The centerpiece of my recent solo exhibition "An Exclusive Expression of Indian Mythology" was the largest work featured - Dancing Ganesha, Remover of Obstacles. This painting of a Ganesha with twenty arms was a favorite of many attendees. Many folks even had their photos taken with it.
This acrylic painting was the culmination of an evolution involving several versions. The foundation is a yellow ochre hand blocked Kalamkari bedspread in a pattern named "Kensington". The fabric's border
is used to create the illusion of the ground on which he stands. Huge golden medallions on either side of his legs replace the statue's small attendant figures, bringing the focal point upward. All twenty hands hold unique and symbolicaly meaningful objects. Among the objects we see he holds his broken tusk and a bowl of sweets.
Dancing Ganesha, Remover of Obstacles
48 x 48 inches
acrylic on hand blocked fabric
The mixed media drawing below was the first version. I used a paper which was handmade in Nepal printed with a metallic gold faux bois (French for false wood) pattern. I selected this wood grain pattern paper because it was visually similar to the striated layers in the stone from which this sculpture had been carved.
The original statue on which this is based, is light cream colored limestone. In the drawing, variations in warm and cool tones are heightened to provide contrast and variation. The rear arms have cooler grey tones which helps them appear to recede. This also becomes a framing device for the warmer sepia colors in the foreground - especially the face.
26” x 20” image
conte and acrylic on paper printed with metallic inkThe stenciled design is subtle and will become hidden as the drawing develops.
An oil painting utilizes a full spectrum of colors. Silver paisley shapes and lattice pattern are layered over an abstract arrangement of high intensity hues. A palette of pastel tints and earthy browns form the ganesha with the focus on light and shadow.
Here is a series of photos that show the steps involved with making on of my drawings.
First, is a photo of statue which is at the Chicago Art Institute.
This photo shows the stencil I used to lay a basic design in acrylic paint. The gold ink printed on the paper creates a very slick surface which is very difficult to draw on because the chalk does not stick. I use some gold acrylic paint to make a "toothier" surface which will grip the chalks.
With just a bit of light and shadow the illusion of a volumetric form appears.
I am satisfied with the way the golden patterned paper has contributed an ornate feel appropriate to character of the icon which inspired this finished piece.
26” x 20”
conte and acrylic on paper printed with metallic ink