Buddha Gallery — Buddha Jottings

I'm fascinated by the process through which an image comes into being. I love discovering the working method of other artists by looking through their sketchbooks, or seeing preliminary studies, and drafts of work in progress. It interests me to see the stepping stones towards completed pieces.

My own sketchbooks and meditation diaries are full of these kinds of explorations. Exploring Buddhist iconography, I make 'Buddha-jottings' which catch an idea or a moment of experience. The colours and textures are chosen for their evocation of mood or felt sense.

Here are a few of my sketches, musings on paper and on screen.

Avalokitesvara sketch

Four armed Avalokitesvara (2015)
Pencil Sketch worked into digitally on the iPad

Avalokitesvara is the Bodhisattva of Compassion. The starting point for this sketch was a pencil drawing of a stone angel in a cemetery. The image references both Western and Eastern icons.

Sketch: African Tara

African Tara (1999)
Sketchbook study
gouache and pencil

I never know when a sketch will come into play for later work. The concept of Vajrapani exploding like a firework, and the oil study of his face (both shown below) were useful reference points for the Vajrapani commission carried out a couple of years later (see the Commissions page) while the idea for an African Tara shown above has yet to work its way into a more developed painting.

Sketch: Vajrapani

A Vajrapani for the Millenium (01.01.2000)
Sketchbook study
Crayon and gold pen

Study for Vajrapani

Wrathful Vajrapani (2002)
Oil study on wood
37cm x 46cm

Sketch: Kshitigarbha

Kshitigarbha (1998)
Sketchbook study; crayon
28cm x 20cm