Casey Shannon Studio Image

The Sound of One Hand: Reaching Beyond the limits of Traditional Ink Painting

Sunday, March 13, 2016

Mala Beads ~ A Prayer Chant ~ Meditation


Sketch of my Mala Beads
by Casey Shannon

I have been chanting and meditating for many years now. It soothes me and relaxes my brain while bringing spirit to my soul. My mala beads or prayer beads help me focus my mind while doing a chanting meditation. My fingers flow over the beads while chanting and help to create focus and a calm within my heart.

What are Mala Beads you ask?
These special beads are called malas (or japa malas), and they have been in existence for thousands of years. You can find them almost anywhere in the world, although their earliest origins stem from India and Nepal – where meditation has been practiced longest. Today anyone can use mala beads as a way to create calm and peace of mind in everyday life. Malas are used in traditional prayer and meditation, although anyone can begin to use malas without prior experience.
 Each mala contains a set number of beads (usually 108) representing spiritual identity and connection with the universe. In meditation the idea is to move one bead at a time, using each movement as an opportunity to focus on a breath or mantra. This process creates positive spiritual energy – known as ‘japa.’

A standard japa mala will usually contain 108 beads, the number representing the coordinates of the spiritual center of the universe. The guru bead (largest bead at the top, or the bead marked with a tassel) represents the sacred bond of the student-teacher relationship. Therefore, when meditating, it is advised to turn around and reverse directions when you reach the guru bead – to avoid “stepping over” one’s teacher. 

What are Malas made of?
Traditional malas are made using organic materials such as plant seed, wood, and animal bone, which are carved or shaped into rounded beads. Historically, malas made of Rudraksha seed are thought to carry special significance, as the seed is believed to hold spiritual and healing power. Similarly, malas made from Bodhi seeds represent the ancient fig tree under which Buddha attained enlightenment more than 3,000 years ago.
 Mala beads made from carved bone are common in Tibetan culture – signifying impermanence and the necessity for compassion during our time in this world. And mala beads made from wood or tagua nut represent a spiritual connection with the earth – great for promoting mindfulness and grounding energy during meditation.

 Malas can be made using a wide variety of gemstones with specific healing properties. For example, rose quartz (pink) promotes compassion, lapis (blue) helps calm the mind, and amethyst (purple) is believed to enhance clarity of thought. Malas can also be made of metal, shell, or other materials that can be inscribed or painted with words, symbols, and mantras.
 
 Here are three of my malas and their symbolism properties.

 Labradorite Mala                                    Bone Mala ~ India
Self- Reliance & Personal Faith           Encouraging Compassion 

Brown Tagua Mala. Made of Tagua plant nut. Made in Ecuador. These organic mala beads are a great way for you to be mindful of the environment while you meditate. Tagua, also known as “Vegetable Ivory” or “Green Ivory” is a type of hard nut found in the fruit pods of the Tagua palm tree.

Casey Shannon
Director of North America Branch ~ ICCPS
International Chinese Calligraphy and Ink Painting Sociey

国際中国書法国画家協会アメリカ支部:Ms. Casey Shannon アメリカ現代水墨画家
Copyright ©  Casey Shannon Studio Art. All rights reserved


 
凱西香儂齋


 

Thursday, March 10, 2016

Ink Stick Making

The Ink Stick

The ink stick is one of the "Four Treasure" of sumi (ink) painting. The Four Treasures are paper, brush, ink, and stone. Ink sticks are often overlooked as an important ingredient to sumi painting with the now readily available ink in bottles. The making of an ink stick is an art in and of itself. Please view the below short video on making ink sticks.





 

I use ink sticks and grind my own ink for sumi-e and I also use bottled ink. The general rule is that ink is ground for calligraphy and bottled ink is used for sumi-e. (sumi = ink and sumi-e = ink painting). Rules are made to be broken!

Below is an unusual and different sumi-e that I created using the art of grinding my ink with an ink stick and stone for use in this painting.

Standing Tall - Bird's Eye View
by Casey Shannon
Ink on Xuan Paper

You can view more of my recent works: HERE

Casey Shannon
Director of North America Branch ~ ICCPS
International Chinese Calligraphy and Ink Painting Sociey

国際中国書法国画家協会アメリカ支部:Ms. Casey Shannon アメリカ現代水墨画家
Copyright ©  Casey Shannon Studio Art. All rights reserved


 
凱西香儂齋
 

Monday, February 8, 2016

Year of the Monkey 2016

Monkey Sumi-e
by Kayo Beach
ICCPS North America Member

The Year of the Monkey 2016 starts today, February 8, 2016.

The Chinese New Year of the Fire Monkey will start on February 8, 2016 – the second New Moon after the Solstice. Following 12 months of the dignified and surefooted Goat, the New Year of the Red Monkey is going shake, rattle and roll!
 

The Monkey’s Personality

Monkey years draw their nature from the animal of the year. The Monkey is an intelligent, witty, and inventive animal. They are problem solvers, working with their group while simultaneously demonstrating an independence associated with achievers. The nimble monkey is playful, youthful in nature, and is a joy to watch as they move from activity to activity.

In the traditional Chinese mind, which is echoed in the annually-reprinted ancient almanac, the Monkey is very intelligent, hyperactive and strong-minded. He represents the unfettered mind freed from inhibitions and guilt. Relieving himself from the heavy burdens of a touchy conscience, the Monkey type will not hesitate to test his theories, experiment and think the unthinkable. In his domain, everything is possible. What is difficult, he could do right away; what is impossible may take a little longer.


