In history while the sacred works have been considered to be one of the greatest treasures, the hands that created these divine creations are not ordinary. In fact the artists who create these spiritual paintings act as a medium between the devotee or the practitioner and the deity itself. In this position the artists are no ordinary earthly human beings; then they become the instrument through which these deities find their appearance in this samsaric world to benefit the mankind.

The process of creation of these remarkable works of art involves many technical, aesthetic and spiritual concerns. Even until this day the artists begin their new work of art at an auspicious time and day. They often worship their brushes, colors and other tools that are to be used to create the particular image. They meditate upon the image that is to be created as all these exercises would enhance the quality of the work that is to be produced. Since the artists regard themselves as merely an instrument in the process of these divine creations and the act of carrying out this work is simply their service to the divine, the paintings are almost never signed by the artists.

Throughout the process of creating a painting, the artist is aware that they are involved in the creation of a divine entity. The artists understands that they are bringing a deity’s life and soul into this world, a world full of suffering in order to benefit humanity and to protect the universe. This awareness is manifested in the artist’s devotion, humbleness, and humility throughout the creation process of the painting.

Cosmic responsibilities are imposed on the artist that wishes to create a painting. Throughout the creation process, the artist must follow a certain moral conduct to ensure purity in thoughts and actions. The artist must refrain from acts that can result in physical and mental imbalances and impurities. The artist must follow the guidelines mentioned in the scriptures very carefully and respectfully. Compliance with centuries-old tradition and standards along with accommodating new changes is at the heart of this art.

When a devotee commissions a cloth painting, both the patron and artist take on the deity’s qualities and see themselves living in the certain deities environment. This happens to the artist while creating the painting and to the patron while meditating on the completed sacred work.

Due to the spiritual and religious context, a thangka painting can take a few months or years to complete. The complexity involves mastery of various demanding techniques such as: sketching the illustrations according to formal iconography rules laid down by ancient Masters; learning to grind and apply paints made from natural drawing-stone pigments; and applying details in pure gold. From canvas preparation and drawing of the subject to the mixing and application of colors, decorating with gold or silver, the creation of a painting involves the highest level of skill and care at each stage. When completed, the meticulous details and exquisite artisanship of a properly created painting is a marvel to the observer. It brings an immediate sense of peacefulness and thrusts the thoughts of even a casual observer to a high spiritual plane.

When completed, thangkas manifest the life of a deity. Great reverence is needed in order to grasp the beauty and time it takes to create every thangka. We as master artists understand our role of bringing a deity’s life and soul into this world, a world full of suffering in order to benefit humanity. Each deity depicts its own qualities and the paintings are created to assist a mediator to learn and emulate the qualities of a particular deity or to visualize her or his path toward enlightenment. It can bring blessings to the household that possesses a painting and serves as a constant reminder of Buddha’s teachings of compassion, kindness, and wisdom. Paintings of particular deities may be used for protection or to overcome obstacles. For example, Green Tara, the goddess of compassion, is a motherly and protective deity who serves as the envoy of all the enlightened actions of the Buddha.

Thangkas are commissioned upon request. Thangkas are meticulously created by Master Locho and Sarika Singh. Due to the time it takes to create a thangka, the uniqueness of the materials used, and the mastery of the skills involved in each painting, thangkas are intrinsically valuable artistic creations. The value of these unique paintings ranges upward from a few thousand US dollars. If you are interested in commissioning a unique painting from our center, we welcome you to visit out gallery and feel free to contact us and discuss possible options.