Join in the fun with a cast of lovely ladies, happy hedgehogs, and frolicking woodland creatures illustrated by Cori Dantini. Spend time coloring whimsical landscapes where you can plant wishes and dreams that bloom to life with your rainbow of colors. Continue reading
Experience a personal connection with ancient Celtic mythology and symbolism as you weave color through intricate paths of knotwork, spiral patterns, and mandalas. These powerful symbols encourage us to go within as we meditate on their meanings.
Jen invites you to share the journey:
Celtic art is an intricate, enigmatic language that embraces interpretation. Limitless in creative variation, the ancient spiraling and intertwining patterns and symbols reflect the beat of the earth and the beauty, power, and spirit of nature. Energy flows from the center and unfurls in an infinite dance of possibility. Like the eternal knots, the great circle of life has no beginning and no end; seeds grow to be saplings and tall trees, which then return to the earth.
This art form is a living tradition. I immerse myself in crafting original designs and paintings, searching for simplicity, balance, and meaning within the ancient forms and stories and creating new designs that speak to us today. I grew up in Wales, an ancient land with an artistic culture spiraling back from the Celts to the first people. I find inspiration in my journey as an artist in the sacred patterns of my ancestors, where all is seemingly in motion, yet held in perfect balance.
It is the mysterious and spontaneous exploration of color that brings me the most delight. The Celtic scribes made their own paints by mixing egg white with organic pigments from plants and the earth. Touches of finely ground rare gemstones or of precious gold leaf added brilliance to their intricate illuminated vellum manuscripts. I mix creamy egg yolk with many of the same natural pigments the ancient Celts used. We are fortunate today to have a seductive array of different colors, paints, inks, pens, and pencils to channel our creativity as we bring beauty and personal expression to our art.
I invite you to share in this creative journey — to discover the joy of personal expression with the sensual and often enchanting process of bringing these designs to life with color. I believe that as we connect more deeply with the ancient Celtic language of spirals, knotwork, mandalas, symbols, and patterns, we can experience the gentle meditative focus that often comes with following the twists and turns — to the center and out again — of these mystical patterns.
— Jen Delyth Continue reading
Land Art is composed primarily of the natural elements available at hand. Materials such as rocks, leaves, and water are the medium, and the terrain is the canvas.
The 2018 edition of the Land Art wall calendar presents the work of stone balance artist Michael Grab. His rock balancing is a meditative practice that flows with passion and patience. Achieving a challenging balance requires contemplation of both mental and physical elements in real time — the now. Encountering his creations inspires a sense of peace and magic — a feeling that anything is possible.
Working with contemplative patience amid the sound of flowing water, Michael Grab achieves impossible stone structures with gravity as his only “glue.” Although steady hands, slow breathing, patience, and problem solving are carefully honed skills essential to his craft, Michael’s work relies more on his ability to still his mind and tune in to the nature of the rocks and his surroundings. “There comes a point when the mind shuts off entirely, like in a deep meditative state.” Michael says. “In a very literal sense it feels like creating a state of union with the environment.”
Colors. Images. Words. Art can be a very personal expression. Having beautiful art in our homes and work spaces can serve as a focal point of calm during chaotic times or ignite passion in us to move into action. Art can be a reminder of who we are or who we strive to become.
At Amber Lotus Publishing, we are fortunate to be able to spend our time contemplating art – discussing, researching, and discovering. Art that we hope will infuse clarity, joy, and inspiration into our calendars. When we develop our calendars, we fall in love with the art and the message. It’s exciting to create a story for the year to mark our journey around the sun – one month at a time. Twelve pieces of art in celebration of that journey or to be touchstones along the way.
We are honored to work with a host of extraordinary artists, illustrators, photographers, writers, and thinkers. Here is a bit more about just three of them:
Thich Nhat Hanh
New for 2018, The Mindful Art of Thich Nhat Hanh wall calendar features the Zen calligraphy of Thich Nhat Hanh – affectionately known as Thay (“teacher”). His work is a joyful, fluid expression of his artistry and a timeless interpretation of Buddha’s teachings. Thay uses the calligraphy as a meditation; his hand and the brush merge to become one. Each serene stroke conveys a sense of mindfulness, energy, and love. With his calligraphy, Thay invites you to breathe in, to bring your mind back to your body, and to be present in the moment.
