There is a true feminist movement in Buddhism that is related to the Goddess, Tārā. During her cultivation of bodhicitta (enlightened mind), she studied the situation of people who were striving towards full awakening. She felt that there were too few women who attained Buddhahood (the person with an awakened mind and has attained nirvana). So she stated, “I vow to be born as a woman during all of my lifetimes along the path towards reaching the bodhicitta state. When I attain Buddhahood in my final lifetime, then too, I will be a woman.”
Within Tibetan Buddhism, the Goddess Tārā has 21 major forms. Each is linked to a certain colour and energy. Each offers some feminine attribute that is of ultimate benefit to the spiritual aspirant who asks for her assistance.
I have studied Tibetan Buddhism and appreciate its beautiful concepts and thoughts. So I thought I would dedicate one of my paintings to this practice. Rainbow Tara is the result. She is all of the goddesses melded into one. Her flowing hair has all the colours that she can turn into and flows in beautiful waves.
I used my daughter as the model for this beautiful Tara whose face is white. I was very precise while doing this work and painted the hair with a very steady hand.
This artwork is made only in oil paint. It was one of the few last ones that I did without using any acrylic paint.
My mother, who is a tapestry weaver, really liked this painting. She made a beautiful tapestry based on it that is just the same size as the original. It is included here.