After graduating from German Gymnasium in 1994 I travelled for 6 months to India, and there I came first in my life in contact with Buddhism and thangkapainting. In India I met in 1995 the fascinating personality of H.H. Dalai Lama. in Dharamsala. In retrospect I can say, that the blessing of this holy man changed my life deeply in a positive way. During the 3 months I stayed close to him in Dharamsala I got blessed by him 3 times during a public blessing, which was a peak experience of my lifetime!!! Also I started to study the Dharma and I began with meditation. In Dharamsala I met a few Tibetan thangkapainters and from there on I was absolutely fascinated by their artwork. Also I got the beautifully illustrated book of Robert Beer into my hands Life of the 84 Mahasiddhas and I was thrilled!
From India I brought a couple of buddhist art-books, but I started painting thangkas in an autodidactic way not before 2005.My first Thangka was a Padmasambhava. In the meantime I am in the happy situation that I get teachings on how to paint thangkas by Juliane Eichberg at Aryatara Institut in Munich [link]
. Juliane Eichberg is in the tradition of the Tibetan painter Thargeyla in Kathmandu and Andy Weber, one of the most renowned western thangka painters. She is teaching me in Menri Style. Over the years I painted a few thangkas. My most important ones are the 8 manifestations of Padmasambhava. Which I painted in 2 different techniques. First I did them with watercolours and then I did them again with red ink on golden gouache. Through the blessings of H.H. Dalai Lama,the most popular Nobel peace prize laureate, who is still alive, I encountered in 1997 my beloved root lama H.H. Khordong Terchen Tulku Chhimed Rigdzin Rinpoche. The root lama is the master, who gives one the most important and essential teachings. For me H.H. Chhimed Rigdzin Rinpoche was also the one who touched me most deeply.
H.H. Dalai Lama and H.H. Chhimed Rigdzin Rinpoche are my most important sources of inspiration for my artwork. Because only through them I learned the art of meditation which is vital for me in my artwork. Painting means meditation for me. Since I love to meditate, painting means deep fulfilment for me. For artistic guidance and inspiration I would like to thank especially Angela Sandl for her assistance and guidance regarding my art , and of course my thangka painting teacher Juliane Eichberg. If there is one of the few things I seem to have understood in the study of classical thangkapainting and Vajrayana Buddhism, it is for sure the platonic interpretation of Sokrates:”I know, that I do not know....
For all the mistakes I committed, I do beg the dharmaprotectors for pardon. May all sentient beings fulfil their potential of inner peace and harmony.
Knut von Walter