Monday, December 7, 2009

25 Days of Giveaways

Today, we are in day 11 of Living without Sophia and Ellie's 25 Days of Giveaways.  The giveaway today is sponsored by Mallory at Mother of an Angel. Go check out her giveaway, write a comment, then come right back. I'll wait here.

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Hi. Now, welcome to day 12. Technically, when I started this post, it was around midnight thirty December 8th in Auckland, New Zealand, which is how I am justifying my impatience posting my giveaway on December 7th. I actually am terrible about missing deadlines when I only get one day, so I am opening this up to the worldwide day of December 8th which gives everyone a  fair chance to get their comments in. Always thinking of my Aussie sistahs and brothahs. Hollah.

My giveaway is an original watercolor painting of six mizuko jizo. The painting is entitled "Six Prayers." It is 6" x 9" (easily frameable in a 5" x 7" frame) and painted on cold-pressed 140lb. watercolor paper. I generally paint my mizuko jizo painting with a purple swirling background. Purple is Lucy's color,  but it is also a beautiful cooling color. My mizuko jizo paintings are usually done in one sitting during/as meditation. I sit. Meditate. Then paint. They have been very soothing and healing for me to do during this year. I have copy and pasted the expurgated description of mizuko jizo below from the other day. I know most of you have probably read it before, but I didn't want to leave out newcomers from describing the subject.

To enter the random drawing for the recipient of this mizuko jizo painting, please leave a comment below. In the early morning of December 9th, I will use to randomly select someone.  So, please try to leave your email either linked to your name, i.e., sign in to comment, or within the comment itself. It is all very exciting. I did attempt to take another photograph of my mizuko jizo painting so the colors would be more true to life.  *sigh* Photography is not my strong suit.

I have painted mizuko jizos for many babylost mamas this past year. I often customize them with personal messages, prayers and wishes for the babies. Mizuko jizos are said to carry the name into the afterlife so that the ancestors can recognize the baby. So, I often start a painting with the prayer, "Mizuko jizo, we name her Lucy." And I follow up with prayers for comfort, guidance and calm. Here is my own Six Prayers for Lucy painting.

While the painting I am giving away today does not have any prayers on it, I wanted to sort of give the full picture of what my mizuko jizo illustrations and paintings can be. But if you would like your own jizo painting, I am happy to paint one for you too. You can always visit my Etsy Shop called the Kenna Twins to see which paintings move you, or you can order a customized one. I have done custom painting of my "She's not an Angel" painting (see on right navigation bar), mizuko jizos of all shapes and sizes, and Meditating Mamas, as well as custom illustrations of children and families. I do love collaborating with someone about paintings that are meaningful to the person. During custom meditation paintings, including my meditating mama paintings, I meditate for the person ordering the painting. Part of what I meditate on during the meditating mama ones is "Bathing (insert mama's name) in a warm light. Seeing (Mama) full of life and baby." Those paintings are great altar paintings to meditate on during pregnancy, labor or conception. With the jizos, I meditate with general compassion, calm and grounding specifically thinking of the missed baby or child. The 4" x 6" size is a great size for altars. My prices for custom paintings are the same as my other paintings. 4" x 6" - $20, 6" x 9" - $25, 9"x 12" - $30, 11" x 14" - $50

Alright, enough shameless self-promotion. Good luck and have fun.

Mizuko jizo are bodhisattvas unique to Japan who specifically guide miscarried, aborted and stillborn children into their next life. "Historically, Japanese Buddhists believed that existence flowed into a being slowly, like liquid. Children solidified only gradually over time and weren't considered to be fully in our world until they reached the age of seven. Similarly, leaving this world -- returning to the primordial waters -- was seen as a process that began at 60 with the celebration of a symbolic second birth. A mizuko lay somewhere along the continuum, in that liminal space between life and death but belonging to neither. True to the Buddhist belief in reincarnation, it was expected (and still is today) that Jizo would eventually guide the mizuko down another pathway into being. The idea behind the offering was to bid the mizuko farewell and wish it luck in the life it would have to come.” (from Waiting for Daisy by Peggy Orenstein)

When I began reading about about Mizuko Jizo, I was fascinated with the image of Jizos. They are usually portrayed as happy little monks with a red bib. A pillar of rocks standing next to the statues, as well as offerings of toys. They are often childlike, yet wise, in appearance. I began painting jizos as a form of meditation and my own Mizuko Kuyo or ritual. I paint them from my soul, giving them blessings and prayers I want for my own daughter on her journey. I am particularly fond of the six prayers paintings because each prayer is associated with one of the six realms—Hell, Hunger, Animality, Anger, Humanity and Heaven. 



