was struck by the idea of cutting several slits in the canvas cloth. I wanted to see what would happen if I tried to create the strands of threads (the "tassels") within the cloth rather than just at the sides. It worked out even better than I had expected. The surprise element was in the way each strip of cloth folded up at the bottom corners, in unison.


Transcriptions #21
In Process


Transcriptions #21
Closeup


So, the decision on what to do with the open spaces, left by each of the folds, sparked a creative challenge. Tiny books became the solution and were inserted between 4 of the 5 folds. Each one displays a translation for gratitude in a different language.


Transcriptions #21
Closeup


One of the influences for the look and feel of this painting is from the papyrus plan for the Tomb of Ramesses IV, in Turin's Egyptian Museum.

To check out more of the paintings in this series, 
click on the Transcriptions Series.


Friday, October 13, 2017

Transcriptions #20: So Hum Simplicity

So Hum 18" x 18"
Transcriptions #20


Prayer: So Hum
Transcriptions Series

I love this painting! I love its simplicity. The painting was conceived while working on Transcriptions #18. I had just painted one of the three layers of the cloth book when I snatched it away and placed the cloth on a blank canvas laying nearby. I imagined a line created on the back canvas that would be continued with text on the painted cloth. I was so excited with this visual.


Transcriptions #20
In Process

I creating that line by separating the background into two colors coming together at the point I wanted. The Sanskrit text on the cloth ended up larger than what I had originally imagined and I also decided to add a thin strip of text to sit along the color line. So Hum is repeated as a reference to the silent chant of this mantra.

When used in meditation, “Sooooo…” is said by the mind when inhaling and “Hummmmm” when exhaling.


Transcriptions #20
In Process



The addition of the three little books completes the painting with a very simple touch of text... So Hum appears once in the right bottom corner of each.

The So Hum mantra symbolizes our oneness with the Universe, the constant support available to
each and every one of us, and our connection to the Infinite Source. We are all connected. In translation, it means: "I Am That."

Thursday, October 5, 2017

Transcriptions #19: Lokah Samastah

Lokah Samastah 12" x 12"
Transcriptions #19


Prayer: Lokah Samastah
Transcriptions Series

Lokah Samastah is making its third appearance as a featured prayer within a painting in this series. It was the prayer I used in Transcriptions #1 and then again in Transcriptions #12. I am quite confident it will show up again as I continue exploring this series.


Transcriptions #19
In Process


As in most of the Transcriptions, I have loved covering the background canvas with paper for more texture before adding paint. In this painting, I cut the outer canvas cloth to create an open window revealing the handmade book.

The prayer, repeated on the cloth below the window, reads:

 "May all beings be happy.
May all my thoughts, words
and actions contribute in
some way to the happiness
of all beings." 


Tuesday, October 3, 2017

Transcriptions #18: Priestly Blessing



Prayer: The Priestly Blessing
Transcriptions Series


This painting incorporates The Priestly Blessing in both Hebrew and Latin, on the attached book and within the three small scrolls nestled in the woven canvas cloth. The handwritten text on the lower part of the canvas is a translation of the prayer into ancient Phoenician. Oh, and by the way, The Priestly Blessing is from Numbers 6 (24-26).

"May the lord bless you and keep you
May the light of GOD’s face shine on you and give you grace.
May GOD turn towards you and give you peace. Amen" 
"Benedicat tibi Dominus et custodiat te
Ostendat Dominus faciem suam tibi et misereatur tui
Convertat Dominus vultum suum ad te et det tibi pacem"


Transcriptions #18
In Process


The handmade book on this painting is made from canvas cloth rather than the thick mixed media papers I have used in the first 17 Transcriptions.

The vertical lines in the painted strip below the book are slits I cut in order to weave a separate piece of canvas cloth. The folds of that cloth will eventually hold the scrolls in place.



Transcriptions #18
In Process


Originally there were three sheets of cloth that formed the pages of the book. I pulled one out to play with a flash of an idea for another painting. It became the focal point of Transcriptions #20 which I began conceiving in the middle of working on this painting.



Transcriptions #18
In Process


I definitely want to find ways of weaving cloth into future canvases. It is a concept I have wanted to play with for many years. And I love the way the book takes on an entirely new quality when using cloth. I am confident I'll be creating more cloth books in other paintings.


Saturday, September 30, 2017

Transcription #17: Om Shanti

Om Shanti 12" x 12"
Transcriptions #17



Prayer: Om Shanti
Transcriptions Series

Om Shanti Shanti Shanti is a peace mantra. Om is the primordial sound of the universe. Shanti means peace or bliss and is generally repeated three times to represent the whole being... the body, the mind, and the speech.

This is one of several "Peace Paintings" in the Transcriptions Series. We can always use more prayers of peace going out into the world.


Transcriptions #17
In Process - Background Canvas


My goal in working on this painting was to use the more vibrant colors of purple, teal, and turquoise. While shaping the canvas cloth, I played with the idea of cutting strips in the piece to let the background show through.


Transcriptions #17
In Process


Although I didn't make the cuts I had envisioned (saving that idea for a future painting), I did end up cutting a wide rectangle on top, for the Sanskrit text to show through from the back canvas.


