Discovering the inner artist (2)

Three weeks ago, I attended my first acrylic workshop with Tako Shashiashvili (Tako Shashiashvili Art (Facebook page). The first session (Discovering the inner artist.) went well, so I was happy to attend a second workshop entitled “Delicious Painting 4”. Again we met on the top terrace ofΒ  No.21 Terrace Restaurant in Maidani in Old Tbilisi, which has a fabulous view of the old Metekhi Church on the opposite bank of the Mtkvari River.


View of the Old Metekhi Church

Tako again supplied all the necessary materials. This time we had canvases stretched on a wooden frame rather than on board.


Tako prepares my palette

I could have chosen a different view from the first time, but I was interested to see how my paintings would compare, so I tackled the same view again.


The group was smaller this time just three of us learners. In July and August many people leave Tbilisi, if they can, because of the heat. We started later (18.30 as opposed to 17.00) and I felt more time pressure than before, as the light was fading, we also had a few spots of rain.


Martin took off lickety-split and had almost covered his canvas in paint before I had even started. Taisia adopted a more measured controlled approach. It was getting dark by the time we were ready to show our finished pictures.

delicious painting 4 show

Our paintings: me, Martin, Tako and Taisia

I was happier with my earlier painting.


Painting (2 July 2017)


Painting (23 July 2017)

I think I’m happier with the first painting because the church looks better, the colours are closer to reality and it was more carefully rendered. The Metekhi church had had scaffolding erected on one side between the two painting sessions.


Metekhi Church with scaffolding

Today, I bought myself a blank canvas, so I can practise at home. I hope to have more opportunities to paint in the future, it was fun. Thanks, Tako πŸ™‚ Didi madloba.

Discovering the inner artist.

I am interested in art and have done a lot of drawing over the years, but any painting has largely been confined to watercolours with the grandchildren, that was until yesterday (2 July 2017). I was invited by a friend and talented artist, Tako Shashiashvili to a workshop entitled “Delicious Painting 3“. We would be painting with acrylics in a small group of 8, some were beginners like me. We met in No.21 Terrace Restaurant in Maidani in Old Tbilisi, which has a fabulous view of the old Metekhi Church on the opposite bank of the Mtkvari River.


view of Old Metekhi Church

Tako supplied all the paints and gave us each a canvas to paint on. Acrylic paints were chosen as our medium as they dry much quicker than oils and watercolour requires too much preparation.


First we were given pencils to sketch in some outline and details and work out the composition.


pencil detail

Tako would also paint to demonstrate the techniques, but she was clear we were painting for ourselves and should be relaxed.


Tako painting a demo

We soon got down to painting ourselves, this was an interesting experience, mixing the paints on the palette and trying to capture the scene on canvas.


It was a hot day, we would spend around two and a half hours painting. The activity I found quite relaxing. Maybe, half the group were first timers painting in acrylics.


I wasn’t the only first timer

Oksana and Tako had obviously done this before.


Tako is a professional artist, next week she will have an exhibition in Amsterdam. She was inspiring and helped us bring out our inner artists. The Facebook page for her art: Tako Shashiashvili Art


My palette saw a lot of mixing.

Here are our finished works.

me painting 3

Delicious Painting 3, July 2 2017

I was quite pleased with my first canvas.


my finished painting

I hope to have more opportunities to paint in the future, it was fun. Thanks, Tako πŸ™‚ Didi madloba.


Yesterday, I downloaded Prisma onto my Android Smartphone, there are 43 different filters which can dramatically transform my photos. The technology is described as “A Neural Algorithm of Artistic Style”.

I am quite impressed with some of the results.

I take my granddaughter to school in the mornings, so as I took her, I played with my new app…

I have had the app less than 24 hours but I’ve already made over 100 images, it is easy and fun to use plus it was free to download.


this one (called Curly Hair) gives a drawing effect

Some filters imitate famous artists like Munch, Mondrian, Hokusai or Roy Lichtenstein others are just bespoke filters of the app.

The app was created by Alexey Moiseenkov and uses artificial intelligence in a way I cannot grasp.

I can take a photo and apply the filter or download old photos to my phone to be Prismatised.



I might use this with my diecast blog


Demolition in the Old Town


This gives the Metro Carriage a Renoir-look (the filter was called “Dancers in Blue”)

I can see I am going to have a lot of fun with this app in the days ahead.

365 : an art project

In September 2000, I had an idea for an art project. Every day I would create some art: a drawing, painting or collage on a postcard and send it in the post. Every day for one year. This is where the 365 in my blog address comes from. I started on 01.10.00 (1st October 2000) because I thought the date looked cool and continued until 30.09.01.



This was the first. I would make two of each card, one I would keep, one I would send. The recipient I chose was Jonathan Watkins at the Ikon Gallery in Birmingham. I chose him because I had recently attended an exhibition of the works of Gordon Bennett, an Australian aboriginal artist at the Ikon Gallery and Jonathan Watkins had spoken eloquently about the works.


each card would have a number andΒ  a title on the back

I was working at the Royal Mail at the time, so using the post as part of the project seemed fitting. I don’t know what exactly the recipient felt about these cards, I think he was mildly amused. My goals in creating the project were vague and undefined. I was, I think hoping to hone my rudimentary artistic skills. I enjoy writing, drawing and photography but I am very much an amateur in all these fields. This blog has given me an outlet for my writing and photography. There could be a part of me craving recognition or just wanting to share my views of the world.


The subject would differ from day to day. I didn’t strictly make one a day, some days I would do none, other days I would do two or three but I surprised myself by managing to complete 365 in one year. There were many drawings usually copied from photographs, often of celebrities.


Sylvester Stallone 243/365

I came across the cards again in September when we were sorting through the contents of mum’s bungalow, as she prepared to move into an old people’s home. I don’t have all 365, it was amusing to see them again. I often feel I should do more drawing and painting, one of the reasons I bought the Moleskine, a week ago.


Dr Franz Kafka 361/365

It may be appropriate that Kafka was the subject of one of the last cards, he was a great writer but barring a few short stories, he was unpublished in his lifetime. He had asked his friend Max Brod to destroy all his work on his death, though luckily for us Brod ignored this request. The novels we have of his: Amerika, The Trial and The Castle, are unfinished, he continually rewrote them and had no publisher screaming at him for the finished manuscript.


Blue Parliament 325/364


Didn’t I blow your Mind? Red/Green 294/365

The mind blowing picture was created by dropping paint on the card and blowing the drop with a straw. I did three of these cards using complementary colours: red/green, blue/orange and yellow/purple.


There is nothing so beautiful… 168/365


untitled 234/365

I haven’t made such projects since, maybe it is time to find a new project.