Thursday, August 5, 2010

New Blog Address

Just to let anyone following this blog know, I have moved it to a new address it is as follows: .... See all my latest postings there. Thank you!

Monday, July 12, 2010

The Buddhas in and Around My House

I was sitting on my patio this morning gazing at the beautiful spinach green Ho Tai Buddha hiding in the over growth of my garden. Then I decided to take a photograph of him to share here along with the other Buddha's and alters I have in my home/studio.

This Hi Tai sits by my pond with his happy smile greeting anyone that comes to visit.

Kwan Yin occupies the far side of the garden, she stands among the herbs, peppers and egg plants.
On the far side of the pond is the Naga Buddha, the Naga is the seven headed cobra that is the guardian of the Buddha and water ways, that is why he sits where he does.
This alter with a Ho Tai and 2 seated Buddhas is on a shelf over the door to my kitchen. Complete with crystals a pagoda and origami flowers. Yes I did the origami.
The three immortals (the small gold statues) sit in front of a Burmese Buddha seated on a lotus blossom. This alter is over the door to my living room, you pass under it to enter and exit my house. 

Crystals, Ho Tai, Thai Buddha charms and Kwan Yin head, a detail of an alter in my living/studio space.

An Indonesian Buddha carved from wood, this Buddha my partner and I purchased together shortly before his passing. It now sits atop the alter I have set up in his memory.
A standing Thai Buddha and an alabaster Burmese Buddha placed on another alter in my living/studio space.

The small gold statue is the Chama, she is from the Bon tradition, behind her is my all time favorite deity from the pantheon of Hindu deities Ganesha. This alter had Zuni animal fetishes, a carved quartz skull and other items.

Friday, July 9, 2010

Chakra Mantrah piece in progress

I am working on a new piece on architectural vellum that measures 24" x 36". This piece will incorporate the Sanskrit symbol for the 7 major chakras in the body each 'ringed' 9 times with the seed sound associated with that chakra. This drawing is being done the sacred geometric grid of the first level of consciousness. I do all the writing on this by hand.

Through sacred geometry all consciousness exists. I will be creating pieces like this and others in sacred geometric form for a show this August at Sapna Cafe on Grand Ave in Phoenix and for Yoga Breeze in Cave Creek, AZ. See older posts with other sacred geometric drawings.

First level of consciousness grid in pencil on paper with vellum laid over.

Root chakra ~ 3 rings of 'Lam' the seed sound of the root chakra

The first 2 chakras with the seed sound written around the symbol.

The first 4 chakras completed

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

More Malas for healing the Planet

The response to the first malas for healing the planet has been great and I have been asked if I would make some other designs. Well here are some new malas and bracelets all strung on silk cord with the sliding bead for tightening to the wrist and made with a variety of different stones including: turquoise, prehnite, jasper, grossular garnet, jade, green kyanite, aventurine and seraphinite.  I'll be listing these in and I will be placing some in Conspire at the corner of 5th Street and Garfield, Phoenix, AZ.

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Mala for the Healing of the Planet

I have created several malas this week using a beautiful jade green serpentine with turquoise on silk cord. I have charged these malas with the intention of healing for our planet.
Serpentine was chosen for these malas due to its gentle energies and ability to aid one in their meditation efforts. Serpentine also helps in finding inner peace and balance encouraging the resolution of problems via peaceful means. Turquoise was chosen for the guru bead because it is found on every continent and is one of the oldest protection stones known. Turquoise has been used to protect from negative energies and harm. Being one of the oldest stones known turquoise carries great wisdom and truth. Turquoise has a history of use going back 6 thousand years.
My hope is the wearer of this mala uses it to remind ones self that we are all one, each a light on a giant web of perfection, we are all a part of the Net of Life. From here we can affect the healing and mind shift that is so necessary these days.
One of these mala can be purchased from my web shop Quiet Mind.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Mantras are taking over my life – Part II

I have been asked by several friends to teach them mantra practice since posting my original blog on this subject. This has turned into me hosting a weekly chanting meditation session Thursday evening at my home here in central Phoenix.

We have been meeting for several weeks now and participants have been reporting to me that they find themselves remaining clam in normally upsetting situations since taking up chanting meditation practice. Another reports she has had the money for several ‘extra’ items in her life as well as able to cover some unexpected expenses, she has chosen to focus her practice on abundance.

In each session I go over how to use your mala (prayer beads). What the mantras (prayers) we will be chanting mean and how to do a mantra practice.

Our Thursday evening sessions have been as small as three participants and as many as nine. From these sessions I have come to lead a monthly chanting meditation session as part of Angel’s Serenity’s stress less Tuesday series. June was our first meeting, there were six participants, no one had chanted before. The session was amazing as always the participants were amazed at the sense of calm and relaxation they achieved with only 30 minutes of chanting and I have been contacted by two participants since telling me they have taken up a daily practice and are feeling relaxed and calmer with just a few days practice under their belts.

Now the ball keeps rolling. I am being asked to begin sessions on other days of the week and to lead chanting for some workshops and other events and take the practice into other venues here in the Phoenix area.

