EDIT: Visit www.sikhiart.com/for-sale/guru-nanak-dev/ for further details of the painting, close-up shots, and a brief introduction to Eastern Traditions.
Here's my newest Sikh History inspired artwork.
Guru Nanak was a great moral teacher of the 1500s. He was well versed with many languages and philosophies, and preached a message of love and harmony between the Hindus and Muslims and between those of higher castes and lower castes. During his travels around India (including neighboring countries) as well as the middle east, he discouraged superstitious thinking and hollow rituals. He encouraged people to remember God, live honestly and share with the less fortunate. Sickness and death were common during his time. So he encouraged these values as a way of liberation from this world.
His message made him popular among both Hindus and Muslims. Those who became his students came to be known as Sikhs, which translates to "students".
Guru Nanak composed a lot of poetry and music during his lifetime. In fact, he spent most of his lifetime singing his compositions and thus preaching moral values. Poetry and Music were excellent tools for speaking against damaging societal norms and corrupt political figures. Music was believed to play a significant role in bonding with God. So I used this concept in my painting of Guru Nanak. He is singing in an ecstatic state, with his friend and companion during his travels, Mardana, playing a guitar-like instrument, Rebab. In the back there is a temple-like complex in the midst of a city in India. I figured his admirers must have brought lots of oil lamps or something, and that's the light source that illuminates Guru Nanak and Mardana.
My aim is to create a serene and somewhat ecstatic mood.
Here's the painting, still a WIP. Critiques are always appreciated.