Thich Nhat Hanh has dedicated his life to the art of mindful living. Born in 1926, this Vietnamese Buddhist monk, scholar, poet, artist, peace activist, and prolific author is a beloved and revered global spiritual leader. His powerful teachings and best-selling books have reached an audience of millions around the world. For more than fifty years, Thich Nhat Hanh has been a pioneer of “Engaged” or “Applied” Buddhism, which applies ancient Buddhist wisdom to contemporary issues. He teaches that only through living in the present moment can we approach peacefulness – in ourselves and in the world. Now known as the “Father of Mindfulness,” he is the man Martin Luther King called “an apostle of peace and nonviolence.”
The Celtic Mandala wall calendar presents the magical knot weavings of Welsh artist Jen Delyth. Jen’s intricate paintings and illustrations are founded in her deep connection to her Celtic heritage and are a personal journey into the language of ancient Celtic mythology and symbolism. In its 16th year of printing, this wall calendar is a beloved bestseller.
Inspired by the spirit in nature, Jen’s artwork appeals to those who seek meaningful, profound images that express deep and essential aspects of the Celtic tradition. This tradition has its own ancient roots in the cultures of Neolithic and Paleolithic peoples who came before them. It continues to evolve and is – most important to many today – a living tradition.
Jen elaborates, “Although I am not affiliated with any particular branch of Celtic spirituality, my work often focuses on an expression of my deep love and respect of nature and all its mystery. The Celtic tradition expresses a wealth of wisdom and understanding of the natural world – of plants and animals and also the inner world of active imagination and our psyche. Working with the patterns, sacred images, and myths of the ancient Celts renews my connection between the past and the present, the inside and the outside, the seen and the unseen – life in all its mystery and interconnectedness, through art and story.”
The gorgeous Spirit Horses wall calendar features extraordinary portraits of horses, both wild and domestic, by renowned photographer Tony Stromberg. Each luminous image is paired with quotes from great teachers and writers exploring equine wisdom and the love of these magnificent creatures.
For more than two decades, Tony Stromberg made his mark as a successful advertising photographer. Yet a quiet but gnawing voice eventually drew him out of his commercial roots and deep into the soul of the West. What he had gained in reputation he felt he was losing in quality of life. Just before the turn of the millennium, he began his pilgrimage away from the frenetic world of advertising and into a world possessing a respect for nature and the land. Since then, he has spent much of his time learning the nuances of his most beloved equine companions in their natural environment. “The spirit of the horse,” says Stromberg, “is a magnificent teacher to humanity.”
Our most enduring companions, horses teach us about honesty and authenticity because they know no other way of being. They teach us about collaboration over dominance. And they teach us to respect and honor the unknown as opposed to fearing it and trying to destroy it. In both their physical and archetypal forms, horses help bring us back to something wild and unrestrained, reminding us of a sense of freedom many have forgotten.
About Amber Lotus Publishing — We Plant Trees!
Based in Portland, Oregon, Amber Lotus Publishing is proud to be a carbon-negative independent publisher with a dedication to environmental stewardship. As of December 2016, Amber Lotus Publishing had funded the planting of 650,000 trees.
Amber Lotus has been a Gold Certified Green America member since 1993. Green America certifies businesses that are committed to using business as a platform for social change. Green businesses adopt principles, policies, and practices that improve the quality of life for their customers, employees, communities, and the planet.
Today our team is an extended family of ten people, including a martial artist, a jazz singer, bibliophiles, musicians, writers, belly dancers, gardeners, bicycle enthusiasts, plus a whole host of talented, creative, inspiring contributors. We strive to consistently offer products that are authentic and distinctive to bring you a sense of the eternal by nurturing your heart, renewing your soul, and expanding your mind.
We’re thrilled to welcome Geninne D Zlatkis to our family of contributing artists for our 2017 line of calendars. Geninne’s delightful folk art–inspired illustrations will set your spirit aloft throughout the year. She combines stamping, collage, watercolor, and a bold use of color and texture to create the charming birds featured in our Feathered Friends 2017 wall calendar.
Geninne is an artist, illustrator, and graphic designer. She lives in the high desert of Santa Fe, New Mexico, at 7,000 feet above sea level with her husband, Manolo, their two sons, and an adorable Red Heeler mix named Zorro. She was born in New York, but shortly after her birth, her parents began traveling around South America, where she lived in seven different countries and attended several English-language schools. After studying architecture in Chile for a couple of years, she moved to Mexico City and switched her focus to art. Geninne works in a variety of media, including watercolor, ink, and pencil. She also sews and embroiders and loves to hand-carve rubber stamps. Prints of her watercolors can be found at her online Etsy shop. And she shares gorgeous images of her work and her home in the desert on Instagram. So many cute images of Zorro ❤️
We’re excited to welcome Kevin Horan to our family of contributors! Kevin’s goat portraits have been winning the hearts of many and have been featured in The Washington Post, Treehugger, and The Huffington Post. We love the thoughtful quality of these beautiful images. Weaving the portraits together with quotes from philosophers from the ages seemed like a natural fit to create the I Am Goat wall calendar.
