More From Lahore

23 Apr

elephant 1Here’s a little sketch I did in Lahore at the weekend. We’d gone to visit the old part of the city and ended up at Cooco’s Den, a famous restaurant in the red light district. It’s at the top of an old brothel and is decorated with masses of carvings, old and new, stained glass and artefacts. It’s one of a kind. I sketched just a tiny fragment of the place, a large wooden elephant, carved and standing in amongst the old hammered beams. I’m thinking of turning it into a drypoint. Drawn into my little spotty A6 sketchbook with Faber Castell Pitt pens, sizes S and F.

 

This residency has been supported by Wales Arts International and Arts Council Wales.

rose acw

Punjab Sunset

22 Apr

sunset 8The drive back from Crazy Lahore was completely different to the torrential rain, hail and thunder we’d endured on the way down. The calm, sunny afternoon over the plains gave way to a beautiful sunset as we approached the mountains on the final leg of our journey back to Pindi.

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I sketched these quickly, just noting down impressions, using Daler Rowney artist quality soft pastels into my Khadi hand-made paper sketchbook, around 15cms square.

This residency has been supported by Wales Arts International and Arts Council Wales.

rose acw

Rain. Hail. Thunder. Picnic.

21 Apr

thunder 1

Travelling down to Lahore from Rawalpindi on my birthday, we hit a huge storm, so heavy that we had to stop on the motorway verge so we had our picnic of egg sandwiches and crisps in the car while the torrential rain and hail – yes hail in Pakistan – thundered down on the roof of the car.  Just like Spring bank holiday in Britain! I scribbled fleeting impressions of the sky and land; the light changed constantly and it was a real challenge to get something down on paper. When we arrived in Lahore, the city was flooded, but that was quite good for us because it kept the temperature and the dust down.

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I drew into a Khadi handmade paper sketchbook, approximately 15cms square, using artist quality Daler Rowney soft pastels……and my finger! Before I came to Pakistan, I cut up lots of squares of acid-free tissue (kite) paper to interleave between the pages as pastels are very messy and I wanted to keep the drawings clean.

This residency has been supported by Wales Arts International and Arts Council Wales.

rose acw

Whistlestop tour of Lahore

19 Apr

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I was going to continue the story of the Punjab thunderstorm this evening but we’re exhausted from a whistlestop tour of Lahore today in the heat. So here are the next 2 drawings in the series. We’d just reached the end of the mountain bit of the road and the light started to change, so I scribbled away. There was nothing at that minute to suggest that a storm was on the way.

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Drawn into my small square Khadi sketchbook using Daler Rowney soft pastels.

This residency has been supported by Wales Arts International and Arts Council Wales
rose acw

Birthday Adventure, Pakistan

18 Apr

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We set out from Rawalpindi this morning to travel to Lahore for my birthday. As we drove through the gently rolling hills, I started speed sketching impressions of the lovely landscape with my little Khadi sketchbook and Daler Rowney soft pastels (artist quality). We dropped down steep hills that seemed to go on for miles, the surrounding countryside diffused in a warm golden sunshine.

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As we reached the bottom and joined the massive plain that stretches all the way to Lahore, the sky darkened and we drove through the worst thunderstorm I have ever experienced. But that’s for tomorrow’s blog…….

This residency has been supported by Wales Arts International and Arts Council Wales

rose acw

The Big Show (And A Scribble)

17 Apr
The artist drawing the artist

The artist drawing the artist

So last night (April 16th) was the night of the exhibition in Islamabad that our collaborative group of artists had worked so hard on throughout the previous 10 days. Here are some of the pictures of the opening at the Satrang Gallery. The British High Commissioner, Philip Barton, opened the show and was genuinely interested in the work and also in the collaboration between artists of the two nations. The staff, under gallery director, Asma Rashid Khan, were fantastic. Here’s a write up in a local paper if you want to read more. I’ve done a slide show of the gallery pictures below. The little sketch above is a signwriter who was working in the local Nando’s in Islamabad when we popped in for a salad. So I scribbled him. As you do.

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This residency has been supported by Wales Arts International and Arts Council Wales.

rose acw

The Aftermath!

