Thursday, June 29, 2006

June 29th...Ticking clocks and tight schedules...

Today Amber joined me for some Stupa work. This little gal, Sophie, keeps her pretty busy, but we're hoping to break Sophie in early to this sacred work! Here she got her first ride in the Stupa truck! Posted by Picasa

Today I turned my attention here. This photo is from last weekend, when we were last up there. It was an overcast day, so the colors aren't as bright, but it's a reference for what follows. You might be able to see (or not), but there are cracks in the concrete that need to be repaired, as well as areas where the caulk has been lost around the reliefs (they are fortran, a material that does not hold up to weather unless sealed). The crew is small these days, but we're still getting by! Amber helped me get the ladder up, and that's all it took to get me up there! Posted by Picasa

As I stood on the ladder to begin scraping, sanding and repairing up here, I noticed this...some very prominent shading...very high contrast (as opposed to some gradual blending) in colors... Posted by Picasa

Here's a close up of the reds... Posted by Picasa

Not only was there shading, but some patterns to remember as well... Posted by Picasa

In this photo you can see that the forward ribbon in the banner has the pattern on it, while the rear ribbon is a solid color... Posted by Picasa

More shading. Terri, the artist who originally painted these, had mentioned that the shading needs to be particularly intense, otherwise it won't be seen from the ground. She said she ended up repainting much of it for that reason, noticing it wasn't visible from the ground once the images were mounted... Posted by Picasa

You can see there are dark greens and ligher greens here. Shading in the colors everywhere, hence, this series of photos before I sanded... Posted by Picasa

I worked alone on the platform today, but not without supervision! Amber and her gang kept an eye on me! Posted by Picasa

I was able to get Amber up on the platform for a few minutes she could have a chance to fill a few cracks... Posted by Picasa

I used clear caulk, so you can't see it, but that crack is caulked (as were many others). Once the repair material cures we can prime this area and get ready for paint! Posted by Picasa

Here's where I left it. Caulked and repairs done, at least for now. Thunder rolls overhead as I write this, so who knows if those repairs have cured enough not to run right out of there...But tomorrow is another day... Posted by Picasa

Tomorrow we'll be getting back to some painting! The weather, schedules, and usual obstacles have kept it slow this week. Mikki will be out, and hopefully we won't do anything that worries our resident artist too much! The ground is soggy, but there are already folks coming out to hang with the Stupas, so it is our hope that you too will take some time and make the trip to Poolesville! The Stupas exist for no other reason than to bring benefit to beings, they are here for you! Posted by Picasa

Monday, June 26, 2006

June 26th...Rained out but catching up!

This is a shot of the relief on the Migyur Dorje Stupa from 1995, when the Stupa was built. I'm posting it to show a reference to the colors. We've been working primarily from photos taken last year, before we primed it, and the colors were evidently quite faded. The pint of the lotus petals looked white, Migyur Dorje's skin looked totally white (pink here), his robe looked teal, while here it looks darker, with an even darker green tone in the collar. Lisa, forgive me for not finding this sooner...but do know I've uploaded a full resolution image to, in a new album I've created just for images of the relief. We worked on it on Saturday, as you're about to see... Posted by Picasa

Having taken up an artist sized paint brush myself now, and worked with the multiple colors, I've grown to totally appreciate reference photos. Lisa kept on me last year to take them, and I did, but now she doesn't even need to ask! Our plan is to repair the few cracks in this face of the gau and then prime it, hopefully this week. Of course, that might sound like progress but it means all these colors will go I got the camera out and went to work... Posted by Picasa

This is a close up of the umbrella, complete with peacock feathers!  Posted by Picasa

This is a look at the flowers on the side, that large flower looks slightly pink. We've noticed the pinks have faded badly over the years, looking almost white. Posted by Picasa

This is a detail of the end of the red ribbon in the relief above the gau. I took the shot because there are little black "x"s on it, a detail we might forget when going back after this area is primed. We've found the detail photos from last year really helpful as we paint below, so wanted to cover the rest of it today... Posted by Picasa

Despite the cloudy skies and calls for rain, the sun breaking through rattled us to the point where we had to risk it...Though we aren't fond of counting down, alas, it is our destiny anyways. With our upcoming retreat at the end of July, and our precious Lamas coming in August, we've got to take every ray of sunshine that falls on our days off! Posted by Picasa

When I think of paint brushes, I think in terms of 2 inch, or 4 inch's a look at what we're using now! They're tiny, but even so, believe it or not they're still sometimes to big! It's a whole new world for this Ani, but Lisa here is in her element, and it shows...thank goodness! Posted by Picasa

This is as far as we got today...but you can see Migyur Dorje is starting to come to life! Posted by Picasa

Here Lisa surveys our work from the ground. We've covered a lot in the past few days, but we're doing the less tedious work. Now we're moving into the phase where detailed work is about to begin, so the progress may look slower. It rained on Sunday, so we headed out to the Stupa Park and mounted 3 of 8 new bronze reliefs! No photos (sorry, this cam isn't water resistent). I had planned to go back out and finish today, but the plans for the day were thwarted! Posted by Picasa's a view of the Stupa from my car. It was raining, at times extremely heavily (really, many roads were flooding). Plans A, B, and C were dashed, so I did some circumambulation (a little water won't stop that!) and retired to my apartment.  Posted by Picasa

To give an idea how much rain we're talking about, here's a shot of the sidewalk next to the Safeway where I picked up some groceries! No, that's not a planned waterfall! That's the sidewalk! So today represents a rain day, plain and simple. We may have rainy day activities we can engage in, but nothing that would stand up to these storms. Though Amber did show up, as I did, to give it a go. Next day back will be Thursday, and current forecasts call for this amazing rain to be gone by then. They're saying we've gotten 8 inches of rain in the past two days! Yikes! But, once the storms let up and the streets emerge from the flash floods, it is our sincere hope that you will come on out and see the Stupas for yourselves! Posted by Picasa

Friday, June 23, 2006

Of all the tasks required during this renovation, from sandblasting to power washing to building, this aspect has by far been the most fun. Not that fun is the objective, but watching Migyur Dorje come into being is an amazing process.  Posted by Picasa