Portfolio > New Work 2023

VajraPani with conch shells
Mokuhanga woodblock on mulberry paper

VajraPani, holder of the thunderbolt represents the energy of the enlightened mind and energy that breaks through illusion. VajraPani is a ferocious looking protector deity. He is said to devour ghosts. He holds a Vajra, diamond thunderbolt to cut through obscurations and he holds a hook to catch aspirants who loose their way or fall into darkness. VajraPani is shown dancing wildly within a halo of flames, which represent transformation. He cuts through the darkness of delusion.

VajraPani’s form can seem scary or demonic from a Western mindset. In fact, I have seen him labeled as a demon in art exhibits where, clearly the curator did not understand. He is not a demon but a protector who is said to devour hungry ghost and defends practitioners. I was explaining this to a former high school student. I told him he looks scary but actually, he is a really good guy. The student said, “Oh, like the Hulk!” Yes, big and scary but friend of yogis and meditators.

I painstakingly carved a large Mokuhanga woodblock and then hand printed onto Japanese paper, with Sumi ink. Mokuhanga is a traditional Japanese woodcarving and printing technique. It is labor-intensive with hand carving and hand rubbing the prints using watercolor inks. I then hand-painted this woodblockprint making it one of a kind.

Title: VajraPani with conch shells
Artist: Faith Stone
Size: 22x28 inches
Date: 2023
Medium: Mokuhanga woodblock hand rubbed onto mulberry paper