Here is an in progress gallery of the Sand Painting Mandala created by the Drepung Loseling monks. I am enthralled with the entire process, but I will just let the images speak for themselves. I did learn today that the sand is actually crushed marble. There is still time left to view the process on the top floor of the Michael C. Carlos Museum at Emory University in Atlanta tomorrow from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. The closing ceremony will take place on Saturday, March 28, from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m.
See the beginning of the process in my previous blog post: Sacred Geometry.
A monk refills his Chak-pur with white sand and tests the flow.
Yes, I know this is not color, but I like how the monochrome brings out the intricacy of the design. The communal nature of the art also moved me.
A monk traces guidelines for the next image in the yellow sand with a stylus.
A close-up of the above photo, showing the delicacy of the process.
Another close-up of the above process. I cannot fathom the patience it takes to do this kind of work!
A monk demonstrates the process to a young visitor on the community sand painting.
Autumn of 2013 was particularly difficult for me in terms of life balance. After coming home that summer from a wonderful vacation in the western United States, I went into a bit of a rut photographically. I had seen and shot so many beautiful things that I found it difficult to be creative on my home turf. That fall, I also had a very heavy teaching load, student count, and other professional obligations. In short, I was having problems motivating myself to get out and shoot, and my workload gave me a great excuse to lay fallow.
I knew by the end of the semester that I needed a good outing, so the day after I submitted all my grades, I took some time to recharge. I decided to go to the Chattahoochee Nature Center on the north side of Atlanta, cameras at the ready. I didn’t know quite what to expect. I learned that the center provides a serene setting to rehabilitate and nurture injured wildlife, especially birds of prey. I began by practicing my wildlife shots on some of these birds before going on a nature hike around the grounds. As I hiked, I vainly pursued a cardinal who was proving quite elusive (Michelle really wants a good cardinal print to hang up in the winter). I took a couple of landscape shots of the river and pond, and I tried my hand at some more detailed nature shots as well. Continue reading →