Apart and Connected Rose Prayer Beads I

Kinship among and between friends and family in modern society benefits from flexible yet strong linkages. Images, stories, and rituals can help foster relationships that often span distance and time.

Inspiration for this prayer bead painting series took hold a while back with an image of hands fingering a string of cascading beads. Assigned no specific doctrine, that image fueled my needs for connection, caring, and spirituality for some time. I knew a creative endeavor was to come, but did not when or how.

I will wait, she thought. I have always found my wisdom in waiting. I know my own genius and my mind tells me that the time is not here.

Pearl S. Buck, Imperial Woman

Opportunity finally surfaced. A gathering of school friends put urgency and meaning for me to take a next step in transforming this held image into a painting.

I researched strung beads of various faiths and traditions. I reflected on the role hands–holding, grasping, letting go play in one’s life. I mused on various images that stuck in my head and newly entered–the Dalai Lama fingering his prayer beads, Osamu Tezuka’s Kannon of Mercy in Buddha Volume 3, Pope Francis’ Click to Pray eRosary. Joyful memories flowed from my childhood. Sorrowful memories pricked from adulthood. The time was ripe.

My sketchbook filled with options and ideas. Connectivity, education, values, morals, oneness, and unity themes threaded together. An irregular oval took shape. Figures emerged to accommodate an apart yet connected narrative. Detail added emotion and diversity.

Ideas in sketchbook

Gears shifted as music by Wild Up’s Julius Eastman’s Volume 1: Femenine played repeatedly over a multiple days. Cut mulberry paper to size. Hand copy the the design first in pencil then ink. Finally, the glorious watercolor painting begins. Select hue, tone. Consider adjacent color relationships. Decide which shade of blue best captures time. Exercise imagination with hair and wardrobe. Mix unique shades for skin tone for each figure. Problems arise, such as mixing a perfect blonde and avoiding too sweet a pink, and are overcome.

Green colored beads represent the earth and its life giving forces. Rose colored beads carry attributes for courage, confidence, strength, good luck, and safety.

Apart and Connected Earth Prayer Beads I
Apart and Connected Rose Prayer Beads II
Apart and Connected Earth Prayer Beds II (SOLD)

Painting Details
19″ x9 1/2″ each painting (48cm x 24 cm)
Japanese 100% Mulberry Paper
Sennelier Watercolor
Cardboard backing, backing paper, and mylar pagkaging
All material archival and lightfast
Paintings are padded and boxed for shipping
Original Watercolor Painting $350

“Hands inch along bead by bead
Miles traversed ever learning
Mantras, prayers, hopes, dreams clash and mingle
Hands extend in a communal round
Our oneness can bring peace”