Where will this lead in the end, I don’t know. I am very pleased with the number of people I have been able to chant with and how many of them have taken up this practice as a daily part of their lives. If someone told me a year ago I would be leading chanting meditation sessions I would have thought they were crazy.

If you are in Phoenix come to a chanting meditation session. You just may be amazed too.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Mandala for the Healing of our Planet

This mandala is 11 inches in diameter and was executed with ink and watercolor on watercolor paper. There are 33 lotus in this piece creating the magical progression of the infinite. The 4 symbols areound the outside are Ese`, the universal symbol for pure love. Please share this image and feel free to use it to focus your meditations. 

Thursday, June 10, 2010

ACEO or ATC - Art Trading Cards with mantras

ACEOs inscribed with Om Bhagavan a mantra chanted to invoke absolute truth or supreme being.

I have just completed a series of ACEOs that I will be offering for sale through my web shop I have only three of these cards listed at the time of this posting, more will be posted as time permits. Contact me if you are interested in any of the cards shown here not listed at Quiet Mind and I can advise on its' availability. 

ACEO inscribed with Aham prema meaning 'I am divine love'

Each one of these cards is an original signed work of art that measures 2.5" x 3/5".

I watch the ink flow from my pen onto the paper and recite the mantra as I write on each card. Then I paint with washes of iridescent watercolors in tones from pastel to bold. Each card is an original signed work of art made from Strathmore acid free watercolor paper.

ACEOs inscribed with Om shanti - Invocation for peace

Carry your card with you as a reminder, place on your altar, give as an auspicious gift or add to your collection of ACTs.

Friday, June 4, 2010

Three new sacred geometric and mantra pieces...

These pieces are all ink and watercolor on watercolor paper measuring 6" x 8", each piece is focused on a single chakra.
 Om – The crown chakra – A Sanskrit Om is surrounded by its seed sound om written following the lines of the inner circles. Om Bhagavan, Om Shanti and Om Mani Pademe Um are the mantras I used in this piece.

3rd Eye – The Sanskrit symbol for the third eye is surrounded by the seed sound, kasham and the mantras Om Bhagavan, Om Shanti, Aham Prema and Om Mani Padme Um were used in the creation of this piece.

Heart Chakra – The Sanskrit symbol for the heart chakra is surrounded with its seed sound, yam, along with Om Bhagavan, Aham Prema, Om Shanti and Om Mani Padme Um were used in this piece. 

Thursday, May 27, 2010

What can I say mantras are taking over my life….

Om, Detail of larger piece

Well and is that a bad thing? I don’t think so! It all began innocently enough as all obsessions do, but then they grow and can get out of control. OK I’m being dramatic here but the facts are mantras have begun to invade nearly every aspect of my life.

Many years ago I became familiar with mantra practice.  A mantra is a sound, syllable, word, or group of words that are considered capable of "creating transformation", according to Wikipedia. Over the years my mantra practice has been sporadic and I have used a variety of different mantras that I have made up or obtained from some reading or teaching I’d attended over the years. More recently I decided to place much more intentioned focus on the practice. I decided to focus on one mantra solely repeating it 108 times daily at a minimum; I did this in the morning using my mala to track the repetitions. After that I would recite the mantra throughout the day in my head and or out loud depending on the situation. I found myself chanting in the car, while in the grocery store, while out for a walk and so on. Soon the thought came to me to actually write the mantras repeatedly, bringing them into physical manifestation. I started writing the mantra I had chosen to focus on in a notebook scrolling all over the page in different patterns. As I write the mantras I keep my focus on the point of the pen on the paper watching the ink flow while reciting the sounds in my head. 
Mantra written in journal 

Naturally this deepened my focus on the mantra creating a deeper awareness on more subtle levels of conscious. After working with the mantra this way for a week or so the thought came to write the mantras on watercolor paper and do washes of color over the written mantras creating paintings, this then lead to smaller versions on greeting cards and art trading cards (ATC’s).
The mantra 'Om Mani Padme Um', 11" x 14" ink and watercolor on paper

2.5" x 3.5" Mantra art trading cards, Ink and watercolor on paper

Greeting cards 6" x 8" Ink and watercolor on watercolor paper, blank inside.

I work this way for a week or so and then the next idea dawns… write the mantras with in the formation of sacred geometric patterns. And there the obsession grows. I begin a piece and can hardly stop until it is completed. Writing for an hour or so then breaks to rest my hand and arm. I’ve been known to start a piece in the afternoon work on it till 10PM fall asleep for a few hours and then up and working on the piece in the middle of the night.

Sanskrit Om ringed with the seed sound written out in concentric circles around the OM. Om Bhagavan rings the entire piece and Om Shanti is around the grid. In the center are mantras Om Mani Padme Um, and Aham Prema.

Progression of mantra piece showing the Sanskrit characters for the various chakras on the human body. 
30" x 22" Ink on paper.

These pieces are as much about the journey of creating them as well as the destination of completion. Stop back for more pictures and postings of pieces in this series. 

Visit to see my malas for tracking your mantra counts and I will be posting cards, ATC's and paintings there too. 

