Dance of the Drum Beater – Bhutan

When I come home from a trip, I usually spend a couple of years painting and making art pieces about my impressions of that country. Inspiration for this oil painting came from our time in Paro at the Buddhist Tsechu festival honoring Guru Rinpoche born from a lotus flower.  Dances are performed by monks wearing ornate costumes and fantastic masks. The four story high Thangka scroll or Tongdrol is unfurled at a certain time according to the Bhutanese lunar calendar. When we were there, the time was three o’clock in the morning.  The area was packed, everyone was dressed up in their finest ghos and kiras; the women wore brocade jackets from China. The children were all awake, but no babies were crying. People were buying and selling, camping, eating and viewing the 250 year old silk appliquéd thangka. It is there for viewing for only a few hours before being rolled up and taken away until the following year. Click on painting to see it bigger.

‘Dance of the Drum Beater’   oil on canvas   42″ x 42″  2002

14 thoughts on “Dance of the Drum Beater – Bhutan

  1. Beautiful movement and a spirit captured…
    I also often wonder whether the various screens alter the light & colours of the paintings. They do [even slightly], but then, the colour balance, the strokes and the composition are what’s important and in this case they work so well… excellent work, Carla.
    [and in any case, if one wants to see the colour say of a Van Gogh[!] no matter how good a publication, print or screen, they’re in for a shock -in a good way- when the see it in life!!!]
    PS This must have been a wonderful experience…

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  2. Hi Carla – your painting is stunning – the tiny dancing characters put me in mind of Marc Chagall’s tiny joyous people from his imagination, “without regard to natural color, size or even the laws of gravity”. Wonderful

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  3. Wonderful, wonderful. I’m fascinated with your process as you describe it — coming home from places and channeling them into your art for years afterward. I don’t know if I can do that but I want to. I think I can with writing, but with drawing/painting, I don’t know. Still trying to find my voice (mark?) there.

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