"Would you pose for me?", you see beautiful girl about 16 years of age, very round body, long curly, very black hair and very dark eyes 16 asking a boy of the same age.

"Haha! No way! But hey, wait… If I can practice my violin while I am posing, that might work… and also, you know I paint… can I bring my paintings to show your teacher?"

"Sure! You can practice all day long, you don't really have to be still posing. And, yeah, I guess, you can bring your paintings. Actually, that's why I asked you… I know you paint, that's why I asked you.

"Deal! See you there"

It's 1985. It's a 7th floor of very old building in St. Petersburg. I knock at the door, expecting the painter himself open the door… and I expect he would look like Leonardo da Vinci… White long hair, long beard…

Instead a gentleman opens the door. Super short hair cut. Very thin features. Black leather jacket. He looks like a biker rather than artist…

"Hello", I say entering into the workshop, paintings all over the place, smell of oil paint, tabac and tea in the air, "Okay, and… where it the artist?" I ask.

"I am the artist", the biker says. "Andrey. Pakhomov. Come in."

"Oh, you're the artist! Ah, of course. I am so sorry. Very pleased to meet you!"

"Oh really? Already pleased? I am not so sure… but I do hope so"… you see him smiling in his eyes, his face does not change focused and serious expression and I feel ashamed for my stock courtesy, which I frankly did not feel…

After that fateful day of posing you see me visiting his artist studio for five years. To learn. To paint. To get feedback.

Fast forward 1988.

"Andrey… I don't know what to do… Look, I love painting. And I'd like to become a painter rather than a musician. But what would you recommend?"

"Dmitry, you're already so advanced in music, I'd suggest, continue. But if you are mad enough to make a switch, I will be happy to accept you at my class at the Academy of Fine Arts".

Fast forward, The Hague, April 9th, 17:00. 2019. Sunny. Smells of varnish in the air. I don't paint on canvass.

But I love when this produces the same effect in the soul of a musician and he or she then plants the same seeds of inspiration in people around her… Yet, I don't paint on canvass. It's something even finer… I feel.

What do you feel?

If you ever felt you had more than one gift, stretch your hands in front of yourself and look at them very carefully. What do those hands give to the world? What you're amazing at? Pick that and give more. And share this with any friend of yours who might be helped by this.

P.S. Work in progress. Varnishing fun at Badiarov Violins


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  • Chris Devine

    I’m sure I can speak for a lot of your fans in saying I’m glad you stuck with music…but it shouldn’t surprise me you might have become a painter. Your story, and your creations, illustrates the ultimate unity of all the arts…and that great talent (accompanied, always, by hard work and vision) will find its way ‘out’. (y)

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