Dudka was born on the 1-st of May, 1962 in Dessau,
Germany. He received a European art education at college
in Ulan-Ude, Buryatia, Russia, and at the Academy
of Art in Kiev, Ukraine. His first exposure to the complex
science of Buddhist religioun, philosophy and art occurred in 1986.
buryatian Lama Dharmadoddi and abbot Jimba-Jamso were
his first spiritual teachers. Later, Nicolai met his main spiritual
master Namkhai Norbu Rinpoche. At the beginning of the 1990's
he began an intensive study of thangka painting with visits to Mongolia,
Nepal and India. Following this was a year-long
period of work and education at the Library of Tibetan
Works and Archives (LTWA) in Dharamsala, India under the guidance
of Ven. Sangei Yeshe, the personal artist of HH the Dalai Lama.
At present, Nicolai works as a teacher of drawing and painting
of thangkas in the State Academy of Art in Ulan-Ude
and continues to work in his studio. Many of his thangkas are in Buddhist
Temples in Buryatia and in museums and private collections
of many countries around the world.
thangka, or scroll painting, is a special art of Tibetan Buddhism.
In ancient India, for instance, there was the Pata, Buddhist portraiture,
which was executed on the kasaya (the monk's outer garment) cloth,
and the Hans sometimes used silk fabric as material for paintings.
The material used for thangkas is linen cloth or cotton fabric; silk
cloth is reserved for important subjects. Before painting begins,
the material is stitched along the edges with flax thread and stretched
on a specially made wooden frame (T. Tang-shin). Then a paste made
of animal glue mixed with talcum powder is spread over its surface
to block up the holes in it. When the paste is scraped off and the
cloth gets thoroughly dried, the material is ready for painting. To
begin, the artist works out the sketches of the images with charcoal
sticks. The drawing usually begins with the figure in the centre and
then goes to the surrounding deities or landscape. Colouring comes
last. The pigments used come from non-transparent minerals and plants
such as malachite and cinnabar. They are mixed with animal glue and
ox bile to make the lustre stay. When the painting is done, it is
mounted on a brocaded silk border. Important thangkas are embroidered
on transferred outlines; some of them use a great variety of stitch
patterns such as flat and piled stitches to give them a three-dimensional
The pictorial subjects of thangkas include portraits of Buddhas, stories
from the lives of saints and great masters. Thangkas are usually rectangular
in shape, and the square ones are reserved for mandalas. Thangka paintings
vary in size, ranging from a little over a few square centimeters
to several square meters. A large thangka often takes large team of
artists months, even years, to make.
Just publishshed our new Album "Art of Thangka" is in the
Look at it and order here.
During last two years I painted a few thangkas and now
want to share them with you.
Hope they are could be useful for lookers and for seekers.
Look at the
the history is here 1
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