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Happy Mother's Day!
My latest painting, The Rose Trellis is a tribute to my mother, and motherhood's lasting impressions on a person's life. As a young child, I was introduced to many cultures by National Geographic and my Mom. We didn't have a lot of money, but there was always a National Geographic on our table in the family room. At my grandmothers, while my parents visited, we played games with a giant floor globe she had, dreaming of where we would go once we grew up and sharing the facts we knew about that country. Travel, museum visits and learning about the various beautiful cultural lives of the inhabitants of our world was paramount in our house. Its lasting effect has influenced my lifelong research on symbols, cultures and my artwork. My Mom loved all Egyptian and especially Asian artwork. I was introduced to Guanyin at an early age by a small statue in our living room, and also by an Asian grass cloth wallpaper with small vignettes of scenes on it. This love of all cultural aspects, as well as learning to be selfless and have compassion for others, was one of the most important lessons I learned from my early life.
"Guanyin" is considered a Bodhisattva, who is believed to be an enlightened being who has put off entering paradise in order to help others attain enlightenment. She is the Mother of Compassion. In the Chinese language it literally means "observing the sounds", which means Guanyin would always observe all the sounds from the world and always listen to requests from her worshipers. It is believed that any living being who recites her name during a disaster would be heard and salvaged by her, which can explain why she is the most worshiped figure in Buddhism in China.
* Guanshiyin changed to Guanyin under the naming taboo of Emperor Gaozong of Tang.
* In Japanese, Guanyin is pronounced Kannon (観音), occasionally Kan'on, or more formally Kanzeon
* In Korean, the Bodhisattva is called Gwan-eum (관음) or Gwanse-eum (관세음).
* In Thai, the name is called Kuan Eim (กวนอิม) or Phra Mae Kuan Eim (พระแม่กวนอิม) due in part to the influence of the Chinese Thai population.
* In Vietnamese, the name is Quan ¬m or QuŠn Thế ¬m.
* In Hong Kong and Guangdong Province the name is pronounced Kwun Yum or Kun Yum in the Cantonese language.
* In Indonesian, the name is Kwan Im or Dewi Kwan Im referring the word Dewi as Devi or Goddess.
* In India, the name is Tara.
The painting, The Rose Trellis has the face of Guanyin looking through an arbor, or trellis, covered with roses. The most common interpretation of a rose is that it typically symbolizes immortal love, or undying love, which is why it is one of the most popular flowers sent on Valentine's Day. My memories of my childhood are of running through my Mom's beautiful flower gardens with luscious smelling rose bushes. Years ago, my husband and three sons built me a lovely rose arbor in our garden for my Mother's Day gift. I put a clay version of Guanyin's face hanging inside. This is one of my best loved gifts ever and also my cherished place in our yard. This painting is my interpretation of that spot. To all mother's, and also those who are compassionate spirits, I wish you Love, Life and Light.