Debut of Self-Taught Female Painter

Sophie Pirtskhalava is a 22-old self-taught artist whose first solo exhibition went on display on October 1-2 at Baia Gallery, Chardin Street.

A student of the Department of Diplomacy at the Georgian-American University, she says she has been painting since she was 14. "Painting is my hobby. I've wanted to have an exhibition for a long time. It took me around 5 years to create 20 works.”

She qualifies her current works as a mix of decorative and abstract art, working in gouache, water-color and acryl. “When I come home from university, I sit down, start painting and relax. It usually happens very unexpectedly- when images come to me, I immediately make some outlines not to forget and then come home and start working.” 

Some might think these flamboyant paintings resemble oriental motifs. However, the young painter has hardly ever travelled to the East. Her “Lerato”, “Trippy Butterfly,” “Giraffe,” “Self-portrait”, and “Lotus” are very joyful, offering a parallel world, a wonderland… After all, do we need so much severity in art? This is an idealistic, very feminine world full of positive feeling.  

The painter is a very frank respondent and tells us the results of her work sometimes surprise her: “While working, my brain is totally shut off. I belong to a totally different world. I tend to listen to classical music while painting and I sit in my own room. Even if there are other family members watching me or making a noise, I don't notice anything. Once, I painted from 8 pm to 5 am without eating anything. I wasn't a bit tired.”

Sophie says that a painting may need one month to finish, sometimes two. One painting took four years to complete. “Abstract art is much easier for me and I work at it much more quickly, while decorative art takes more time.”

GEORGIA TODAY spoke to Maia Pirtskhalava, the artist’s mother, herself a professional painter: "Sophie has always been sensitive to colors, always paying attention to detail. When I went to work in Italy and she was left without me, I think she accumulated her emotions and energy in her colorful art. I thought: why not organize an exhibition? I helped her a lot, as talent needs some stimulus and encouragement.“ 

Sophie plans to offer more large scale exhibitions. One of her paintings was exhibited successfully in Rome. “Of course, I cannot surprise the Italians, as Rome is extremely rich in art, but my positive and cheerful colors got some notice,” Sophie confesses.    

By Maka Lomadze

02 October 2016 16:15