Here’s an excerpt from Bleating Hearts Will Love These Soulful Portraits Of Goats by Maddie Crum of The Huffington Post:
A subject sits for the camera. His eyes are forlorn, his expression sorrowful. His long ears, covered in fur. A few milliseconds later, he’s run off to find food.
As an involved experiment testing the power of portraiture, photographer Kevin Horan decided to start taking pictures of farm animals ― namely, a crew of unruly goats.
“I thought I was going to photograph sheep,” Horan explained in an email with The Huffington Post. “I was originally inspired by the dozen sheep living across the lane from me when we moved to semi-rural Washington State. They greeted me with a whole range of voices, and I wondered if I might be able to make classic studio portraits of the different characters.”
But the sheep proved to be tough subjects. They wouldn’t sit still, and Horan was wary of letting them near his lighting equipment. So, he decided to search for a tamer lot and discovered a goat dairy farm nearby. His new animal subjects were used to sitting still; they were milked twice a day and had grown to be somewhat domesticated because of their frequent human interaction. Continue reading
We have the honor of working with Nicholas Kirsten Honshin to produce the Zen Cat series of calendars and greeting cards (as well as his series with Thich Nhat Hanh). In his recent newsletter, Honshin shared stories about his fascinating background and the inspiration for his work. ~Amber Lotus
“The way of peace is the way of liberation” — Nicholas Kirsten Honshin
The teachings of Nicholas Kirsten Honshin’s internationally-renowned Zen Cat Series are born in awareness and the oneness of existence. They demonstrate the love, peace, and joy that unfold in our hearts as we embrace the sacredness and beauty of all life. This acclaimed series has resulted in his best-selling Zen Cat Wall Calendar, which is a meditation in art and words on the interconnectedness of all life.
Honshin’s art is an expression of his personal journey. The Zen Cat series was born from both childhood experiences with his father in coffeehouses with the Beat Generation and his experiences with many felines – including one who would crawl into his lap as he was reading the Buddhist Sutras.
Daiensai Kuden Bonseki Dojin, Honshin’s father, was a renowned artist and ordained Buddhist Priest whose exhibitions ranged from museums to the walls of Beat Generation coffeehouses. Like the French Impressionist artists of Paris, the Beat writers were a small group of close friends first and a movement later. The core group – Jack Kerouac, Allen Ginsberg, Neal Cassidy, and William S. Burroughs – met in the neighborhood surrounding New York’s Columbia University in the mid-40’s. They later migrated to San Francisco, where Gary Synder, Lawrence Ferlinghetti, Michael McClure, and Lew Welch joined the group, and their focus started to move toward expanding consciousness with Buddhism, Jazz, and Poetry. Continue reading
We’ve had the pleasure of working with Michael for many years to craft the Celtic Blessings line of gifts and calendars as well as his Illuminated Rumi series. His attention to detail and passion for his art shines through in each of his beautiful works. ~Amber Lotus
A Word from the Artist
For the first time in human history, we have the entire spread of our species’ cultural achievements easily available. But at the same time we find ourselves curiously rootless – almost weightless – suspended in the strange dream of accelerated time that is our postmodern age. Perhaps it’s a moment of great opportunity, a possibility to reshape – even redefine – ourselves, to re-anchor our souls in those timeless mythologies, tales, and truths where we meet and recognize one another as old, if forgotten, friends.
We are witness today to the emergence of an ancient spiritual vitality into modern affairs. Call it the river of sanity. It comes from the deepest wellsprings of our humanity and moves us into harmony with the natural world and ourselves. It does not contradict scientific thought, but the river offers a profoundly wider way of engaging reality. It is caught rather than taught.
Two great wellsprings of our civilization are the Celtic tradition and the legacy of Christ. And the work here, as it is everywhere in a time of discord, is to bridge, heal, and connect. Let the heart lead; let art follow.
About the Artist
A countercultural revolutionary, author Michael Green has made an eclectic life the foundation of an artistic career. Born in New York in 1943, he received his BA from New York University. He attended film school there before going on to study at the University of São Paulo in Brazil. He joined the legendary Castalia Foundation, worked on germinal light shows with Timothy Leary, and, in the summer of 1967, moved with the group to an area of protected land (essentially a reservation) to experience communal living. Later, Green moved to Pennsylvania to study with the venerable Sufi master Bawa Muhaiyaddeen. Continue reading