TEA & THANGKAS I – III
cynthia moku drawing
San Francisco, 1975
An invitation from painter Cynthia Moku, hosted by the Boulder Shambhala Center Director Jessie Friedman and staff, to spend time together in a three-part Series titled, “Tea & Thangkas”…
Description of the three-part Series
Looking at select thangka paintings we will explore the powerful visual field of entering sacred art, receive its messaging through symbol and personal experience, and recognize the reflective effect of such art within ourselves and in our relations with the world. In becoming familiar with how the deep messaging of this type of artwork actively conveys the practice, path & fruits of meditation, we are supported in our vibrant cultivation and harvesting of peace & wisdom to be shared with all. Cynthia will offer comments on what we discover through our selective viewing and smaller group explorations.
Dates & Times:
I. December 12, 2020, Saturday, 7:30-8:30 PM MT
II. January 10, 2021, Sunday, 11:00 AM-12 NOON MT
III. February 14, 2021, Sunday, 11:00 AM-12 NOON MT
Welcoming in the New Year, I am delighted to introduce OHANA Fine Art Gallery featuring original works from three visual artists; Thomas Duane, Holly Ming & Sean Kaimana. These three young contemporary artists are my eldest son, daughter and youngest son. In the Hawaiian language the word for family is ohana. Yes. It is the family, with one more son Tashi, his creativity expressed through computer science and astronomy. And so, introducing: Tom, Holly & Sean with samples of their works shown on the banner above. OHANA GALLERY will feature original works from our ‘family of creatives’ with direct on-line purchasing and insured shipping.
Sean Kaimana, photography
Silk curtain drawn across the doorway of a Japanese Buddhist Temple, entrance to the shrine hall in plum blossom design.
Thomas Duane, painting/drawing
Charcoal sketches of Charlie Chaplain, emulating expressive moments of ordinary experience.
Holly Ming, painting/photography
The Structure of Beauty, painting on screened black/white photograph.
Cynthia Moku, painting/drawing
From the Pilgrimage Series : Stupa Medallions, Buddha’s Parinirvana.
This season is also featuring two new prints available in the traditional & contemporary Moku Studios Print Sales Gallery,
Prajnaparamita Contemplating : Wisdom Women Series
Flying White Phase One : Luminous Domes
The condition of being placed one thing next to another, eliciting the effect of association. The banners in this website play with close-visual-association, grouping imagery and inviting linkage which contains longing and mystery. Our ideas and insights, associated, bring confirmation to our experiences and validate meaning in them. Then, when we associate with one another, engendering community, there is the possibility of a more rich and full inquiry.
Summer additions to the website include: 1. New work from the Wisdom Women Series: Machik Lapdron 2. Podcast interview w/Kaitlyn Hatch, “Everything is Workable: On Creativity” 3. June’s AnOAn magazine, on the merits of the Artist’s sketchbook by Joan Anderson and the “Team Play” collaborators. A page from my sketchbook of the antelope herd that leaped along a magnificent mountain ridge during the first Pilgrimage Series: Dakini Map journey is shown on the HOME page as part of the team play collaboration. More sketches are shown in the AnOAn magazine’s summer issue. 4. Excerpts from the letter to participants of the April Pilgrimage reconnaissance Journey, “When Snow Falls Like This.”
At the top of this page, the BLOG banner juxtaposition has three components: 1. Paper Tree Bark, Maui HI art residency. 2. Silhouettes from the Dakini Retinue Series. Back-lit cameos of my initial drawings for the protector murals, entrance to the second floor shrines, Shambhala Mountain Center stupa. 3. Final arrangement from the group environmental-performance art pieces, done at this May’s IP meditation retreats with the composite aspiration:
May all beings in our world be free of suffering and come to know peace.
Confluence: the meeting of two or more streams<>Reconnaissance: an exploration to gather information<>Pilgrimage: a sacred journey.
This spring’s blog banner was designed to signal two current and inter-related projects.
Firstly, the upcoming Pilgrimage reconnaissance Journey marking and documenting the Dakini Map route with its sacred architecture, related artwork and dharma communities. And secondly, an introduction to the recently incorporated organization, Lhadrima Foundation, created to support the arts. Click on the name to read more about Lhadrima’s vision, current art projects and funding opportunities.
