Green Nature Goddess, 2010

Tibetan Buddhism and its imagery have been of great interest to me for many years. I have visited many beautiful Buddhist monasteries with lovely images painted on the walls.

I have seen images of Green Tara in many different forms, but decided to use inspiration sourced from my heart to my mind’s eye to create this image. I show Green Tara as a green mother who is free. That is why I used birds to give her facial expressions. White swans on her forehead rise up in pleasure. Bright green peacock feathers sprout left and right. The birds represent the freedom to fly up and down and swirl every direction. Nature is at work and will do as it pleases.

Oh! This green mother is also a teacher, a protector of life and freedom from fear. In fact, Green Tara (Khadiravani) is usually associated with protection from fear and the following eight symbols and their associated meanings. These are lions (= pride), wild elephants (= delusion/ignorance), fires (= hatred and anger), snakes (= jealousy), bandits and thieves (= wrong views, including fanatical views), bondage (= avarice and miserliness), floods (= desire and attachment), and evil spirits and demons (= deluded doubts).

This painting was very hard to paint. For some reason, the paint was very sticky and gooey. Maybe it was the weather, maybe it was the atmosphere, maybe there were other surrounding factors. Nevertheless, I had to keep on trying, pushing and working on it. It did not flow very easily, but the result was absolutely stunning!

This artwork has an acrylic background and for the face of the mother, but the birds were all painted using oil paint. The solid look of oil paint makes the birds appear real and concrete while the goddess is more transparent and light, like a green cloud.