For two weeks in August, Radhadesh teemed with creativity. Nineteen students took Ram Das Abhiram and Dhrti’s Transcendental Art Seminar, and they painted in many places on the grounds, including the community hall, with its picturesque outlook perfect for an artist. From August 3rd to the 17th, Ram Das and Dhrti taught an intensive program of figure study, landscape composition, and the process for creating a painting. Under their careful instruction, each student returned home with an oil painting of a transcendental pastime.
Ram Das and Dhrti, based in California, are disciples of Srila Prabhupada who have been painting for the BBT for decades. Almost any canto of Srimad Bhagavatam contains a sample of their fine work. Their art is admired by devotees and the public alike. Bhaktivedanta College invited these artists to offer their seminar (previously hosted by the BBT several times in Vrindaban, India), and the teachers’ high level of expertise won over the students.
After the seminar, Ram Das and Dhtri visited ISKCON Amsterdam and then returned to California. They may visit Radhadesh again to inspire more creativity.
|Leelah, who came from Israel for the seminar, found it great for her artistic development. The course “brings out a lot of emotion, good and bad” she said. “It makes you feel like you need to appreciate yourself and your own work more and not compare yourself with others. Still, it is challenging to see other people’s work. It makes you want to do better.”|
|“The teachers were fantastic, the location beautiful, and the seminar was great,” said Sarasvati (from Los Angeles, USA).|
|Sylvie, a professional French artist, found the seminar invaluable: “The seminar is complete,” she said. “It is intense, and the ambience is nice because we paint in a happy spirit. We learn to draw and do composition. It is a good mediation on Krishna. Ram Das and Dhrti were good teachers and offered us nice association.”|
|Parth (Boise, USA) said, “Everything, including accommodations, food, hospitality, and transport occurred smoothly. I was never inconvenienced. Everyone at the art seminar and in the college was friendly and helpful. There is a big emphasis on individual work and drawing and painting from nature, as opposed to doing copy work. We had many patient models and access to good landscapes. This class was a wonderful experience, and I’m really happy I attended. Invaluable! I learned a great deal. The teachers were not only a great inspiration but kind people.”|
|Vrndavana, a new Bachelor of Education student from Dublin, Ireland, found the seminar “challenging and inspiring,” and was pleased that it made her “want to work harder.” For her the variety of classes was well chosen and necessary, interesting, challenging, tiring, and inspiring!|
|“You should try this! Impressive and intense,” said Gurupadma, an artist and disciple of Srila Prabhupada who lives in Maastricht, the Netherlands.|
|“All I can say,” said Krishen Kanadia (from London, UK), “is that the experience was very sacred, something to treasure. 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.”|
|Bergita (from Croatia) said, “A useful and interesting seminar by amazing teachers in an inspiring environment. This class has been helpful and amazing. We were inspired not only about painting and art but about life and the Hare Krishna culture.”|
|Anandini (from the Netherlands) said, “The facilitators were friendly, supportive and Krishna conscious. We learned profound painting techniques in only two weeks. The paintings by the students were amazing.”|
|“The teachers were excellent and very helpful. They really went out of their way to assist us all, according to our needs and artistic levels,” Anasuya (from Melbourne, Australia) said. “It was especially wonderful when Ram Das and Dhrti spent an afternoon telling us how to communicate Krishna consciousness thru art.”|
|“An intense, exciting course, wherein one can find the theory of drawing and painting along with ways to practice it,” said Svetlana (from Russia).|
|“I really appreciated the teachers’ methods of teaching. They were patient and kind. It was important what they taught, because it’s what Srila Prabhupada wanted from artists,” said Amritavani (from Radhadesh, Belgium).|