Posted by: cochinblogger | January 6, 2011

A Russian Evening

At an exhibition of Russian handicrafts, this attractive young lady was making portraits for free. It occurred to me that sitting in front of her for a half hour or so would be a profoundly soul-stirring experience, so after she had finished the portrait of the young man in the photo, I asked her if she would do mine.

She looked me up and down, said “Please wait,” and then began talking to another young girl in Russian. Both kept punctuating the conversation with sidelong glances directed at me.

Finally, the girl in the photo bade me to sit down in the chair near the easel. I was ecstatic.

She then disappeared, and yet another young girl appeared, holding a brush and watercolors in her hand. “Look at me,” she instructed.

I complied, albeit a bit reluctantly, I must admit, for this new artist was singularly lacking in — how should I put it — the pizzazz of the artist in the photo.

However, let me not sound churlish: in half an hour, she had produced a remarkable portrait.

I give below a sample of items on show at the exhibition, beginning with the famous Matryoshka (or Babushka) nesting dolls.



  1. I couldn’t spot you among the matrioshkas.

    Are you a patrioshka?

    • Spot on! And you can see me in the fourth photo. I’m the chap with the mustache, the one closer to the girl.

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