Shown on the HOME page is the new Ekajati thangka painting with prints available through the print sales gallery. Along with the Kurukulla thangka, these two paintings are part of an ongoing series illustrating various female enlightened figures of the Buddhist/Shambhala tradition. Other images will be coming forth, including Machig Labdron and Prajnaparamita.
Ancestry and Gratitude are the two streams of thought and experience occupying my work this spring. Due to generous funding and support, I am engaged in an art residency with open time for new studio work, studies, and writing. The environment I live in for this month of April is on a corridor of land crowned by a single great mountain known as “The House of the Sun”. The title is very appropriate. With its large size yet low profile, from the air its portrait resembles the ageless iron shields of Greek Warriors, with their distinguishing features of a central raised area surrounded by a circular gently sloping surface.
The images in this Blog’s banner show two sketches from previous art journal entries that I feel are applicable in a serendipitous way to this HI-Art Residency, as I have named it; on the right –a woman in solitude writing and contemplating (Retreat Series), and on the left –bare feet in sand shaped loosely like flower petals (111 Drawings of My Feet). The center image is from an Indelible Presence retreat showing a group art offering, arranged on the retreat’s final day of celebration and dedication of merit. The character “heart” is calligraphed on circular gold sun discs.
At this point, being immersed in the process of engagement with my work and mentorship once a week in an accomplished and well-known local artist’s studio, I will refrain from saying more about the actual residency. Honoring this opportunity by remaining in the present without much elaboration is foremost to my process. For now, I would like to express my deep and lasting gratitude to those in my life who have made this opportunity possible.
Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.
ambiguity opacity curious
paradox incongruent divergence
enigma serene interval
The paradox of being cozy with ambiguity, this is beauty in layers.
Opacity and transparency intermingled.
a beaconing that stirs curiosity, kindling an unassuming and inscrutable communion. Within this enigmatic moment, the brushstroke occurs.
It is winter. It is the time of Flying White in my studio.
The Imperial Rigden thangka painting (Tibetan for scroll painting) is completed, after more than a full year of work.
I have lived this time, dedicated to the studio with “pause-time” mainly to be with my now adult children. Somewhat like retreat, my choices of moving beyond the parameters of daily creative work in the studio have been measured, consciously focusing nearly 100% of my energy and attention to such a piece of work. Needless to say, I feel quiet now. Whatever there is to say is in the painting. So, this autumnal/fall’s blog of 2015, abides in silence — the silence of content.
The painting will be presented by the Sakyong, Mipham Rinpoche, to the world-wide Shambhala community on February 9th, during the Shambhala/Losar New Year celebrations. The original will be installed in the main Meditation Hall of the Boulder Shambhala Center, Boulder Colorado USA. I feel deep gratitude towards Sakyong Mipham Rinpoche Jamgon Trinley Dradul, for entrusting me to do this work at his request. A detail of the image will be shown on my website later this year.
This October through December, I will have a solo exhibit at Mercury Gallery in Boulder Colorado, “Weapons of Massive Compassion”. Preliminary drawings for thangka painting commissions, including a few from the Imperial Rigden painting project, will be exhibited along with one section from the three-part screen ink painting; The Dakini Mountain Road Map.
For information on this winter’s Solo Exhibit
October through December
showing select preliminary drawings from the Rigden thangka paintings
Recently, while reflecting on this past year of retreat living, I came across a series of ink illustrations from many years ago. They were spontaneously made during teaching sessions in a month-long meditation retreat. They were spontaneously made during teaching sessions in a month-long mahamudra meditation retreat. Click on this link to see select sketches:
The painting in the banner above, “Nests II” is from the series, mObO Mountain. It is shown centered in a cluster of birds hopping about on the crust of spring snow covering an herb garden. Still in it’s hibernation, the seeds are germinating underground. Such is spring’s thaw.
Paging through NESTS, featuring Sharon Beals’ gorgeous photographs of 50 nests and the birds that built them, has me contemplating incubation & germination, and works-in-progress. These are the messengers, the envoys inhabiting my studio during this vernal season of spring –illusive and unpredictable.
In literature, envoy can be the signal of the final summation of a novel or epic poem. In my studio, it is the sense of a dedication coming, along with an aspiration –a springing forth. This is a place of summation of the lunar year’s work. Likewise, it is a place of empty-fullness, at the threshold of the arrival of spring. It is a lure, a turning, into new areas of contemplation and creative activity.
