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JULY 2014: THANGKA CLASSES IN AND AROUND NYC

"Not only do you learn to paint thangkas, but as a creative that forgot my artistic skills, it was wonderful to be reminded that we each have unique gifts and talents.

Carmen's approach to class encorporates first meditation to clear the mind, and this meditation continues into our work. The thangka painting process is a meditation of its own.
I would highly recommend Carmen's classes to any person at any level of experience, who wants to create something beautiful."


Renee Smith, Pennsylvania, USA
Participant at the Retreat Week at Omega Institute, Rhinebeck, NY

"The class was advertised as "no drawing experience needed",
a qualification I completely met.

Over the weekend, Carmen taught us about the geometric diagram of the Buddha's Shakyamuni's physical features.
With Carmen's patient instruction, over the course of the 2 day course,
each of the students learned the core technique of drawing the Buddha.

We each drew quite nice pictures of the Buddha's head and body. (Even me). More importantly, each of us were able to participate, for the whole weekend, in the meditational activity of contemplating the form of the Buddha and his Qualities as we drew. Priceless."


Paul Stevenson, Washington DC, USA
Participant at the Weekend Course at the Guhyasamaja Center, Reston, Washington, USA

"Carmen Mensink is very knowledgable as if it were second nature to her. She explained the history behind thangka painting, took us in the gallery
of the museum and explained the intricacy of the exhibits.

Carmen taught us that this class was not just about art, it is a combination of different aspects of Buddhism, respect for the lineage, awareness of living beings around you, and including meditation and mantras.
I believe this is the absolute correct way to teach a class such as this."


Testimonial on an (anonymous) survey the Rubin Museum sent after class
Participant at a Thangka Painting course over 2 consecutive weekends at the
Rubin Museum of Art, New York City, USA

"A great introduction to Buddhism + Tibetan Art. Lots of fun!!
Carmen is a warm + knowledgable teacher."


Mike Buriani, New Jersey, USA




"Thank you for the opportunity to be in your class and learn these sacred teachings.

I found peace within the challenge. I am thrilled that I am actually bringing home a Buddha face that I created. I have never 'drawn' before.
I paint free form mandalas at home but not anything exact. This is a thrill.

I will continue to make Buddhas at home and they will find their place in
my free form work.
As I create them , I will be connecting with a thousand year old tradition
and all the blessings that are generated and ripple out in the world..."


Kate G., New Jersey, USA
Participants at the Retreat Week at Omega Institute, Rhinebeck, NY

"I feel so blessed to have spent the last week with the oh-so-talented Carmen Mensink.

She introduced me to Buddhist meditation, calmed my weary soul, and increased tenfold the precision of gouache technique."


Nate L., CT / NY / MA / CA, USA
Participant at the Retreat Week at Omega Institute, Rhinebeck, NY

"Carmen's professionalism and visual arts acumen make her the consummate educator that she is. It was a joy and honor to become her student. As a result of what she taught me, I am inspired to practice, apply and hone the lessons our classes learned. It was instructive to become more aware of Eastern Art History and its rich legacy of beauty and
spiritual content.

I'm so pleased to have been blessed with the artistic and personal opportunity to have studied with the gifted and gracious artist Carmen Mensink. I will encourage all of my colleagues and students to take her courses. I look forward to enrolling in additional courses when she returns to instruct in the New York Metropolitan area!

Many thank yous for this enriching art making experience. I received positive feedback, superb instruction and ongoing encouragement in order to acquire hands-on knowledge about these ancient aestethics, materials and skills."


Amy Sue McPartlan, New York, USA
Participant at thangka courses at the Rubin Museum of Art and at the Omega Institute

"Carmen is a spiritual gift from, and she is brilliant, noble, kind, and clear. Her teaching is done with clarity and kindness.

I have felt that she was patient with me, as I struggled with the grid - the underpinning of the of the portrait. And she celebrated with me as I drew.
I am so grateful to her - and to be within this beautiful atmosphere - with people who are kind and full of grace and talents..."


