Portfolio > New Work 2019

Two Taras with humpback whale
Two Taras with humpback whale
mokuhanga woodblocks on kozo paper

My background is traditional Tibetan thangka painting. I like to have a historical reference for projects and found a rare thangka in the London museum showing both Green and White Tara. That was the affirmation I needed to create this artwork. The setting is the Big Island Hawaii with Hualalai Mountain and a breaching whale in the background.

Tara is a female Bodhisattva and an important goddess deity in both Buddhism and Hinduism. Tara represents the fundamental female aspect of the universe, which gives birth to warmth, compassion and relief from bad karma as experienced by ordinary beings in cyclic existence (samsara). She engenders, nourishes and has profound sympathy for all living beings and acts to relieve suffering wherever she can.

Tara traditionally holds an utpala, or blue lotus, in her right hand at chest level, which simultaneously displays the vitarka (teaching) mudra. The utpala is a night-blooming flower. Tara protects at our time of greatest fear, during both the physical night and while we exist in the darkness of our ignorance. The lotus is renowned for its purity, remaining unstained in even the most contaminating of environments.

This is a very large mokuhanga woodblock. It is quite difficult to carve and print a block this large. Mokuhanga is the traditional Japanese style of woodblock prints. The block is printed onto Japanese Kozo or mulberry paper by hand rubbing with a barren. The inks used are sumi and watercolor inks. Mokuhanga is a labor-intensive old school printmaking practice. I hand painted this woodblock after printing.

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Title: Two Taras
Artist: Faith Stone
Size: 30x26 inches
titled, numbered, and signed by the artist