  1. Hi Angie

    I've been missing, ever since my novel writing experience I've withdrawn from the blog world, but I'm not gone to the point were i will shut down my blog. I'm still following some of my favorite blogs.

    I've even decided to take part in Mother Henna's latest art swap... even though nothing has come to me in the way of creative outburst that is necessary to "do" art. But your post has inspired me to try an art meditation. I'm reading Lian Hern at the moment and it's all set in historic Japan... very much my kind of fictional world... so thank you for your post.

    And thank you for your give away!


  2. I loooooove this so much! A friend went to Japan and put offering at a temple for my boys and her lost baby and I just loved the picture she sent me...this is just so beautiful and if I don't win, I will probably buy one...

  3. I stumbled upon your website recently~thank you for saying so much of what I feel. We lost our daughter on October 1st following heart surgery. She was almost 10 months old. Her name is Mika Belle. No one says her name. Not even my closest of family. Her birthdate is tomorrow~she would have been 1. My heart is broken, but full of love for my daughter. I just discovered Jizo recently and have a small statue in front of Mika's picture. Your Jizo art makes me feel hopeful.
    Peace, Lori
    loriarne @

  4. I think your paintings are so interesting and unique. I had never heard of mizuko jizo before.

  5. Love the painting. You are very talented!

  6. Breathtaking, Angie. Thank you for sharing this with us and explaining the tradition more fully. I love learning about different faith traditions and now especially ideas around deceased children. Will definitely check out your Etsy shop some day when I'm not fighting for computer time!! xo

  7. These paintings are so beautiful. I'm going to throw away my "25 Days of Giveaways" etiquette and comment right now...while it's still Dec 7 EST. Even if I don't win, I'll probably order something...but don't let that sway your random number generation.

  8. I hope I can be so lucky. If not, time for me to finally order one.

  9. You are so talented Angie! And I love that you knew where in the world it was December 8th first!!! Can't wait to read who wins! xx

  10. I have never heard of mizuko jizo until today, and I must say I am drawn to these paintings. If I do not win this, I will most likely buy a painting from you. The self expression in these paintings are so awe inspiring.

  11. You have a true gift... your paintings are beautiful. I just read your daughter Lucia's birth story and it touched me to see your story since I've been going through a lot of the same things lately with the loss of my baby boy on November 11th. Thank you so much for sharing and I will definitely be back.

  12. Your paintings are beautiful and true to the soul. Although I have never heard of mizuko jizo before. It is something I feel I have been searching for, but just didn't know it. Thank you for your guidance. And for sharing your beautiful are with everyone.


    Momma to Patrick
    My Angel in Heaven
    08/04/08 - 10/15/08

  13. Hi Angie,

    thanks for contributing to the 25 days of giveaways - you are very talented! I love your paintings and if i dont win i will guess i will have to buy one - i particularly love the meditating mama on etsy! keep up the great work


  14. Angie, your painting is fantastic and insightful! It would be a good addition for any baby loss mama's 'collection'.

  15. I just love your paintings! There is a graceful warmth to them - any babylost mama would be lucky to have one (but secretly, I hope it's me!).

    Thanks for keeping the world beautiful!

  16. I think your paintings are just absolutely beautiful, and filled with peace.

  17. Those paintings, and the meaning behind them, are absolutely beautiful. Thank you Angie!


  18. I've seen your paintings on Etsy before and I really love them! I would love to be entered in this draw, but even if I don't win I would like to purchase some of your artwork from you in the future.

  19. Beautiful! I have never heard or seen this kind of painting before.


  20. that is really interesting, the idea of the painting though I am not religious or anything. I am sorry for the loss of your daughter. I, too, lost a little girl. :(

  21. Your paintings are beautiful. I just visited your etsy site. Even if I don't win, I gotta have one. Thank you for sharing your talent with us.
    Bree- Ella's Mom

  22. Your pantings are so very beautifull!

  23. It's beautiful Angie. I am torn. I want to enter but I don't believe I should because I have already won something. That said, I will bow out and let the other mamas have a chance to win. Just letting you know how much this "spoke" to me. Hugs

  24. I love your artwors Angie, you are so multi-talented. I think these little guys are great. I know that they are meant for "miscarried, aborted and stillborn children" and that my Peyton doesn't fit into any of these groups, but I find comfort in the idea of them guiding her into the next life, nonetheless.

  25. Hi Angie,

    After two miscarriages, I learned about mizuko jizo from your blog. I'm usually a total skeptic about all things religious in nature, but I started meditating and I glued together a small pile of stones for each of my children. It makes me feel somewhat better about it all. Once I get the bill for the second m/c paid off, I plan to buy one of your gorgeous paintings for their altar.

    akharsin at g.mail


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