Irena Delahuntey, Connecticut, USA
Participant at the Retreat Week at Omega Institute, Rhinebeck, NY

"Clear & simple with the indepth essence of a profound meditation!"

George Pierson, Philadelphia, USA
Participant at the Retreat Week at Omega Institute, Rhinebeck, NY

"This class is extremely informative about thangkas and thangka painting, as well as being a very instructive art class.

Carmen is very supportive. I am inspired to continue in this practice."


Debra Carrier Perry, Connecticut, USA
Participant at the thangka workshops at Tibet House, NYC and the Omega Institute, Rhinebeck, NY

"Carmen is a wonderful teacher. I have studied with other thangka teachers but she brings a modern eye and traditional heart."

Testimonial on an (anonymous) survey the Rubin Museum sent after class
Participant at a Thangka Painting course over 2 consecutive weekends at the
Rubin Museum of Art, New York City, USA

"We had a really fun five days, Carmen was really a dedicated teacher, it was amazing how we all didn't really know what we were doing at first, but got guided through the process and we all ended up making nice stuff IMO.

...We did a cool meditation every morning that was tied into the specific buddha that we were all drawing/painting, was a nice time.

Carmen's great - sincere, supportive, humble & enthusiastic."


Vlad Lewis, Massachusetts, USA
Participant at the Retreat Week at Omega Institute, Rhinebeck, NY

"Having been stuck in my own art practice for a number of years,
Carmen's class helped me not only break through that stuckness,
but also integrate new, old & unfolding learnings.
It is a beautiful amalgamation of mindfulness, art, meditation.

We learned, applied & had opportunity to try new techniques & ask plenty of questions. I look forward to taking class again with Carmen next year. Maybe we can paint a Tara next time!

Much gratitude to Carmen & to Omega.
This was the perfect venue for this practice & learning!"


Lisa Evert, Ohio, USA
Participant at the Retreat Week at Omega Institute, Rhinebeck, NY




Introduction to Buddhist artCarmen's students drawing their first Budhaan evening on lotusses and how to draw them

E-Vam Institute, NYC
A series of evening events with thangka painter Carmen Mensink at the E-Vam Institute, that has recently moved to NYC.

Tue July 8 / 7-9pm
Lecture: Introduction to Thangka Painting (Tibetan Buddhist scroll paintings)

A vivid slideshow and talk about Tibetan Buddhist art in general and thangkas in particular: you will learn about their origin,
use, meanings and the whole process of making a thangka.

After the lecture there's time for Q&A and Carmen will show some of her original thangkas.
This lecture is the best introduction before taking a thangka class.
Cost: $ 25


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Wed July 9 / 6.30-9.30pm
Workshop: Drawing the Buddha Face according to the Tibetan Buddhist tradition

In this workshop you will learn how to draw the face of the Buddha according to the Tibetan tradition, which is very meditative.
In combination with the lecture the day before this will give the best introduction to the drawing and painting of Tibetan thangkas (traditional Buddhist scroll paintings).

If you are a Buddhist Practitioner, drawing a Buddha is such a great help for your visualization-meditation. Once you've done this, you'll notice your visualization goes much better.

The workshop comes with a short meditation, explanation of the tradition and a lot of individual guidance. We will work with the grid measurements that have been used in this tradition for hundreds of years. If 20 people draw a Buddha face according to these same lines, you would assume they turn out looking all the same. But the interesting thing is that they will turn out to have totally different expressions an characters; sometimes you can even tell which person drew which Buddha. According to the Buddhist Lamas the reason for this is:'When you draw a Buddha, you are drawing your own mind.'

The workshop is suitable for everyone, including beginners with no drawing experience whatsoever.

If you have drawn the Buddha Face in a previous workshop with Carmen, you are welcome to choose one of the Eight Auspicious Symbols to draw this evening.
Cost: $ 35


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Thu July 10 / 6.30-9.30pm
Workshop: Drawing the Lotus Flower according to the Tibetan Buddhist tradition

In this workshop you will learn how to draw the most famous and most often depicted flower in the world: the Lotus Flower.
It starts with a short meditation and talk on the meaning of the Lotus, after which you will draw this sacred flower, using the traditional thangka measurements.
The workshop is suitable for everyone, including beginners with no drawing experience whatsoever.

