I rarely work in the studio in the evening but last night, I took advantage of the quiet and lack of demands. I penciled a beginning for a new piece of work. I'm doing a painting of prayer flags again. I am always fascinated by them stretched across a mountain site and laying in heaps below those that are still flying. Perhaps because they represent prayers and dreams of the people who hang them. They begin as bright pieces of clothe and fade in the sunlight, wind, rain and snow until they finally fall to the ground. People hang new prayers in their place.
They are silent prayers. Some times they are hung by a congregation of folks, other times they are hung by a single person in memory of a loved one or simply to honor the unknowable. Prayer the way it should be, silent and
unending celebration and thankfulness.
I digress, the painting of prayer flags is prayer in itself, although I have
nothing in mind aside from color and movement.
I did a project in a studio art class that took an entire semester to
complete. (Yes, we were required to take classes in the arts and humanities to
earn a business degree.) The project was made up of twelve 30 by 40 sheets of
archival museum boards. I fastened them together temporarily then drew giant
prayer flags across the entire surface. I crushed and pushed soft pastels into
the cotton fibers, filling the panels with blends of color in hues that you
would find in a painting by Monet. The panels were framed individually in thin
steel frames and hung six inches apart. The entire pieces was over 10 feet tall
and 12 feet wide. I showed the pastel in the university gallery. It was labeled
“Not for sale”. I sold it. It hangs in a corporate lobby in New York. The money that I raised went to a temple in
Bhutan to be used to feed and house the very poor.