Listening - watching
taking a moment
drawing the world
finding the way to connection
again and again.

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Sunday, February 10, 2019

Earth Boar banners

Each year I create banners for Sky Lake Meditation Center
for Tibetan New Year / Losar / Shambhala Day.
This year the celebration was on February 5th.
I begin by going on the internet to gather ideas
for the animal and element of the year.
Then I start to sketch out designs and play with the banner form.

 This year, 2019, is the Earth Boar / Earth Pig / Earth Sow year .

The banners measured 22" x 6' and were painted on an earthy red fabric.
The paint was sumi ink and white acrylic. 

I started with ancient Chinese pictograms.
There is something so distilled and essential about these shapes.
I combined the pictogram for Earth and Pig 
so that they shared a common line in the center.

Next I let the letters stack and interact 
using a contemporary form of the Medieval Uncial alphabet
that seemed to fit with the shape of pigs.
The boar head became a decorative touch.

Then a lively italic script took charge 
and the boar became mask-like and mysterious. 

Here the numerals dominated
and created spaces and edges to play within.

Then some pigs showed up - 
floating and connected by a thread of vertical letters.

And Earth Mountains appeared 
with the boar and numerals becoming a kind of seal chop at the bottom. 

And finally - leaping and running pigs.

May this year bring us all some enlivening wisdom
and steady perseverance !