Paint on canvas in Hatsik Village

Paint on canvas in Hatsik Village image

Two of Gohar's passions are painting and ceramics and she share both with visitors in her two workshops. (Photo by Narek Harutyunyan, My Armenia Program)

This painting class en plein air will introduce you to Gohar Petrosyan’s most important inspiration: the landscape and cultural sites near Hatsik village where she lives. You’ll begin with a tour of Gohar’s studio to see a sample of her ceramic pieces, canvas paintings, and archaeological objects from the region. After telling you a bit about her artistic techniques and journeys, Gohar will take you to one of the places—surrounding villages, fields, houses, or ruins of old churches—that inspire her to paint, and that should inspire you as well.

You may also choose to visit the pilgrimage site of Tsak Kar pilgrimage (literally “stone with a hole”), a natural stone monument that locals visit mainly on the Armenian holiday of Vardavar in July. Those who pass through the stone are cured from all illnesses and have their wishes come true—or so the legend goes. On a mountain not far from Tsak Kar is the Seven Brothers’ shrine-chapel, which marks the grave of seven brothers who were martyred during a battle. The canyon containing these two sites is brimming with local traditions and beliefs. Many visitors install khachkars (cross-stones) or plant trees in the area and make a wish.

Closer to Hatsik are also some ancient religious sites and objects. For instance, a manuscript dating to the 1500s is a magnificent example of Armenian miniature painting, which has been preserved through generations because of its believed healing properties and currently belongs to a 96-year-old villager in Hatsik. The village basilica, partly collapsed during the 1988 earthquake, is also of special importance to locals.

Towards the end of your class, Gohar’s family offers coffee, tea, and local desserts, like dried fruits and pastries. You can rest in the house’s large garden or enjoy more time in the landscape as you learn about Hatsik’s history and everyday life. Gohar’s museum-like gallery invites and entices visitors to explore and immerse themselves in a variety of artistic styles. In the process, participants may help maintain some of Armenia’s rich artistic traditions and even take home a memento of their visit. For those who would prefer to stay near Gohar’s studio, Gohar also offers a ceramic-painting workshop.

Photo by Narek Harutyunyan, My Armenia Program

Photo by Narek Harutyunyan, My Armenia Program

Photo by Narek Harutyunyan, My Armenia Program

Photo by Narek Harutyunyan, My Armenia Program

Photo by Narek Harutyunyan, My Armenia Program

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