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