ROHMANA  D’AREZZO      THANGKA  PAINTING

 

    Rohmana began her study and apprenticeship of Thangka Painting at Naropa Institute in Boulder, Colorado under the tutelage of Vidyadhara Chogyam Trungpa with the master Tikse drawing and Thangka painter Glen Eddy and master colorist Terris Temple.

Thangkas are traditional Tibetan painted tapestries which are designed to support meditation.  They contain images of deities and religious figures representing spiritual and historical events.  Originally they were painted on monastery and temple walls as frescos. 

The making of a Thangka begins with preparing the canvas, a natural fiber cloth that is sewn & stretched on to a frame and stiffened with glue.  It is then coated with gesso, a mixture of lime and chalk, and smoothly polished with a shell.  Ideally the colors are made from grinding natural materials such as lapis lazuli , cinnabar, malachite etc. 

The painting begins by first making a grid for the basic proportional drawing. Its measurements are achieved by using a small bamboo stick marked with measured spaces. The completed drawing is outlined in black with a brush, ( some of the brushes used for detail are very small having only 3 hairs). The details and dimensions are in strict accordance with mathematical measurements from the lineage school that is followed.  When the painting is complete it is outlined in gold leaf. And finally the eyes are painted.

    The Thangka is framed with 3 layers of different colored silk brocade sewn together.  At the top a wood finial is placed.  Red and yellow cloth is sewn from the top of the canvas so as to be able to fold over the painting, protecting its surface. It can then be rolled like a scroll, and is portable. 

    The  thangka is blessed and inscribed with prayers by the Buddhist teacher. A small window is left open at the back of the canvas to be able to view the prayer.

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