gift of the prayer flag

12/07/2014

pf6aA gracious gift to those who teach is summer.  As each one cycles through my year in education, it is time to reconnect with my previous life as an artist.  My expectations of artistic accomplishments during these brief months are quite simple – create one piece from the heart.

The artists are raising their eyebrows at this seemingly simple statement and thinking that this goal is, indeed, larger than I think.  You are quite right. Being a working artist is a nine-to-five job like any other job, yet the work itself – well, I will leave that description to other artists.

This began as a most unsettling summer.  I could not find a quiet center within myself regardless of books I read, visits with friends and family, or my love of gardening.  Restlessness permeated my days and nights. It was not until I “turned my ankle” during my relentless drive to clean up the yard that put me where I belong.  Sitting still.

More than twenty years ago I began to make a type of western “prayer flag” as a gift to those whose heart breaks or joys are difficult to contain or express with flowers and gifts.  It was a tangible way to offer love beyond my small self – an offering for the other to the universe.

Sharing this art form with you is “my creative work from the heart” this summer.  I hope it inspires those who are in need of a nudge, to adapt, improvise, and create.

 Tina Hudak’s prayer flag

  1. Choose a paper that is strong, but flexible in the wind. I use my own handmade paper for two reasons: the papermaking is part of the prayer, and I can choose my fibers and shape.pf3a

  2. Collage or create your image according to your artistic style that holds meaning.  Here, I use calligraphy, my photo scanned on handmade paper, print on handmade paper, stencils from my hand cut design.  Spray with a workable fixative.

  3. Cut “air holes” so that the flag meets less resistance from the breeze.  If not, it will most likely be torn down in a forceful wind.pf4a

  4. Reinforce the ribbon or string used to hanging to withstand the wind.pf1a

  5. At the bottom of the prayer flag, attach an object to weight it, but not enough to tear through it.pf5a

  6. Hang outdoors.  With all prayer flags, as it weathers, the prayer is released to the heavens.pf2a

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