The countdown at ART VILLAGE, Karjat has begun. Much-loved teacher and a visiting artist at the Village, Pieter Weltevrede’s ‘Yantra & Mandala’ workshop is about to begin on February 11th & 12th and the one-of-its-kind residential art space and the team have a special place in their ‘He-ART’ for him.
“When the student is ready, The teacher appears”
– Tao Te Ching
Pieter Weltevrede acknowledges all his unlearning and learning of art to his Guru, Haresh Johari, who not only taught him to paint in the ‘wash technique’ from the Shantiniketan school but draw Vedic Squares and eventually led him to the core understanding and painting of Sacred Geometry.
“My teacher told me “I can save your time!” and taught me how to create spiritual art.” Harish Johari, himself a renowned author, astrologer, numerologist, sculptor, scholar and of course painter is still revered many years after his passing on. His books are considered like textbooks on the subjects he has written about, and his meeting Pieter can only be attributed to Divine Timing.
“I never wanted to come to India” confesses Pieter Weltevrede, as he laughs in amusement at the play of the Universe which pulled him into meeting Johari ji (Dada) in 1977 in Holland. Yet now he says “I love my India and come here to disappear in the love of the people here”. This love ensures that he returns each year to initiate people into sacred art.
“A strange kind of Love surfaces when your painting is egoless. Ego is simply ‘false identification’, while art is born out of Spirit. This Spirit resides in the 6th Chakra and is an embodiment of Shakti”
Mandalas & Yantras
“Mandalas appear across all religions – Hinduism, Buddhism, Christianity, Islam and others, even though they may not refer to it by the same name. Mandalas represent the Cosmos, while Yantras represent the deities. Painting a Yantra helps you center inwards as you try to bring both your hemispheres towards one focal point. It also helps you befriend a planet and make it happy” says Pieter, in context to planets which cause challenges in astrological charts of individuals.
Here in India, especially to conduct the Mandala & Yantra workshop at the Art Village, Karjat, Pieter’s knowledge and depth of Indian astrology and philosophy is as rich as it is deep. It is this rich learning that he brings into his teaching conversations during the sessions with his students around the world.
Pieter began swimming in the ocean of art over 40 years ago but still finds that “each painting is a fight. If there’s no fight, it won’t be special”. His wife and children are all artists and deeply believes that it was his destiny to paint. “I make a lot of mistakes so I also learn a lot”