Monday, July 11, 2011

Painting Baba Deep Singh ji's Face

Well I have been meditating for a while now. And that's probably affecting my brain structure... well it IS affecting my brain structure. It's changing and so... stuff happens. *thumbs up*


(Lol, well I studied how the brain changes after many years of meditation for my class assignments. Maybe I will share some of that later.)

Anyways, been working on Baba Deep Singh ji at turtle's pace. I actually haven't worked on it in the past few days... That's because I have been feeling quite confused. The words "I don't know." are quite frequent in my head. (Though I still talk as if I know) Just a general feeling of confusion, combined with inactivity. There is peacefulness. Fulfillment. The confusion and inactivity is not something I detest. It's weird...

So as I worked on his face, my family members and other individuals commented on it, and gave some advice. Which I then tried out while painting. Basically, most people said he's gotta be looking angry, and some said he would be peaceful.

Enter in confusion et al. I believe (I think I believe this) that one would be very angry in a battlefield because well it's a battlefield. But after meditating and looking at people like Bhai Ghanaiya ji (who fed water to fallen soldiers because he saw the Waheguru in all of them... in the midst of a war, Battle of Anandpur, I think) I think maybe it's possible to be calm in a battlefield. And that maybe it's the hallmark of the elite soldiers... that they are calm in battlefields. They have gotten used to the conditions so it's nothing new for them. At which point, their emotions do not get into the way and so they can display maximum levels of skill and experience.

Now with that said, Bhai Ghanaiya ji wasn't getting charged at by 10 enemy soldiers. And he wasn't about to breathe his last breath. He was not scarred or with fresh wounds everywhere. He was not fighting. He was not in a war. He did not perceive war as we see war... I am not going to go that route, it's too hard to describe.

Point is a warrior is going to be in a battle. He is going to experience war. A battlefield is a very different environment than our normal lives. In our normal lives it's easy to be quite peaceful with calm faces (hint: meditate more often). A battlefield is a death bed. Emotions often provide great fuel for activity, for charging into battle, for hacking, slashing, and killing people. Chopping off limbs, smashing skulls... Now it seems a highly skilled meditator would be in control during his own emotional outburst that results in this gruesome scene. He may well be very angry but he is steady... and he may not be angry (that's allowed as well).

But would a skilled meditator, a wise being, have an emotional outburst? I don't know. I don't think one can know. We can only try to imagine what it's like.

So I am just going with it... whatever gets painted, gets painted. Not giving a hoot about diddly squat.

The first image is the very first ever. (Quick fact: There is only one print with this face out there. Someone from Dubai purchased a Large canvas print. At that time, I did not personally handle orders so if that was you and you are reading this, get in touch.)

I then added more beard because at this point in time, I felt his face needed more beard, and I was quite satisfied with this.

Recently I felt that the image can be significantly improved. I mean I have gotten better at painting, more skilled, more experienced (if that's what you call it). So I worked on it. Some input came in from people, my mind, etc. The number 3 is what I painted. Some more input came in from people, my mind, etc. and number 4 was the result.

At this point, my sister comes in and comments. So I sit down with her and I try a few things out to see if I could bring back some of the elements from #2 and all that battlefield stuff I was talking about. She adds in what she thinks would help. The result was #5. That's where it's currently at (I am still trying to figure out how that blood that is pouring out of the wound... how that will flow down his face. Will it flow towards the side? straight down? into his right eye? all of the above?)

At this point, you have the opportunity to give your own feedback. Which image? Is it working? Is it good? bad? Why? Just say whatever comes to mind.

I will meditate on it, and see how the face turns out when I paint it. Also I think I could benefit from all your perceptions of Baba Deep Singh ji. Everyone's got their own image, and although we cannot know what we are all thinking when we are thinking, we can get some hint of those thoughts and images. The more knowledge the better. Also, tell me what you like about Baba Deep Singh ji.

Ok almost 5 am. Going to go to bed. Goodnight


Anonymous said...

Baba Jee's (new) face look's amazing. And I really love the added detail to the Dumalla, definitely looks more realistic and puraatan.

Bhagat Singh Bedi said...

I appreciate your views. I have been building on top of this ever since, and will share some time soon.

Anonymous said...

Your work is amazing. If i were to add my input I would make Babajis Damalla bigger.


Bhagat Singh Bedi said...

Hi Gursheel,
Yes I will give that a try. I appreciate the input.

Anonymous said...

The dumalla looks way better now, not sure if you knew this, but the way the larh is on the forehead is called by the Nihang Singhs,a jangi larh or battle wrap. It's very thick and sort of sticks out from the forehead to protect the forehead from blows to the forehead, so it adds a more realistic touch.

Also you may want to check out this pic and see some of Baba Deep Singh Ji's dumalla shastars, you may want to incorporate them into the painting. These shastars are at Akal Takht.

Bhagat Singh Bedi said...

I appreciate the quick fact. Yeah dumalla is much better now. I think it could still use some more work. I might come back to it after finishing the background.

I am skeptic about such items now. There is a sword that is claimed to belong to Hari Singh Nalwa.
If you google Hari Singh Nalwa, you'll see it. Apparently, it does not belong to him. It is a European-influenced hilt and of a later period. (Says Davinder Singh Toor, and it makes sense, Indian talwars have a different hilt and all his paintings show him with a Indian talwar)

Also those shastar appear way too big for a a small dumalla. The khanda and chakars up there are HUGE.