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

Drum beaters – Bhutan

click on image to make it bigger

Druk Yul 2001

“Land of the Dragon”

Paintings on handmade paper from Bhutan, Saunders waterford paper, Arches 90 wt. paper, rice paper, gouache, watercolor, pen and ink, Caran d’ache crayons, bamboo, prayer pages, postages stamps, Xerox  from traditional  school of art in Thimphuwoodblock print, silver rubbing wax, graphite, fabric, color xerox, transfer prints.

size 10″ x 8″

I sketched the drum beaters  dance when I was 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.


Varnish and Ink from Bhutan Cover my Hands

Yesterday I did pick up a brush, but it was for polyurethane varnish. I went over to a friend’s studio where I met her daughter, a blogger I had been following. While we kept our hands busy making something, we quizzed each other about wordpress and blogging. It was great fun – fun to see each other’s faces and to have a conversation in person.

Seeking suggestions on what to add to the Bhutan scrolls I had made earlier, I brought them with me. Along with the scrolls, I brought prayer paper from Thimpu. When I was visiting Thimpu, I spent an afternoon at the saturday art school; we looked at each other’s work and painted together.  After school, one of the students took me to a store where I bought some prayer books. Actually, the books were separate pieces of printed handmade paper. Yesterday, I felt close to Bhutan. My wet varnish stained hands were covered with Bhutanese ink from the prayer paper. What will become of the box? Maybe it will become part of an Artist’s book about that part of the world at the base of Mt. Everest. Mt. Everest is so high; the white mountain was above the clouds on a clear day as we were flying towards the Paro airport. As usual, click on the images to see them bigger.

Druk Yul 2001 – Bhutan

A prayer flag wraps the woodblock print I made of the wishing horse. A young man saw me sketching and took me to a secret meeting place where artists were making non-traditional art. We all painted together on handmade paper given to me by my new friends.

Painting at the  Teshu  festival in Paro  with drippy nosed litle boys hugging my knees.

Druk Yul  2001

“Land of the Dragon” Name of Bhutan in Bhutanese

Paintings on handmade paper from Bhutan, Saunders Waterford, Arches 90wt., rice paper

Gouache, watercolor, pen and ink, Caran d’ache crayons, bamboo, prayer pages,

Collage, postage stamps, Xerox from traditional school of art in Thimpu,

Woodblock print, silver rubbing wax, graphite, fabric, color Xerox, transfer prints

10 x 8 inches