If you have drawn the Lotus in a previous workshop with Carmen, you are welcome to choose one of the Eight Auspicious Symbols to draw this evening.
Cost: $ 35


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MORE INFO & REGISTRATION:
Cost: Tue July 8 $ 25 / Wed July 9 $ 35 / Thu July 10 $ 35
Special rate for the 3 sessions: $ 80
Registration: Please contact the E-vam Institute at office@evam.org or call 718-472-2980.
Address: E-Van NY, 38 - 28 32nd Street, Long Island City, NY 11101
Website: website of E-Vam Institute





Sangye Menla, the blue BudhaLearn more on traditiobal thangka painting wit Carmen at the Rubin Museum of ArtLearn how to draw tibetan healing plants with Carmen Mensink

Rubin Museum of Art, NYC
On the occasion of the special exhibition 'Bodies in Balance: The Art of Tibetan Medicine',
thangka painter Carmen Mensink is invited to host a few special events, where she will guide you
through the wonderful world of the Medicine Buddha, his mantra and the healing plants that are
used in Tibetan Medicine; through guided tours and demonstrations in the galleries, lectures
and art making workshops.


Fri July 11 / 6.30-9.30pm
An evening on the Medicine Buddha and his healing power

Learn through the guided tour in the galleries how the sacred images and mantras of the Medicine Buddha,
the foundation of the Tibetan medical system, can provide a sense of peace, insight, and wellness.
During the workshop part you will learn how to draw and color the begging bowl filled with bilva fruit that the
Medicine Buddha holds in his left hand, or the hand of the Medicine Buddha with the Arura plant in it.
This plant known as the 'King of Medicines' is used in Tibetan Medicine to treat both physical and mental diseases.
You will also learn about the mantra of the Medicine Buddha and how to use it.

Drawing experience is not needed.
Price: $ 35


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Sat July 12 / 1.30-5.30pm
Diagnostic Tree & Healing plants

This workshop starts with a 1hr special tour in the galleries with Tashi Chodron on the Diagnostic Tree
in Tibetan Medicine. You will explore how the symbol of the tree provides a map for health and healing
and may serve as a tool for strength and insight in your life.
Next Carmen will teach you about some specific healing plants and what they are used for and you will
learn how to draw and color these beautiful healing plants.

Drawing experience is not needed.
Price: $ 45


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Sun July 13 / 10.00am-1pm
Createa a Healing and Protective Amulet

This workshop starts with a special tour in the galleries with Laura Lombard on amulets cross-culturally.
Next Carmen will teach you more about Tibetan Amulets and you will learn how to create a customized
amulet for longevity, healing and protection.

Price: $ 35


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ALL 3 SESSIONS $ 100
INFORMATION & REGISTRATION:
Please visit the Art Making program page of the Rubin Museum of Art for info & tickets





Buddhist meditationthangka class overviewrecharging your batteries when you draw the Buddha Shakyamuni

Omega Institute, Rhinebeck, NY

Thangka Retreat Week / July 14/18, 2014

Carmen Mensink will give a thangka retreat at the annual Retreat Week, at the beautiful and renowned
Omega Institute in Rhinebeck, NY, about 2 hrs from NYC.

In this week you will learn how to draw the Buddha according to the Tibetan Thangka Tradition
which is very meditative.
You will learn more about Tibetan Buddhist art, about mantras and about the Buddhist philosophy.
All set in the wonderful green premises of the Omega Institute, this thangka retreat will definitely
recharge your batteries!

In ancient times, the painting of thangkas (scroll paintings of Buddhas and Mandalas) in Tibet was
a highly developed and important means of expression through which the complete Buddhist philosophy
could be explained. It still has this function; even today, thangkas are painted and displayed in
Tibetan Buddhist monasteries throughout the world.

