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.


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