In PORTFOLIO/Contemporary, you will find three paintings from the series, Buddha Fields. Extended fields of awareness…with excerpts from a lecture given many years ago, on the iconography of the buddha figure, “Tracing the Image of the Buddha”.
In PORTFOLIO/Traditional, are a selection of preliminary drawings from the past winter-retreat –sketches & studies done towards the completion of the Imperial Rigden thangka painting.
nests, envoys, germination…
becoming familiar with…
Hibernal: pertaining to a place of retreat and incubation. Acclimation: becoming familiar with, to become attuned.
The drawing in the BLOG banner above, “Blue Warrior”, is a study from the Imperial Rigden painting project. It is shown within the background of the eastern sky above a frozen lake, passed along a favorite walk of mine in the pre-dawn winter light.
This is the time of early morning when our planet’s mother star, the Sun, shows its fiery power through the veil of a thin, elusive yet protective atmosphere. The stark horizontal angle of the Sun’s light, rapidly crossing the landscape creates coral, pink and saffron-coloured hues, momentarily etched through a softly blue-ing sky. Matched with the silence of deep night beginning to stir into wakefulness and daytime’s endless pursuits, these moments of the Sun appearing above earth’s horizon offer a brilliant feast of reflective light and profound beauty –available for witnessing every single morning.
In portfolio/contemporary, you will find a new addition: seven paintings from the Skydancer Series, of which four are available as edition prints in the print sales gallery, with a framed option shown in the purchase guidelines.
Shown in the portfolio/traditional section, is a scroll painting (thangka painting) of the protector, Dorje Phurba (Vajrakilaya). Displaying a vibrant wrathful-compassion, this warrior-buddha signifies the powerful clarity of compassionate and deliberate wakefulness. Such fiery deep-night expressive power is visibly presented in this traditional Buddhist iconography, inhabiting the deepest and most expansive field of awareness and compassion inherent to each of us. An inscrutable non-violence that cannot be approached merely conceptually, its laser-like blaze arises only from within a deeply refined compassion, understanding and intention. Fine art prints of this thangka painting can be ordered through the print sales gallery, with a framed option shown in the purchase guidelines.
Also, a few of the studies I have drawn for the Imperial Rigden scroll painting, have been added to portfolio/traditional/drawings for viewing.
Presented on the HOME page is Snow Ladder, an environment piece from an Indelible Presence Brush Session at the “Touching the Moment Meditation Retreat”, May 2014.
Vibrant winter skies, wings in flight, luster & inscrutable elegance.
Working in my winter studio is a time of becoming familiar with…
With this writing, work for my new website is occurring. It is a beautiful time of year, seasonally. Living in Colorado, the change of aspen leaves to a golden vibrancy framed by the perennial deep blue-green shades of pine forests, is an annual favored event. As I look out the window, several gold and orange leaves twirl to the ground in sync with the unreservedly simple notes of the piano I play.
Listed in the credits and resources pages, are people who have contributed to this site’s development and construction. I would like to particularly mention the site designer that I have been working with, Ms. Rhonda Reno of chaos.ranch design. I recommend her technical capacity and artful skill to anyone ready to create a new website. I would also like to acknowledge my four adult children, Tom, Holly, Tashi & Sean, for their artistic talents and encouragement shared throughout the entire process of developing this site.
This is my first website to show paintings and drawings from both traditional and contemporary works, as I call them. The Print Sales Gallery offers reproductions from three bodies of contemporary works: Open Fields, Stupa Portraits, and Mudra Tiles. The traditional thangka paintings will have two new additions appearing later this winter -Kurukulla and Vajrakilaya.
Also, for the first time, you can see selected images from the Indelible Presence brush sessions I lead, held within two annual meditation retreats at Shambhala Mountain Center. These consecutive retreats provide an opportunity for five days each, of meditation practice with daily periods of Hatha Yoga & Qigong exercise. Both retreats are headed and skillfully guided by my longtime friend and colleague, Acharya Dale Asrael.
I will post a web log seasonally, the next in December, along with new artworks for viewing, and upcoming events. Seasonality –marking the vernal (spring), estival (summer), autumnal (autumn), and hibernal (winter) phases– will allow for periods in-between, of retreat into the studio -literally and figuratively.
So, there is more to come at the beginning of the hibernal winter “season of white”
–well known to the Rocky Mountains with its snow, crisp air, and more solitary times.