Half-finished painting for Srila
Gurudeva's upcoming English
Respected Maharajas, Prabhus
and Didis, Dandavat pranama. Jaya Sri Guru and Gauranga.
As you may know, Srila Gurudeva is continually translating
and writing commentaries on our acaryas transcendental
literatures and he wants paintings for all his books, just as
our Srila Prabhupada wanted. Up to now I have been the lone
painter, and as a result there is a great bottleneck. Sometimes
others have tried to help, but it has not proved successful so
far. Here is the reason: We began painting for Prabhupada in 1966,
when we could barely paint at all, and yet Prabhupada accepted out
primitive paintings for his temple walls and for his first books.
Gradually more artists joined and together we did some very
amateur paintings for his Krsna Book, Second Canto, and so on.
Gradually, as we worked together, and as Prabhupada encouraged us
that we were doing okay and should also try to improve, our styles
became similar and also developed technically. Then, gradually, as
the years went on, we came up to a professional standard. So
Prabhupada accepted for his books whatever standard we were on,
and encouraged us to improve, and now we have improved by his grace,
and most of you are familiar with our work.
Srila Gurudeva is now continuing to train us, where Prabhupada left
off, as Prabhupadas representative and successor. He doesnt want
to start from the beginning, as Prabhupada did. This means he
wants to accept only that professional standard, both in
technique and in mood.
It is naturally extremely
difficult for most artists to jump into that ocean and expect to
swim. Still, we need many artists, so here is the plan
We are just now beginning to embark on learning computer
graphics, so that we can try to do faster paintings in the
computer. We have full faith that when we will know well programs
like Photoshop and Corel Painter, this will be possible, but we
also know that it will take awhile to learn. We know enough about
these programs to know that even if a devotee is not up to the
standard Srila Gurudeva wants in the paintings, if he is expert in
these computer graphics programs, he can help tremendously and can
at least work on parts of paintings, cutting and pasting photos
and pictures from other documents and pasting them in the new
painting document, and adjusting them to look like they fit in
the painting. Then, either they or I will be able to touch them up
so the painting looks like one unit. Also, if we think we have to
change something of the color contrast in the computer painting,
for example, we will be able to do so by pressing one key, instead
of taking 2 days by doing it on a canvas outside the computer.
And, if we dont like the change, by pressing another key, again
the entire painting changes in one second. A graphic artist will
understand what I mean.
I am quite a novice at this,
and so I cant train graphic artists. We need expert graphic
artists. They can help me with the programs and I can help turn
their talents into paintings for Gurudevas books. At least that is
So is there anyone out there who would
like to help with this? You would more or less have to be in the
same place as me geographically, in which case you would have to
be free to travel, or to stay in Vrndavana for a few months of the
year, and we can also meet when we are in your city. We are presently
working on paintings for Srila Gurudevas English version of Sri
Gita-govinda, in the world outside the computer, and it seems to
be taking forever.
Jayanta dasa prabhu has kindly
donated an HP large screen computer for this purpose, and
Jaya-krsna dasa prabhu has kindly donated the newest model wacom
tablet, and Visvambara prabhu kindly gave a Painter 8 tutorial
book. You would be able to work on our computer, and you can also
bring your own.
Thank you in advance for your
kind consideration on the above. You can write to me at
Vaisnava sevabhilasi, Syamarani dasi
P.S. If any of you are expert in designing
covers, that is also great.