Monday, July 13, 2009

Buddha in Austin, A Personal Altar

It's almost been a week since my last post and I still don't have images of my new work. Therefore, I thought I'd share three works that I did of Buddha.

The one I'd like to share today is the first one I did as a gift for my daughter. It was done as a personal altar. In it, I have incorporated things that are part of her life and environment. Several years ago, on a visit to Austin she took me to a spot called Hamilton Pool Nature Preserve. Here Hamilton Creek spills out over a limestone cavern where a waterfall creates a beautiful pool at the bottom. Surrounding it was a very rocky trail along the creek where we did a fun hike. It was a beautiful wild spot and a fun day spent together. The trees and creek behind Buddha are from a composite of photos from that area. She also sent me some photos of a tree overhanging some rocks that she thought I'd like. Her little dog Zita was in that photo. I used all these images as inspiration for the background and sides of this work.

It's painted on a 8"x 6" gessobord with 2" sides in acrylic. The top and sides are all a continuation of the same landscape. The little dog is the photo of Zita that I printed out, covered with soft gel medium and then attached with the same medium to the bottom of the work, painting around it to blend it in. The Buddha (from the Medicine Buddha) figure is holding a red jalapeno pepper in one hand and a red tomato in the other. Foods that she uses regularly. Buddha is enclosed in a border to focus the attention for meditation. I did the border using some of the iridescent and gold colors. The black bird is from one of her mosaic works, where she used it as a symbol.

The bottom portion is a 6" x 6" gessobord attached under the 2" bottom, leaving a 4" x 6" base. This I did as a meditation finger labyrinth using tiny painted stones, also attached with gel medium as a glue. I painted the bottom as though it were water extending from the rocks underthe trees into a pond. The stones were were also to represent the mosaic work that she does. I've added a fossil from that area and some roots to bring the piece together.

It's wired to hang or there is also a saw tooth hanger to have it hang flatter. It can also stand on a pedestal as in the photos.

This was a very complex undertaking for me in many ways. I found it very satisfying to do, with thoughts of my daughter floating in and out while working on it. It was very meditative and brought me back to remembering to breathe and let go. I think she was pleased with it. I know it was a big surprise. It was done with love.

Buddha in Austin, A Personal Altar
8" x 6" x 4", Acrylic on Gessobord, (painting continued on deep sides and top), Stones, Fossil and Root Fibers

Please pardon the less than sharp images as I took photos and not scans of the work. This work is copyright of the artist, Barbara A. Freeman, all rights reserved.


DEB said...

Very pretty Barbara!

Anonymous said...

Hi Mom,
It is a beautiful piece and to say I was pleased with it, would be an understatement because I Love It. :)

It's such a dynamic piece with the way the trees wrap around, the water continues and the three dimensional pieces of the fossil, the root and the labyrinth.

I love seeing all the time and having it in a space that's quiet and personal.

I hope you can do something else like this too sometime.

Barbara A. Freeman said...

janie olsen has sent you a link to a blog:

Hi Barbara so glad you shared this---I love it and the little dog Zita makes me happy! janie

Barbara A. Freeman said...

Thanks Gina. I'm really pleased you love it. I enjoyed making it for you. : )

Thanks Deb and Janie. Zita seems to make Gina happy too. That's why I knew I had to include her in the work. I've never met Zita, but I hear about her all the time. She was a rescue dog and is very spoiled now.

Mona said...

It's very special Barbara. Especially love the mosaic and the addition of three dimensional objects to integrate it.

Barbara A. Freeman said...

Thanks so much, Mona. I can truly appreciate the skill needed putting tiny stones down with tweezers. They kept flipping all over the place! It was definitely a crude attempt but accomplished what I was trying to do.