16 Apr

aftermath

The day after our epic all-nighter, editioning 12 drypoint plates between three artists, Zaira Ahmad Zaka, Hannah F Lawson and myself. Here’s the studio afterwards – trashed. We have a big clear up job ahead. But first, setting up the exhibition at the Satrang Gallery in Islamabad.

gallery hannah smallAfter a shower, we went over to the gallery to chat to the lovely staff about placing our work. Here’s Hannah contemplating.

 

gallery tea smallThen a spot of tea in the tearoom next to the gallery. Don’t mind if we do, we’re British y’know.

 

gallery blurbAnd checking out the exhibition blurb on a marble pillar.

gallery karaKara Seaman’s work, waiting for the arrival of Mister Pink.

Afterwards, we went to an exhibition of mixed media work by Behishte Gumshuda at the Khass Gallery where we met an eclectic group of interesting people who made us forget our exhaustion. The show is quiet and contemplative and I particularly liked the multi-layered works in graphite, but then I would, I’m a scribbler. Talking of scribbling, here’s a quick scribble I managed to fit in at Khaas. Oh and they served the most delicious samosas I have ever tasted. :D

khaas gallery

This residency has been supported by Wales Arts International and Arts Council Wales

rose acw

Late And Manky.

14 Apr

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Pulling another late one at the Pindi Printshop, we’re about a third of the way through a mass editioning stint. The three of us are editioning 12 tiny drypoints. They have to go to the framers in the morning but they dry quickly in this atmosphere. Don’t have time to write anymore. Back to getting manky.

This residency has been supported by Wales Arts International and Arts Council Wales

rose acw

WIP And Blue

13 Apr

lapis

We managed a couple of hours out of the studio yesterday to go to the framers in a marketplace in Islamabad. He’s made a lovely job of the framing for the exhibition, but we still have almost as many works to finish and frame. Underneath his workshop is a tiny gem and jewellery store. I’d promised a friend that I’d look out for some lapis lazuli while I was here in Pakistan, because the very best comes from nearby Afghanistan. Locally, they call it ‘Blue’. I’ve been fascinated by it since I read about its importance to European Art in Victoria Finlay‘s fantastic book, Colour: Travels Through The Paintbox. With the help of my Pakistani host, I bought two sizeable pieces, one smooth and the other rough. Lapis generally has veins of quartz and pyrites running through it which look lovely when it’s polished, although it’s not good enough for making into paint. Only the very best quality can be ground up to make Ultramarine pigment.

Today it’s been back to the grindstone. I’m not doing any more monotypes this close to the exhibition as they’re so time consuming so I worked on some paper drypoint plates that I brought over with me, 4 tiny ones and one almost A4. I’ll inscribe and print them tomorrow, today I concentrated on drawing.

sufi in progress

This is still very much a work in progess. It’s based on a digital photo I took of a tree that is visited by Sufis who leave swathes of coloured cloth tied to it. There’s a lot of work left to do on the drawing, but it’s important to get this stage right. Once the drawing is completed, it doesn’t take long to engrave and print. Because drypoint isn’t etched, just scratched into the surface, the lines are fairly shallow so the editions are small, rarely more than 10 before the plate wears out. This applies to metal as well as paper and plastic plates.

 

This residency has been supported by Wales Arts International and Arts Council Wales.

rose acw

 

Frustration!

12 Apr

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Having terrible technical problems blogging from the Pindi Printshop this evening. WordPress and Android don’t seem to like each other at the best of times, but throw erratic Internet access into the mix and I’ve just written off the last 2 hours! I shall go and do some tai chi breathing! Here’s the monotype I completed yesterday, based on a photograph I took in a modern mall in Islamabad. I merged it with a traditional Pakistani Paisley pattern. Pakistan has had a fabulous textile industry for aeons, but I was struck in the mall by the bland Western brands that seem to be swamping the planet and I fancied contrasting them in a monotype. The bright yellow mannequins are wicked.

I hope this uploads. If not, I’m off to bed.

This residency has been supported by Wales Arts International and Arts Council Wales.

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