I carved the woodblocks for Green Tara during art residency in Japan while staying at the base of Mount Fuji. I like to bring my Buddhas along where ever I travel and often have them set in local landscapes. This piece was more complicated than many of my earlier works. I carved 5 blocks and hand pressed each artwork on Inshu Kozo Japanese paper with 10 passes of the baren.
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. Here, she is in a Japanese setting with Mount fuji and snow monkeys. I would look at Fuji-san every morning as I began carving and realized I needed to have her in the artwork.
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.
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. Typically a separate block is carved for each color. This artworks has 5 carved woodblocks.
Artist: Faith Stone
Title: Green Tara with Mount Fuji and snow monkeys
Size: 14x11 inches, with double mat, ready to frame
Medium: 5 mokuhanga woodblocks are hand-rubbed onto Japanese Kozo paper using a bamboo baren
Titled, numbered and signed by the artist