What do you dream of? For artist Jen Walls, dreams include travel to places that awaken her curiosity and creativity. Her art is fed and inspired by places she’s travelled to and the places she would like to go. We invited her to tell us the story behind “Po Lin Monastery” a new exclusive art flag from Flagology that features Jen Walls’ mixed media depiction of the peaceful and majestic face of the Po Lin Monastery Buddha. Here’s what Jen had to say:
This piece was inspired by a trip to Thailand. For my fiftieth birthday, my sister and I went backpacking through this amazing country for ten days. I was mesmerized by Buddhas….tall ones, short ones, fat ones and skinny ones. Peaceful Buddhas, laughing Buddhas, walking Buddhas and sitting Buddhas. Buddhas next to Hindu gods, ponds, farms, mountains and city streets. Buddhas hanging from taxi cab mirrors and shop windows. Buddhas in spirit houses in back yards. Buddha beauty everywhere.
The faces of the Buddha are many. And some resonate in a way that can’t be explained. I came back from Thailand with many Buddha faces — on art from street vendors, on jewelry and in photos. But I hadn’t yet found the face which best spoke to me.
I began searching for new places to travel, and stumbled across an image of a golden Buddha mask, suspended from a wall at Po Lin Monastery in China. This one spoke to me. The huge mask, suspended in the air, loomed large and powerful, and yet was peaceful and protective. I sketched the mask, let my watercolor paints give it the peace and mood I felt when I gazed at it, and then let my pen wander (as we doodlers do!) until the ink spoke the overwhelming emotion the mask left with me. Adding metallic gold paint to the lips was the final touch, giving a richness to this image and majesty to the face.
Po Lin Monastery is now my next travel dream. Who knows? Perhaps for my sixtieth?
See Po Lin and the entire Jen Walls collection here http://flagology.com/jenwalls/