Friday, September 19, 2014

Tibetan Buddhist Monastery in Greenwood

9/19/14 Platinum Carbon and Diamine Grey inks, watercolor, Canson XL 140 lb. paper

I know nothing about the Sakya Monastery of Tibetan Buddhism, which is on the corner of North 83rd and First Avenue Northwest in the Greenwood neighborhood. Sketching it today, however, taught me two things: Bright yellow and red must be symbolic, reverent colors for this Buddhist sect, so although I usually don’t pay much attention to getting the colors of buildings exactly right, I tried my best for accuracy in this case. The second thing I learned is that animals and nature must be important; two lions flank the stairway leading up to the ornate fa├žade and doorway, and two deer are atop the front overhang.

9/17/14 Pilot Iroshizuku Take-Sumi ink
When I first spotted this monastery on my way to an appointment a few days ago, I had only five minutes to spare, so I quickly hopped out of the car to sketch one of the lions. Today on a sunny afternoon, I took my time with the colorful front.

Not shown in my sketch is the whole right side of the building, where an elaborate percussion system stands exposed. At first I thought the cylindrical objects were bells, and I wondered how the monks kept neighborhood children (or adults) from ringing them at all hours. (I figured the clappers must be removable.) Today after school let out, a few kids walked by, and right on cue, they made a swing past the cylindrical objects. Instead of gonging them, however, the kids knew to spin the cylinders, which made a soft rattly sound, like they were filled with seeds or pebbles. I have to come back another day to sketch them.

1 comment:

  1. Wonderful sketches, Tina. You're lucky to have such a great building to sketch. Those lions are called Chinese guardian lions and typically guard major buildings as pairs, representing yin and yan.

    Cheers --- Larry


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