Autumn 2023 Update
An update on current projects and teaser about a coming announcement...
Reading time: about five minutes
The sun is warm, the breeze is crisp, and crunchy leaves line the sidewalks…time for an autumn update from the desk of a Creative Polymath!
Giving myself permission to let go of a blog schedule has been such a gift. Ya’ll who have been following along for a while probably noticed that I’ve not had any trouble at all posting regularly. It helps, of course, that I also figured out a way to share reflections on my thangka practice that I’m comfortable with. Since I started working on Avalokiteshvara in April I have been taking time to write about the experience and what I’m learning. Sharing my reflections in private posts with my inner-circle has brought even more joy into my practice.
Chenrezig1 is my biggest current project. I commit at least three mornings a week to painting and colouring the image (Yes, I’m already adding colour!) and several hours each month to various forms of study, reflection and practice. This piece is my primary focus, but as ever, because I can never just do One Thing, I have many other bits and bobs in the works, including a few others thangkas.
Not long after I sketched the grid for Guanyin, I started in on a grid for Princess Mandarava. There is a whole story behind this, of course, which will likely be a blog post for a later day.
I also finished up a colourful version of my original line drawing of the Bodhisattva Manjushri. This is a piece I’ve been working on most of the year, and very, very soon, I’ll have a big announcement about the piece coming out. Watch this space!
While thangkas have been taking most of my artistic focus, I am still working on the Sacred Love/Sacred Lives series, albeit at a slower pace. I completed another collaboration in September, a piece incorporating the work of the skilled illustrator known as Ogrefairy.2 All the pieces I’ve completed up to now are in the growing gallery of the project on my website. I have three designs of my own conception in the works, and as ever, continue to seek fellow artists for collaborative pieces.3
The memoir I mentioned in my last update is currently ‘in a drawer,’ which is to say, I am giving myself some time and distance from it. While I’m ignoring it, however, three beta readers have the full manuscript in hand. My intention is to get feedback in the New Year and start on revision sometime in February or March 2024.
In addition to the prep I’ve been doing around the soon to come out announcement about Manjushri, I have been working on a new project idea as a way to share my writing: ‘zines!
‘Zines are having a real revival is seems, which makes sense. With so much media consumed digitally, and most platform content being subscription-based, there seems to be a longing for tangible art. Personally, I never got into digital books and haven’t had to deal with Amazon simply unlisting a book, therefore removing it from your reading device, but that doesn’t mean I don’t understand the frustration about paying for a thing without really owning it. Case in point, music. I barely own any CDs anymore, and the mixtapes I have are great, if I could find a tape deck. If the music streaming service I use removes an artist, or never had a song in the first place, finding it isn’t so easy.
A digression, but the point is, it’s easy to lose media we love these days. That, and the volume of content means a post published just a week ago can become buried in the noise of the Internet. Viral posts are almost always flukey; a lot of wonderful content gets missed because the timing just wasn’t right.
A fellow writer4 and I were lamenting this, particularly when we have short pieces of work we’re really proud of, but they’re lost even in the depth of our own archives. She mentioned that some authors have started putting out ‘zines of their shorter pieces, and I thought, “Well, that’s a GREAT idea!”
So I am working on a few ‘zines! The idea will be to use them as a way to create a printed version of certain pieces previously published to my blog, but they will also always include something I’ve never before published. Plus, they’re a great way to share my art too! I’ve got one drafted right now, and ideas for two more—one of poetry, one a mini-memoir. I’m thinking they should be ready to publish by January 2024, although I’ll likely do a pre-order set up to cover printing costs. As subscribers, ya’ll will be the first to know about it!
That’s my current Where Things Are At update. I continue to be full of creative energy and genuinely cannot wait to share some of the stuff I’ve been working on with ya’ll as it starts to get polished and ready for completion.
Massive thanks, as ever, to my parents, my patron, and my paid subscribers. Ya’ll keep me well stocked with art supplies and ensure I can pay for my Adobe subscription and web hosting fees. And thank you to my amazing partner, who keeps me fed and sheltered and never fails to tell me how much my labour as a homemaker is valued, important, and necessary.
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Avalokiteshvara has many names.
Details are on my website, at the bottom of the gallery page. You can also just fire me an email: hello ‘at’ kschatch ‘dot’ com.