“Share Peace” is the 2014 theme for the Hongwanji temples of Hawai’i. A few months ago there was a photo/art contest for the upcoming 2014 calendar put out by Honpa Hongwanji. The contest asked, “Can you picture peace?” I thought long and hard about the different ways that peace can be manifested, and in the end decided to illustrate a path to finding peace within.
Inner peace is an essential component in being able to share peace with others. When you have peace in your heart, it radiates outward. The Nembutsu can not only lead to inner peace through entrusting Amida Buddha, but can also inspire compassion to share with others. The Japanese characters radiating outward are 南無阿弥陀仏 Namo Amida Butsu – mindfulness of Amida Buddha.
Hawai’i is the first state in the US to officially recognize Peace Day (September 21st, same as the United Nations International Peace Day). Peace starts as an idea, powerful enough to transcend all boundaries. A day when people of all backgrounds can come together to share their dreams of peace is very powerful. There are many roads to peace, but they all start with what you choose to share with others.
Halloween is one of my favorite holidays. Yet pumpkin carving is an art that I really should dabble in more often. It’s lots of fun, and with the right tools, not too difficult.
I picked this pumpkin at a local farm (yes there are pumpkin farms in Hawai’i). The weather was perfect, and it was fun to stroll through the rows of sunflowers, corn, green beans, and pumpkins. A friend and I each carved our own pumpkin. I was surprised at how easily the tools from the pumpkin carving kit sliced through the pumpkin – much easier than the knives I used to use growing up. It makes me want to create an even more intricate design for next year.
How did I get inspiration for an Amida Buddha pumpkin? It just popped into my head. Hardly traditional Halloween decor. But just as Jack-o-lanterns light pathways, the Buddha also illuminates a path. On this night celebrating the connection between this world and the next, it is a reminder that not everything on the other side is scary.
Hibiscus flowers are some of the most popular flowers here in Hawai’i, and one of the most iconic. I’m no plant expert, but I think that this is the species Hibiscus rosa-sinensis which is native to East Asia but now very common in Hawai’i. However, there are also many Hibiscus varieties that are native to Hawai’i in a full rainbow of colors. And yes – tourist and local women alike occasionally tuck a blossom behind our ear (although it can be hard to get them to stay!)
This is a digital oil painting I did inspired by one of my photos. I painted it in Photoshop using digital brushes designed to simulate real oil-painting brushes on a canvas texture.
“Old fashioned” 2D doodling not enough? Never fear – the wave of the future is here! This new pen will literally lift your work right off the page!
I know that I definitely want one of these when they come out. I’ve dabbled in sculpting in clay before, but it never seems to quite comes out the way I would have drawn it on a page. Don’t get me wrong – it’s still fun and uniquely beautiful in its own way, but I’m more naturally inclined to brushes and pens (or mice for digital art). On the other hand, this pen looks like it was designed to function in 3D the same way that other pens function in 2D. With it, creation seems like a combination of drawing and building 3D models where the pieces are then welded together. It’ll be fun to see what I cam come up with. Mind you, I’ll probably burn through the first few bags of plastic on day one, but it’ll be fun ;D
Inspired by my Illuminating Lotus photo, but with a very different feel from my similarly-inspired Rainbow Etching Lotus, this art piece has a glow that radiates outward. Of the three, this one seems the most otherworldly and mysterious, akin to a latent inner nature just waiting to shine.
When technology fails, people are often quick to throw out the old and replace it with the newest model. But occasionally the results of such glitches and malfunctions are nothing short of spectacular. Such is the case of a “broken” Polaroid camera that, while not able to function in the conventional sense, is now able to do something new that the original could not: create abstract and surreal art. The photos have soft watercolor wash style backgrounds, combined with areas with great detail that really pop. Many of the detailed areas have a crystal effect. Part of what is alluring about these photos is that it is impossible to tell what the original subjects might have been – they are completely unique creations unto themselves. While an article mentions that the photographer has learned how to get the most out of the specific “defects” that the camera has, the results are always unique and unpredictable.
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ETA: As of Sunday afternoon, these codes are still valid and available.
Jizo (地蔵) is a Buddhist bodhisattva known as the guardian of travelers and children, particularly children who die before their parents die. He is one of the most popular figures in Japan, with statues commonly found along roadsides and in graveyards. Parents praying for the health of a sick child, or grieving and seeking protection for their child’s spirit, often clothe the statues. This art piece was inspired by a stone statue of Jizo at Daihonzan Miyoshinji (大本山妙心寺) in Kyoto, Japan.
Jizo is also popular in other parts of Asia, where his names include:
– Sanskrit: Kṣitigarbha क्षितिगर्भ
– Chinese: Dìzàng 地藏
– Korean: ji jang 지장
– Tibetan: sa yi snying po ས་ཡི་སྙིང་པོ
– Vietnamese: Địa Tạng Vương bồ tát
– Thai: Phra Kasiti Khappha Phothisat พระกษิติครรภโพธิสัตว์