The Chinese invasion of Tibet in the 1950s destroyed of hundreds of monasteries, making it even more
important to keep this beautiful art form pure and alive. And in this retreat with Carmen Mensink,
a contemporary master of this ancient tradition, we do just that by creating our own thangka of the Buddha,
or the 'Awakened One.'

We first draw the Face of the Buddha, and after that, the complete Buddha, using the traditional grid-proportions
of thangkas. A disappearing art form, thangka drawing is a meditation in itself, so we are immersed in a
combination of learning about and practicing art and Buddhism at the same time.
Through slide presentations of ancient thangkas, we also learn about the symbolism in Tibetan art and
Buddhist philosophy.

The retreat is suitable for everyone, including beginners with no drawing experience.
Students who have already drawn the Buddha in a previous thangka course with Carmen,
are invited to start coloring or painting their Buddha in this week.

A list of things to bring will be sent upon registration.


MORE INFORMATION & REGISTRATION:
Please visit Omega Retreat Week with Carmen Mensink





draw buddhist offerings in thangka classofferings of seeing, hearing, smelling, tasting and touchingthangka painting colorings

Shantideva Meditation Center, NYC

The Offerings of the 5 Senses
Sat July 19, 2014 / 10am-5pm / at Tibet House

In this day workshop you will learn how to draw (and color or paint them if there's time) the most famous set of offerings in Tibetan Buddhism: the Offerings of the 5 Senses.

It is through our senses of seeing, hearing, smelling, tasting and touching that we percieve our world. They are also the 'entrance' of a thangka (Tibetan scroll painting), as these offerings are depicted in front of the Buddha: a mirror (to see); a musical instrument (to hear); incense or perfume (to smell); some fruit (to taste) and a silken scarf (to touch).

In this class you will learn everything about the background and meanings these offerings have in the Tibetan tradition.

When you offer these offerings the Buddha every day, you will change your consciousness, for it effects your whole being.
A lama once said:"By making offerings you enrich your surroundings and by enriching your surroundings you enrich yourself."
It creates great merit.

The workshop comes with a short meditation, lecture and a lot of individual guidance. It is suitable for everyone, including beginners with no drawing experience whatsoever.


Where: Tibet House, 22 West 15th Street New York, NY 10011
Workshop fee: $ 75
Tibet House and Nalanda Institute Members: $ 67.50


MORE INFORMATION & REGISTRATION:
Please visit this page of the Shantideva Meditation Center for info & registration




Pictures of the 2013 NYC Thangka Classes can be found here
Pictures of the 2013 NYC Teen Workshop can be found here



Some of the places where Carmen teaches or has been teaching:


Thangka students at the Rubin Museum of Art working on their Buddhist DrawingGreen Tara DrawingAntique thangka at the Rubin Museum of Art

Rubin Museum of Art, New York City



Buddha Face drawingTeen Thangka group at Rubin Museum of ArtThangka workshops for teens at Rubin Museum of Art

Teen Thangka Workshops at the Rubin Museum of Art, New York City



Columbia UniversityThangka art class at Columbia UniversityStudents working on Buddha faces at the Art department of Columbia University

Columbia University, New York City



The Buddha eye is beautifulspecial thangka workshop space in New Yorkexplanation of thangka materials and techniques

Shantideva Meditation Center, New York City



Showing the drawings at the Chenrezig Buddhist Center in PhiladelphiaTibetan mandala painting workshops in the USAgreen Tara tangka workshops in Philadelphia

Chenrezig Tibetan Buddhist Center, Philadelphia



tibetan art class in Pittsburghbuddhist art class room in PittsburghWhite Tara thangka drawing of one of Carmen Mensink's students

Three Rivers Dharma Center, Pittsburgh



great food at the Milarepa CenterThe Milarepa CenterThangka class at Milarepa Center

Milarepa Center, Vermont



drawing of a buddhastudents thangka painting at the Guhyasamaya centerWhite Tara drawing by a thangka student of Carmen Mensink

Guhyasamaya Center, Reston (near Washington DC)