Scott Burdick
2008

"Offerings for Krishna" India,  oil,  72" by 102"
Susan and I were exploring off the main roads in the Northern deserts of India when we came upon a procession of a couple hundred people from the area walking in the middle of nowhere to bring offerings to the god, Krishna. In the tops of the metal containers on the women's heads are offerings of coconuts and leaves. Part of the ceremony entailed throwing red pigment into the air and some people even covered their faces in it. 

I walked along with the group for a couple of miles, taking photographs while Susan retreated to the car with our driver, Balbir Singh, because of the crowd of people who surrounded us and wanted their photograph taken, or wanted to put red pigment on us as part of the ceremony. When the procession had passed, a nice man who had a small motorcycle motioned for me to hop on behind him and we sped over the sand passed the long group of celebrants until we were in front once more, and I continued photographing while people passed, then jumped back on the motorcycle and repeated the process. Once, my hat blew off and disappeared into a crowd of children and I figured it was the price to be paid for the utterly magical experience, but about five minutes later, the running children caught up and presented my hat to me. By the time the procession finished, I had taken over a thousand photographs and met at least a hundred of the most genuine people. Even now, the mixture of solemnity and joy of the ceremony fills me with emotion.

Here you can see some of the red pigment rubbed into this girl's face and hair.

I loved the otherworldly look the red/purple pigment gave to some of the skin tones.

Here's a couple of shots below of me working on this painting in a few of the stages. Thanks to Charles and Susan for the photos!

Because this painting was so complicated, I drew it all out with some vine charcoal first. This took me a full three days and was the most tedious part of the painting, but important to get right before starting, since it is so easy to get proportions wrong on something like this that must be tackled in sections. I used about eight separate photos to create my composition. 

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All material on this website, Copyright 2007 Scott Burdick and Susan Lyon