Tuesday, November 8, 2011

The Place where Imagination and Spirit Met - part 1

Kuan Yin
When I decided to do something with my Marquetry besides covering hat boxes, I was enamoured with the Goddess Kuan Yin and what she represented.  Kuan Yin is the Buddhist Goddess of Compassion and Mercy.  For many years I thought having compassion for someone meant taking on their problems as my own.  But I found that if I take on someone else's emotional trauma as if it is my own, then I become overwhelmed myself and can't offer up love and support.  I think it goes more like this:

                                                Never give up
                                                No matter what is going on
                                                Never give up
                                                Develop the heart
                                                Too much energy in your country is spent
                                                Developing the mind instead of the heart.

                                                Be compassionate not just to your friends but to everyone
                                                Be compassionate.
                                                Work for peace in your heart and in the world.
                                                Work for peace and I say again
                                                Never give up.
                                                No matter what is happening,
                                                No matter what is going on around you,
                                                Never give up.

                                                                    -His Holiness the Dalai Lama

So what does that have to do with Marquetry or artwork in general?  Sometimes when you begin a project, you have no real idea of how it will go, what the steps will be to get there but you have an idea born of inner sight (imagination) that I believe is my spirit wanting to make what it knows manifest into the physical.  So even if I have never tried to create in that medium, in that way, I know that the way will open to me if I just let it flow through me, never give up, and the answers to potential creative issues will just come when I need them.  Creativity on faith?  I have never doubted the solutions to dilemmas will come.  Art is a reflection of life.


 This is where I began this journey.  A simple line drawing.  Once I am happy with that, I transfer the design to a piece of quarter inch plywood using graphite paper.

Then I began by putting in the larger background pieces and blocking in the figure of the Goddess.  The background is done in Rainbow Poplar.  Her veil and kimono trim is purpleheart.  Her kimono is in bleached white Anagre.

Here you can see that I have started putting in the dragon.  The dragon's mane is pear wood.  The main body of the dragon is done in walnut.  Each scale of the dragon was hand cut and then layered on one at a time like making a shingle roof.  I then inlaid a thin band of shell veneer incorporating it into the base of the mane and tail.  I used a different shell veneer to make up the petals of the lotus flower in her hand.

At this point, I added the copper and 24K gold leafing to the sun behind her head and on her crown.

dragon head detail
dragon tail detail

I was having issues with the picture placement so I opted to continue this by dividing it into two parts.  I hope you will continue on by reading part 2.

1 comment:

  1. Love the quote from His Holiness The Dalai Lama. Just what I needed today. Your artwork continues to be totally awesome.