Monkey Sumi-e 
By Kalpa MacLachlan
ICCPS North America Branch Member
 

THE YEAR OF THE MONKEY 2016

The positive and negative quality of the Monkey Year 2016 culminate in a year that anything can happen. There is little point in storing up goods or planning one’s life. The influence of the Monkey puts everything into flux. Things will get accomplished, but largely through personal and individual efforts. Group movements, such as political upheaval or revolutions, will not make a mark during this year.

This cheeky animal bursts with exuberance, bringing a lightening fast pace and fantastical motivation. The Monkey increases communication, humor and wit, helping us get through stressful times with grace and ease. Business flourishes and risks tend to pan out. The Monkey’s gift is the ability to find unconventional solutions to old problems. Daring to be different can lead to success.

Monkey Sumi-e
By Tai Oi Yee
ICCPS North America Branch Member
 
A particularly auspicious time for new inventions, the Year of the Monkey is for taking risks and being rebellious, a year where agile, inventive minds, sheer guts and bravado will win out. Now is the time of courage, action, anarchy, and true devotion to even the wildest of schemes, a time to start new endeavors, for they are destined to succeed under Monkey’s influence. But a word to the wise: those who can hang on for the wild ride, outsmart the confidence-trickster, and bluff their way through will come out unscathed. Those who are dull or slow witted, and can’t handle the stress will come unglued.

On the individual level, do go ahead with your life. Move forward, make strides, and stretch out for what may lay ahead. The Year Of The Monkey 2016 is a time for business considered as risky, and here the seeds of unplanned success lays. Run with ideas, embrace the inventive, and don’t look back.
 
Monkey Sumi-e 
By Andrea Erickson
ICCPS North America Branch Member
 

CHINESE HOROSCOPE 2016 SUMMARY:  Is it a Good Year for you?

How will each Chinese Astrological sign fare in the year of the Monkey?

The almanac also states how people born under other signs will fare in the year of the Monkey. This is a generally auspicious year for Rats, Oxen, Dragons, Horses, Monkeys, Roosters and Dogs. This could be a difficult year for Tigers, Snakes, Dogs and Boars. Rabbits should beware their finances. Sheep should take care of their health.  
(Astrology Club)

 Monkey Sumi-e
By Patricia Larkin Green
ICCPS North America Branch Member

Monkey Sumi-e 
By Alejandro Angio
ICCPS North America Branch Member
 
Casey Shannon
Director of North America Branch ~ ICCPS
International Chinese Calligraphy and Ink Painting Sociey

国際中国書法国画家協会アメリカ支部:Ms. Casey Shannon アメリカ現代水墨画家
Copyright ©  Casey Shannon Studio Art. All rights reserved


 
凱西香儂齋
 

Thursday, January 7, 2016

First Brush of 2016


Blue Pine Ridge
by Casey Shannon

Sumi-e 10.5 x 15.5
MASA Paper
Sumi (ink) and Japanese Watercolor

This is my First Brush of 2016. There is a lovely tradition in Japan that on the 2nd of January in the New Year everyone makes their First Brush. It can be sumi-e (painting) or Shodo (calligraphy). Every year I do the same. I keep this tradition here in the United States. Doing so makes me feel as a participant in a greater Sumi whole. I feel the spirit and energy of all the other Sumi artists. We paint together. We First Brush!

Director of North America Branch ~ ICCPS
International Chinese Calligraphy and Ink Painting Sociey

国際中国書法国画家協会アメリカ支部:Ms. Casey Shannon アメリカ現代水墨画家
Copyright ©  Casey Shannon Studio Art. All rights reserved


凱西香儂齋
 

Thursday, December 31, 2015

Casey Shannon Studio Sumi e



Director of North America Branch ~ ICCPS
International Chinese Calligraphy and Ink Painting Sociey

国際中国書法国画家協会アメリカ支部:Ms. Casey Shannon アメリカ現代水墨画家
Copyright ©  Casey Shannon Studio Art. All rights reserved


凱西香儂齋


Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Sumi e North America Branch ICCPS 2016

  
Casey  Shannon
Director of North America Branch ~ ICCPS 
International Chinese Calligraphy and Ink Painting Society

国際中国書法国画家協会アメリカ支部:Ms. Casey Shannon アメリカ現代水墨画家

Copyright © Casey Shannon Studio Art. All rights reserved 

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

New Beginnings Exhibition


The New Beginnings Exhibition

“New Beginnings” attracted entries from artists around the world working in different styles and mediums.  A range of art was received that was inspired by artists’ new life paths, innovative creative directions, awe-inspiring conditions in nature, amazing views of architecture, and transformation of objects. Above banner:  First row: Ober-Rae Starr Livingstone, Shifra, Mary Chaplin. Second row:  Jason R. Davis, Hamish Blakely, Linda Lowery.

New Beginnings Exhibition – 47 Artists

I am very pleased to share with you that I was juried into the exhibition and am one of the 47 artists presented in the show by Manhattan Arts. I am thrilled by this honor!
Here is my entry.

 Tree of Knowledge by Casey Shannon
Sumi-e ~ Sumi (ink) and Tea on Mulberry Paper

My artist Statement for the exhibition.

I create sumi-e (ink paintings) with the intention of capturing the spirit of nature. It is in nature that we see true beginnings. My brush dances across the Xuan paper in wild abandon and joy at the thought of a ‘new beginning’. I am reborn in these pure and graceful moments in my life and desire to inspire others with my art. 

Here is the link to the exhibition:

The exhibit was organized and is under the direction of

Casey
Director of North America Branch ~ ICCPS
International Chinese Calligraphy and Ink Painting Society

国際中国書法国画家協会アメリカ支部:Ms. Casey Shannon アメリカ現代水墨画家
Copyright ©  Casey Shannon Studio Art. All rights reserved


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