Telling the Buddha's Story Through Art
Carmen Mensink began her impassioned study of thangka painting, an ancient Buddhist art form, in 1999, when she met and began studying under thangka master Andy Weber. Now a master herself, Mensink teaches the history and techniques behind thangka painting internationally.
Carmen Mensink paints a thangka (also called a scroll painting) of the Eight Medicine Buddha. The painting of thangkas in Nepal and Tibet was a highly developed and important means of expression, through which Buddhist philosophy could be explained.
Mensink describes the process by saying, "Painting these enlightened images is like meditation, and for me this is the ideal combination of practicing art and Buddhism at the same time."
This is part of a larger painting of Green Tara, the Buddha of active compassion and liberation. Thangka paintings are used as teaching tools to tell the story of the life (or lives) of the Buddha, describe historical events concerning important Lamas, or retell myths associated with other deities.
"With my teachings on this art, which I do with a lot of joy and dedication, I hope to inspire people....I would like to make a small contribution to pass on this beautiful tradition in the right way," says Mensink.
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