Arrived in Kathmandu, Nepal three days ago for two months of Himalayan magic.
Today I asked a Thangka gallery in Thamel if I could visit their painting school to learn about the techniques and traditions of Thangka. They where more than happy to show and tell and organised for a student and a master painter to drive me across town to a small neighbourhood where they teach and create Thangka. We spoke about the preparation and stretching of the canvas using yak gum, the stages each painting goes through and the process of novices tracing, colour blocking and shading before handing over to the master who paints in the facial detail. My lovely student host also described the breathing and meditation techniques involved in the Thangka painting process.
Afterwards they led me to a small room in the building next door where monks chanted the story of the universe and I was blessed by one of the most important Lamas in Nepal/Tibet. I love Nepal.