Monday, February 1, 2010

February 2010 ~ Gem Fever is in the Air!

On the road between Phoenix and Tucson, AZ

It is the second anniversary of my Etsy shops and Tucson gem and mineral show time. A busy time of the year here at the B Harrison Arts studios; editing listings in my web shops Quiet Mind and Beadin' Around The Block to reflect special pricing in recognition of my anniversary on Etsy (sale ends 2/16/10 so you still have time) and making trips to Tucson, two hours drive from Phoenix, for shopping and buying supplies and materials I will sell and use throughout the year.
Although busy it is a very exciting time as gem fever builds in the air. Other artist friends and I have conversations on who is going? Which show/s do you go to? What do you find there? Who may be going with whom and will you be staying somewhere or just going for the day?
I have been visiting gem shows in Tucson for the better part of 20 years now. Only with the past three years being more serious buying trips for business purposes than on a hobbyist level the years before. As I rummage through my collection of stones and beads when looking to create or organize I find myself measuring time in ‘mineral shows’. I’ll see something and say to myself oh I have had since three mineral shows ago or that I have had that since show X was called this or was over there at that time but has moved over here now.
Me in front of a giant quartz crystal cluster

For those not familiar with the Tucson gem shows, it is absolutely amazing! It seems the entire world converges on Tucson for the gem shows and there is much, much more there than just gems and minerals. There is everything from rock and mineral specimens, carved stone and crystals, beads of every material from paper and plastic to leather and cloth to stone and precious gems, textiles, wood carvings from every continent, batik printing blocks, singing bowls, Hindu statues, Balinese drums, finished jewelry and clothing and much more. The goods are brought in from the highest mountains in the Himalayas to the depths of the earth in Brazilian and African mines and other mineral rich areas of the world.
Brazilian amethyst and citrine cathedrals above, below a citrine geode
If you are fortunate enough to get to Tucson you’ll see amazing sites, like an amethyst geode big enough to be my coffin, I am 6’ tall! Mineral specimens that make a man of my height seem small; I have stood by quartz crystal clusters that were several feet taller than me. You’ll see antiquities of extreme rarity, single beads that sell for several hundred and even a thousand dollars and more. Strands of gem stone beads in prices ranging from affordable, under $50.00 to stones whose price is astronomical. Just the other day I saw a strand of 15mm green tourmaline beads that were of a color and clarity I have never seen in green tourmaline beads of that size, the strand was only $8,000.00 wholesale.
Above: Beautiful clouds over the vendor tents at Tucson's Electric Park Below: Petrified wood specimen

Although a fun adventure the shows take a toll on you. The energies of all the people, the stones and everything else going on alone are enough to wear one out. Then there is the focus on finding what customer’s have requested, anticipating their needs and desires, finding things that are unique, of unusually good quality and exceptional pricing. Every year it seems like a gamble, the same questions go through my mind over and over. Will my customers like this? How can it be used, other than the obvious? Is the price right so that I can resell at a reasonable price? Etc.

This years trips have yielded beads, Buddhist charms, pendants, cabochons of seraphanite, charoite and picture jasper, fancy handmade beads in silver, larimar donuts, and more. I have already posted new items to BeadinAroundTheBlock, there is more to come, and I will be creating new malas (prayer beads), jewelry and objects of art for QuietMind.Etsy in the weeks to come.
If you’re in the Phoenix area you can see a selection of beads and completed jewelry and prayer beads at Conspire coffee shop and gallery at the corner of 5th St and Garfield (just south of Roosevelt) in downtown Phoenix, AZ. A larger selection of beads and finished works will be available for view and sale on the First Friday of the month, come on out and let’s meet and share our bead experiences.
Snow on the Santa Catalina Mts. view from Tucson's Electric Park

Monday, January 25, 2010

Shamanic Mala

This mala was inspired by the creation of a necklace I made last year. The necklace was a custom piece. The only direction I received in crating the piece, aside from the length and using some vintage Afghan coin silver paisley pendants was, make it shamanic.

What I came up with was a necklace that combined beads made from saguaro cacti spines, vintage amber, sun stones and those coin silver paisleys. A stunning piece if I say myself. The vintage deep cognac amber was complemented beautifully by the sparkling sun stones. The rustic nature of the saguaro beads and the patina on the coin silver contrasted nicety with the shine and sparkle of the amber and sun stone. Adding in the light jingle and movement the paisleys rounds out its shamanic feel.
Shamanic Neckace

When the idea for creating a shamanic mala came to mind I wanted to capture the movement and jingle of the necklace in a piece that would be more rustic overall. Using wood beads for the counting beads and darkly stained saguaro beads for the marker and guru beads. I used green silk cord for the piece to represent the sap that once flowed through the wood. What I ended up with is pictured below: 108 wood beads, 4 saguaro beads and 40 coin silver paisley pendants all tied together with silk cord.

This piece contains the power of the saguaro cacti, the sentinel of the Sanoran desert, believed to be the keeper of native souls, combined with the coin silver paisleys makes for a piece of power, movement and sound.