After working for few years as a freelance fashion illustrator I decided to take a break for few weeks and learn something new and went to Dharmshala, North India where I was introduced to this beautiful form of Art! A thangka is a Tibetan Buddhist painting on cotton, silk appliqué, usually depicting a Buddhist deity, scene, or mandala. I was amazed to see all the beautiful paintings and decided to make one.. but I kept on sketching for few weeks and my break was over before I could even start my painting so I went back again the next year and since then I have been visiting every year to learn this art and I must say it has been a transformative journey for me... I am so glad to have met such amazing artists as my teachers Sarika Singh and Master Locho. Not only I get to learn so much from them but they also make me feel like family!! And you can never forget the superhero Lobsang if you meet him once! If you want to learn this art or just to experience something great please visit Center for Living Buddhist Art, Dharmshala.
The first time I saw White Tara painting I couldn't take my eyes off her!! And that was the moment I thought of my first thangka.
White Tara, also called "the Mother of all Buddhas" is the perfect embodiment of graceful power, wisdom, and purity. She symbolizes transcendent knowledge, perfect harmony, and longevity. White Tara has seven eyes, one on each palm and foot, and three on her face including one in the forehead symbolizing her omniscient vision.
Since this was my first painting I was anxious most of the time and thats when Master told me how important trust is between a master and student when you want to learn sacred art! Only when you let yourself go and devote yourself you can learn the most and be one with the art.
It's been years but even today when I am disturbed inside I love to look at her.... and it is one of the things I cherish the most ❤️
Well this time all I knew was that I wanted to make a black thangka as the contrast of gold on black is so cool!! So I let my teachers decide the deity and it was Palden Lhamo also known as Sri Devi. She is the only female protector deity in the group of Dharmapalas. This ferocious and bloodthirsty deity is deeply revered in all Buddhism.
When I looked at the picture I didn't know how I was going to even start and that's when Master told me don't look at the whole painting just think of one thing at a time and that's how its done. I focused on the elements one after the other and in few months this masterpiece came to life...
This painting is very special to me as it always reminds me of how we all have so much talent inside but only a great master can help you realise it!! I am blessed to have Master Locho and Sarika mam as my teachers❤️
Most of the things that looks simple are not always easy. This is the first step to introduction of painting. We all start with drawing Buddha face based on simple grid lines using measuring tools to get it as precise as possible and it always amazes me to see how every time the drawing looks little different and gets better each time!!
Starting with simple face we continue with the body and then adding robes and details. After drawing one deity comes the next and so on but the process remains same as the drawings are based on grids one needs to focus and be really precise while creating the drawings.
The process of painting looks more exciting and engaging at first but after making few paintings you realise how important drawing is as it is the first step that contributes towards making a beautiful painting and even today I find drawing more challenging than painting.