Transcriptions #17
In Process - unattached layout


The following YouTube video is the Om Shanti chant I listened to while working on this canvas.



Friday, September 29, 2017

Transcriptions #16: Ho'oponopono


Ho'oponopono 16" x 20"
Transcriptions #16


Prayer: Ho'oponopono
Transcriptions Series

The Ho'oponopono prayer is made up of four statements:
"I love you, I'm sorry, Please forgive me, Thank You."

While I paint, I often listen to a variety of interviews and speakers online. Over a brief period of time, I kept hearing the name Ho'oponopono in a number of the talks. So, of course, I had to find out what was this thing called Ho'oponopono. I learned about the remarkable healing work of Dr. Ihaleakala Hew Len at a Hawaii State Hospital for the criminally insane. Dr. Hew Len had healed the patients without even meeting with them! I became engaged and wanted to find out more.

Ho'oponopono is an ancient Hawaiian spiritual healing process. The family or community would come together in prayer, discussion, confession, repentance, and forgiveness with the intention of healing one or more of its members. Since we are all connected, healing could be achieved through the forgiveness for and from all members of the family. In Hawaiian, Ho'oponopono means to correct, to make right.

In more recent years, the process has been culled down to four simple statements which can be recited independently, as a mantra to clear oneself and all others of any wrong thoughts and actions. In doing so, the individual becomes responsible for the whole.


Transcriptions #16
Closeup


I began a daily practice of silently chanting, "I love you. I'm sorry. Please forgive me. Thank you." when I awoke and before I fell asleep. It was comforting and calming. I found myself reciting these words at other times... while driving in traffic, waiting on lines, or walking the dog. I loved the idea of a practice that could not only provide healing to me but others in our world.

This focus was bound to lead to a new painting. I filled the prepared strips of rough and ragged canvas cloth with repetitions of the Ho'oponopono mantra and used the sewing machine to sew lines of thread between the columns of text. I left the untrimmed threads at both ends to dangle at the top and bottom of the cloth pieces. The background is textured with strings pulled from the canvas cloth, along with some sand, before covered by a layer of paper and then painted.



Transcriptions #16
In Process


The design for the canvas strips was influenced by an image I found online. The photo had remnants of The Gandharan Scroll, written on birch bark. The collection of these ancient Gandharan scrolls are considered the oldest Buddhist texts discovered.

For more information about the ancient Kingdom of Gandhara, click here.


Thursday, September 21, 2017

Transcriptions #15: Om Namah Shivaya

Om Namah Shivaya 12" x 12"
Transcriptions #15

Prayer: Om Namah Shivaya
Transcriptions Series


As I prepared to start working on this painting, I knew I wanted to use Om Namah Shivaya as the prayer, to have fun with the background color, and to include one or more of the "prayer pockets" within this canvas. (I created the first "prayer pocket" in Transcriptions #14.)



Transcriptions #15
In Process


I was interested in creating the attached book so each of the three open pages would be trimmed in three different widths. I made three cutouts in the painted canvas cloth to reveal an Om sign within and I assembled three "prayer pockets" to be displayed along the bottom of the canvas.


Transcriptions #15
In Process: before the final layers of paint
and the ties were added to the 3 prayer pockets


There was a freedom and ease to creating this painting... and a joy. I was thrilled to create another canvas with this mantra and I love the way the colors of the painted canvas show through the thin layer of paper which covers the surface. And, once again, I am jazzed about these little "prayer pockets".

In the blog post written about Transcriptions #2, I posted a video of the Om Namah Shivaya chant performed by Krishna Das. I recently found this video that sounds very much like the way I chanted my daughter to sleep, each night, when she was little.





Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Transcriptions #14: Om Mani Padme Hum

Om Mani Padme Hum 18" x 18"
Transcriptions #14



Prayer: Om Mani Padme Hum

This is the second painting with a focus on Om Mani Padme Hum but I'm sure it won't be the last. The first painting was a small 12" x 12" canvas. This larger 18" x 18" canvas has two cutouts for the handmade book to be inserted within the top opening and a smaller cutout, below, for an additional element.


Om Mani Padme Hum
In Process


I set out with the goal of including 108 repetitions of the mantra within the canvas surface (not counting the text in the attached book). The number 108 is considered sacred by Hindus from the time of the ancient yogis. In Transcriptions #11 I repeated the "So Hum" mantra 108 times in the flowing lines of text.


Transcription #14
In Process


What's included in the attached book? Om Mani Padme Hum is written in Sanskrit and in the English transliteration, along with the following words:
"Loving kindness and compassion for self and others."
"Love and compassion are within us.
Love and compassion are within us.
Love and compassion are within us."
When trying to figure out what I wanted to insert into the small opening at the bottom of the painting, I ended up creating what I'm calling a "prayer pocket." It's a tiny 2" x 1-1/2" folded piece of canvas cloth with a prayer inside and out.



Transcription #14
Closeup of inserted "Prayer Pocket"


As I look at the finished painting, I am so very happy with the textures from the layer of paper beneath the paint and how I highlighted those textures.

For more on 108 as a sacred number, visit: https://wanderlust.com/journal/108-yogas-sacred-number