Green Tara – Compassion
Painted 1995 – 1996 Kathmandu Nepal
The great compassionate
The Legend says that when Avalokiteshvara, ¨the great compassionate ¨, looked upon Earth he wept as he saw all the suffering and out of his tears emerged the White Tara representing longevity and the Green Tara representing compassion in action.
The Green Tara was my first Tankha painting which I started after completing two years of practise. I worked on this painting continuously for a period of five months. The Tara and Toharana (The animals, lotus,and decorations which surround the Tara) were copied from the 11 th century Green Tara at Cleveland Museum. The cave, lake, trees etc were inspired from other paintings of approximately the same period.
Work started by making the cotton canvas which becomes fine and flexible from rubbing over and over again with an agate stone. Next the crushing of the pigments, made from various semi precious stones, for example malachite for the body and assurite for the blue cave surrounding Tara. Gold, which is polished is used for the jewellery. First a rough outline is painted with ink. The canvas is then painted layer upon layer and finally the shading. For example on the body, is completed using semi-transparent pigment which we call the “juice” of pigment.
Buddist iconography painted on canvas that can be rolled becomes hailey transportable. These paintings are instruments in the teachings of Buddisim. For many thousand of years such paintings were made with natural pigments and animal glue. These is the technique taught to me by Roshan Sakya, The renowned Newar tankha painter living in Kathmandu, Nepal. These images are full of symbolism; for instants the positioning of the figures reveal different meaning. The Green Tara is not sitting in a full lotus but in the position known as Lalilta Sana position which symbolises The Green Tara compassion going in to action. There are many different attributes pertaining to flowers and animals. For example the blue flowers represents purity. The Muckers, ( the pink trumpet animals) are composed of five different animals thereby taking on qualities of each of them.
Give special thanks to my teacher Roshan Sakya and to Elisabeth and Chino Roncoroni for their unfailing guidance and support.
The Green Tara tankha is at present in the temple building of Lalita, Acebo, Sierra de Gata in Spain. https://www.lalita.net/
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