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Art Seminar To Focus on Krishna’s Face and Beauty

By: for ISKCON News on July 1, 2017

An advanced student paints Krishna

Artists at all levels who want to connect with their creative and devotional sides, and experience bhakti through art, are welcome to attend the upcoming Transcendental Art Seminar at Bhaktivedanta College, Radhadesh.

Running from August 21st to September 2nd, the seminar will be taught by classically trained husband and wife team Dhriti Dasi and Ram Das Abhirama Das.

The couple are legends in ISKCON art, having painted in the BBT art department from 1975 to 1986, with the original core of BBT artists including Jadurani Dasi, Pariksit Das, and Murlidhar Das. They received personal instructions on painting from Srila Prabhupada, and their paintings are included in the Srimad Bhagavatam, Bhagavad-gita, Nectar of Devotion, Caitanya-caritamrita and Krsna book.

They were also the BBT’s co-art directors together in Europe between 1980 and 1986. More recently, their art has been featured in many prestigious art galleries around the U.S.

“Our Transcendental Art Seminar will accommodate 15 to 20 students ,” says Dhriti. “This intimate size will allow us to give instruction and attention to each student.”

Dhriti Dasi leads her class in figure drawing, using a devotee model.

The seminar will be an intensive program that provides a complete experience of art. It will include studying the figure, life drawing from a model, color, oil painting procedure, portrait painting, composition, values, painting the landscape from nature, principles of transcendental figures, and the study of cloth, tone, and values.

As they learn these techniques, students will get to develop and create their own original transcendental painting. Dhriti and Ram Das will painting alongside them, so that everyone can observe the process. Personal instruction will be given to students to guide and develop their artistic abilities. 

“While we’ll cover many different subjects, our seminar will focus on Krishna’s beauty, face and expressions,” says Dhriti. “Our philosophy is all about rasa and feeling. The emotions of the Lord and His associates are so wonderfully described. So we will discuss how we can humbly and prayerfully approach this rasa, and then try to depict it visually.”

“We’ll also present the standards Srila Prabhupada gave to us in depicting the ‘Windows to the Spiritual World,’” says Ram Das. “He wanted us to make Krishna ‘real, not cartoon.’”

Since Dhriti and Ram Das began giving their art seminars several years ago, students have gotten a vast amount of education and inspiration from them.   

Ram Das paints a picture of Krishna during an art seminar

“The teachers were excellent and very helpful,” said Anasuya from Melbourne, Australia. “They really went out of their way to assist us all, according to our needs and artistic levels.”

Anandini from the Netherlands commented, “We learned profound painting techniques in only two weeks. The paintings by the students were amazing.”

And Krishen Kanadia from London sums up the seminar’s transformational nature: “The experience was very sacred, something to treasure,” he said. “To meet the devotees who had preached to me through their artwork felt surreal, and they were supportive. A rich, fulfilling, inspiring experience. And a great way to meet other artists involved in Krishna consciousness. This is no exaggeration: these two weeks have been one of the biggest highlights of my spiritual life. The teachers showed us how to meditate on Krishna all the time in developing our paintings.”

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