Wednesday, May 20, 2009

The Purple Haze

The Purple Haze

What do you see
In the haze of her purple night?
Glinting eyes,
Teasing smile shining bright?

What do you smell
In the dark of her purple room?
When she buds
Like her lilac in bloom?

What do you feel
In the bed of her purple rose?
Trembling touch,
The sweet pain as it grows?

What do you hear
At the dawn of her purple day?
Silent voice
That keeps asking "Please stay?"

* * *

I wrote this small poem shortly after finishing the artwork. I was looking at it and the verses began to float in my head, just like that. It's strange, because I don't write poems on regular basis -- I have written a few in my youth, but who hasn't? And they were all in Georgian, so this would be my first poem in English.

Anyway, back to the artwork. It's sort of a commission, only I don't get paid for it -- just an old promise redeemed. My friend, who is the model in this picture and the "client" at the same time, has a thing for lilacs and all related tints and hues, so the color choices were obvious. Since I rarely work with purple and violet, it was a good opportunity to visit that unexplored part of the spectrum and play around. Also, it was my second time with oil pastels -- another virgin soil for me. Thus my enjoyment from the process was doubled.

I chose a bluish-violet pastel paper, very toothed and very hard. Not the best choice for oil pastels, but I like the canvas feel it provides. The size of the paper was another rarity for me -- most of my works don't exceed standard A4 size, and this one makes a whopping (for me, that is) 40 cm square. But, despite the size, the drawing didn't took much time -- the paper was quite dark, so I didn't have to cover all the surface. I managed in two days. The portrait came out a bit darker than most of my other works, and a lot rougher around the edges than my usual style, but I don't complain -- change of pace is always refreshing.

Friday, May 8, 2009


It may sound strange, but this simple Ossetian countrywoman was my first guide into the mysterious World of Art. She's my late grandmother's sister, and I often visited her in my childhood days. Back then she was a teacher of drawing at her local village school, and her house was full of art related textbooks and publications. We spent countless evenings just browsing through them and talking about art. I've been drawing pictures since I was knee-high to a grasshopper, but it was those unforgettable evenings that kindled a real flame from the little spark I always carried in my heart.

This portrait is my first attempt in oil pastels. It's been drawn on a toothed pastel paper, which proved to be quite a challenge with this viscid medium. The old lady looks as if she's troubled or in pain, but don't worry -- it's her regular expression due to the permanent facial nerve damage she received in her adolescence. It gives her a unique twisted smile, which I find most heart-warming and adorable.

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Easter Levitation

Here it is at long last -- my belated Easter tribute. I intended to finish it for the Orthodox Easter, which fell on the 19th of April this year, but my designer's work interfered, as always.

In the picture there are four levitating objects, associated with Easter. The first one is a buxus leaf (in Georgia we use buxus instead of palm branches); below it there is a chalice from which the red wine is pouring down, painting an Easter egg; at the bottom you can see a slice of paska -- a sweet bread with raisins, traditionally prepared at Easter in Georgia.

Art Holding Logo

This one went surprisingly fast, smooth and easy. The whole process of creation and endorsement took only one day. The task was to create a simple, good-looking, modern logo for an art holding company, without going to great conceptual lengths. I was given only a couple of days, so I had a certain skepticism regarding the quality of the final product. But fortunately, my worst expectations proved to be wrong: the logo came out neat and solid. It surely was no world-beater, but the client was happy with the product, which was quite enough for me, considering the circumstances.

Originally the client wanted to use an eight-pointed star as the leading element of the design, because it was a trademark of their related project: the Hollywood-style memorial stars to honor the famous Georgian actors. I expressed a strong concern that such an element could give the logo somewhat cheesy looks, but still promised to work on that concept. And I did: on the right you can see one of the several demos where I used the suggested element. Fortunately, these "star" versions were rejected in favor of a more modern concept, just as I hoped.