Dedo Kolio – Nema i nemogu nema

Few years ago I was spending time practicing pyrography, drawing birds – I love wood and the burnt effect the pyrograph brings. At that time my brother was living with me and he urged me to draw a portrait of my grandfather from a picture we had. I was reluctant since I didn’t believe I can do it well enough to be worth doing, but after some convincing the project commenced.

I didn’t have a high quality timber, but rather just a piece of pine plank lying around, so I started playing on it. You can see below the final result – it has a lot of imperfections and the choice of wood is not the best.


Along with the portrait we added a motto that my grandad has which translates into “There is no “I can’t” and “I won’t””. The sentence is not in formal Bulgarian, but rather a dialect from the western side of the country where I grew up, which adds a lot of character to it.


On the back is written the same message my grandfather Nikolai (Kolio) had written on his photograph we owned. It goes “Serious and simple” which conveys his ways very accurately.

Nikolaicho (as they called him in his family) has become a master craftsman of the metal work and when he received his present, he made this simple foundation with two bolts to keep it upright. The portrait now sits on a shelf on the living room, to greet anyone visiting.

A detail that should not be overlooked is how moved my grandad was by this present, I could see it really reached deep in his heart and he realised that we have grasped the essence of his personality in that simple object. However imperfect the execution was, it did a great impact and now I believe it was more than worth doing.

Thus, if you’re in doubt of weather your art or effort is worth doing for someone else, if you’re doing it with love it always is.



Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *