City guide

Take a painting course in a rooftop studio

Photo : Masa Tóth / Kunstfuck Art Residency

Starting this Saturday, a month-long series of English-language painting classes brings together amateurs and enthusiasts to learn about Modernism, murals and urban landscapes. Led by classically trained Oksana Devochkina from St Petersburg, ‘April, Architecture, Abstraction’ is a hands-on course that will help students improve technique, appreciate contemporary painting and sketch Bauhaus buildings in situ. Lessons run over four Saturdays or Sundays.

In a light-filled studio gallery atop a building designed by Béla Lajta of fin-de-siècle New Theatre fame, Oksana Devochkina teaches small groups of five or six people keen to paint – or rather, paint better.

Photo: Masa Tóth / Kunstfuck Art Residency

As she herself puts it, “I paint for money, I paint for fun, I paint to run from myself, I paint to find myself. And I invite you to join me”. A graduate from the art faculty of St Petersburg University, Oksana left a full-time career in graphic design and her native city to find herself in Budapest – and painting again.

Photo: Masa Tóth / We Love Budapest

She began her series of classes last September: “As well as helping students experience the joy of painting, I was looking to create a circle of like-minded people”. Some students have enrolled for every course, some pick up where they left off. With a young daughter herself, Oksana understands the demands of modern-day living.


Her sessions attract amateurs from all walks of life and of all ages. “There’s a young computer programmer from Angola, a dancer from the Müpa Palace of Arts and an American artist approaching retirement age,” says Oksana. “I try and make sure that each person creates two paintings over the four weeks.”

Photo: Masa Tóth / Kunstfuck Art Residency

Fluent in English and German, Oksana advises her students about materials, prices and sources, and encourages them to make use of what they see around the flat as subject matter. A bowl of fruit may be provided for inspiration – but not a reclining model. For this month’s ‘April, Architecture, Abstraction’, students will venture from the workshop on Rákóczi út to explore the Bauhaus architecture of Pasarét in leafy Buda.

Photo: Masa Tóth / Kunstfuck Art Residency

The price of four sessions of four hours is 25,000 forints. Courses start at 10.30am on Saturdays or Sundays and run until 2.30pm. For all details, see here. Don’t be put off by the name of the course – it’s a play on words!