Title: Green Tara with Pueo
Artist: Faith Stone
Limited edition woodblock on mulberry paper
Green Tara is considered the most accessible goddess. She has one foot coming down from her lotus as if to say “You need me? Here I come.” Tara represents the fundamental female aspect of the universe, which gives birth to warmth, compassion and relief from bad karma. She engenders, nourishes and has profound sympathy for all living beings and acts to relieve suffering wherever she can. Tara protects at our time of greatest fear, during both the physical night and while we exist in the darkness of our ignorance.
Faith is one of the few people in the world still making Buddha woodblocks. The sole surviving monastery in Tibet, Derge, has primarily turned to sutras, though they do have some antique thangka woodblocks. Thangka woodblocks are one of the main disciplines of thangka art: painted, appliqué, nag than (black background), ser than (red background), and woodblocks. The woodblocks have become a dying art but her mission is to revitalize the tradition. It still exists in Nepal but almost exclusively as prayer flags.
Faith Stone approaches carving and painting Buddhas and Bodhisattvas as a meditative sadhana. The idea is that the artist creates an environment for the deity to move in. The artwork no longer belongs to the artist, it belongs to the deity. Practicing sadhana with sacred art is incredibly helpful for the aspirant.
Faith uses Japanese mokuhanga techniques for carving and printing her blocks. Mokuhanga is an old-school labor-intensive carving and printing method. Blocks are hand-carved, hand rubbed onto mulberry paper using a baren. Then, Faith hand paints her woodblocks for a fusion of carving and painting.
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