A fun workshop with @startworld at Park Hyatt, Dubai

Karan has been going to START’s art workshops for a while now, and when we were told there was going to be one workshop held at Park Hyatt one weekend, we stuck our names down for it. It was the Eid weekend, and since I was free I decided to go with Karan (the usual workshops are on Tuesday’s in the evening when I’m at work).


Zara Mahmood howing us what to do

It was a whole lot of fun, with the kids (mixed, this one. That is, both special needs kids and the neuro-typical ones [NTs]) working with roller brushes, paint, glue, cardboard and paper.


Brushes, glue and paint!

And boy did we get messy!

We had to cut patterns out with cardboard, stick them on a bigger piece of cardboard, then paint all over it with the roller brushes and then put a paper on top to make a patterned painting. I made the patterns, Karan did the sticking and painting.
…except for this time when he decided he wanted to cut a bit and took the scissors from me!


That’s MY messy hand!

First up, I made a face, but since I let the paper stick on the cardboard for too long, it tore a bit and ended up looking like a skull more than anything else, haha.

Stages of the first painting

Next was a house, then a car, and then Karan’s handprint! Check them out:


Thanks to START and Park Hyatt for a great morning out, and Zara Mahmood for working with the kids 🙂


Going for Karan’s first exhibition


July 28, 2011, a Thursday evening saw myself, Mom and Karan heading down to Farjam Collection gallery at DIFC. Karan was at the START art camp, and the gallery was hosting an exhibition of all the work the kids had done. Alongside the works of the START kids, were the paintings of children who had attended the Art camp as well.

Here’s a look at Karan’s work that was on exhibit; he also did the painting splotches in the lower right hand corner in the fifth pic in this gallery.


Some of the other things at the gallery that caught my eye:



Karan says…see you again!_mg_4943

Karan’s work on exhibit

Just a quick update to tell our readers that we’ve been told Karan’s paintings will be on display at an exhibition at the Farjam Collection Gallery at DIFC, tomorrow evening from 6pm onwards.

Trying to get confirmation on whether it’s just for a day, or will go on for a few more. The work on exhibit will be the ones he worked on while attending the Tuesday START workshops. Paintings from other participants at the START workshops will also be exhibited, so it will be quite an inspiring and fun exhibit I should think.

If anyone wants to come along with us tomorrow night, do let me know…would love to have you there!

Of Audi’s and art

Guest post by Adita Divecha, Karan’s mother

We’re back to Karan’s Tuesday art class at the Jam Jar.

This time, when we walked in, there were many people around. It seemed that the staff from Audi had volunteered for the day.

They wanted the children to paint cars; they had bought the small models of Audi cars and said we could dip them into the paint and roll the tyres across the paper to create painted wheel tracks.

Karan was very excited, I think because there were so many people around and they were taking photographs. He dipped the car in the paint and started making tracks on the paper. He seemed pretty excited about doing it and was pretty quick about it.

Since he doesn’t like getting paint on his fingers, I had to go wash his hands every now and then. The second time he used a paint brush but he wasn’t interested in painting cars, so he just made strokes with the brush the way he wanted to. For the third one, they gave him a sheet with an outline of the car but he didn’t want to stay in the line. He was laughing a lot and having fun.

After that, they kept large sheets of paper on the floor and had drawn a large sized Audi sports car…I think it was an R8. They asked if Karan would sit down on the floor and paint and we decided to give it a try. He was helped by one of the guys from Audi who sat with him. He painted the rear of the car dark blue and the rear shell of the car red and black and silver.

He was fine with sitting on the floor and moving his hands, as his strokes have improved.

As usual I did not take photos, and now Devina is upset because of that. The people from Audi had painted their faces and they seemed to be enjoying themselves along with the children. When we left, they gave each child one of the small car models.

Thanks to Audi and Start for the day!

Karan goes back to art!

Guest post by Adita Divecha, Karan’s mother

The second session was at the Raffles Hotel near Wafi.


When Karan and I got there, everyone was in the lobby.


Nicola came and took us to the third floor, to this huge banquet hall which was almost empty except for two large round tables.

Then representatives from the Raffles Hotel came and met all the kids and then said they would like us to look around the Botanical Gardens. There was a door which opened out onto a huge terrace and the Botanical Gardens were there. It’s actually the roof of the mall which they converted in a garden, with canals running through it with fish in them, surrounded by trees and flowers.

We then took a tour of the gardens. Karan was really excited especially when he saw the water.  I actually thought he was going to try jumping into it. There was also a fountain there and because there was a lot of wind, the water was spraying on his face which he really got excited about. He was in a happy mood.

Then we went back in and all the children sat on the tables on which were paintbrushes, paper and paint…even crayons and pencils. Karan only does his art with a brush and thick paint.


So he got to work, took the brush, dipped it into the bowl… “Dip and dab, dip and dab,” is what I have to keep telling him.

Everybody’s art was later kept on the side to dry. Karan did three paintings.


They even gave the children cookies and something to drink. Karan just had the chocolate cookie. He was very happy. One of the other girls kept saying, “don’t get so excited!”

Then they gave certificates to each child for attending the session. So all in all, it was a good day!

Karan’s first Tuesday Workshop @thejamjar

Guest post by Adita Divecha, Karan’s mother

Note: Sorry I didn’t take any pictures; Devina already told me I should have!

Devina had arranged for Karan to join the Tuesday Workshops organized by START at the Jam Jar in Al Quoz. They have 1/1.5 hour sessions every Tuesday where children with special needs get to do some artwork.

Karan has been doing a lot of painting in school and we thought this might be something he would enjoy and hopefully get involved in.

I was a bit nervous initially; I’ve never taken him outside for painting or art before. But I drove to the Jam Jar yesterday and found it easily enough. It’s a big open space inside and there were a few people already there, sitting at the long table with thick sheets of paper in front of them.

We met with Nicola who was from START and I signed in. There were also people from Dubai One filming, although I’m not exactly sure for what. They were asking volunteers questions about their work at START I think.

The volunteers were getting the kids to dip their fingers in thick paint and copy the artwork in front of them. Karan isn’t very good at imitating yet, and he hates his fingers brushing against in any new substance, but we tried. He dipped one finger into a bowl of blue paint and had the most pained expression on his face as he did so. He then wiped his finger all over his t-shirt. Then we hurriedly put an apron on.

So I asked for a brush for him and then he was okay. He did four paintings; didn’t copy the design very well but had wonderful splotches of bright paints all over his sheets.

After an hour and a little more, he got a bit whiny so we decided to leave while he was still in a reasonably good mood.

I think he liked it … let’s see what he does next week.