WIP And Blue

13 Apr


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


7 Responses to “WIP And Blue”

  1. Nancy Farmer April 14, 2014 at 12:57 #

    Lovely drawing of the tree with the cloth tied on, shall look out to see it develop! will be interested to see how your drypoint on paper works too. Coincidentally I bought genuine Lapis pigment (a little 10g pot of it) just last week. plus genuine Vermilion and Realgar. Lovely colours, only rather poisonous, those last two!

  2. allesistgut April 14, 2014 at 08:12 #

    The Lapislazuli is so beautiful. I’ve read in a similar book about it and saw in a TV documentation how they produce them in the mountains. 🙂 Have a happy day!

    • Rosie Scribblah April 14, 2014 at 17:04 #

      Thank you. I think I’ll go back and get some more 🙂

  3. Myriam April 13, 2014 at 22:23 #

    Great stuff. Love learning through your hands On experiences. Today’s piece on lapis lazuli was amazing.

    • Rosie Scribblah April 17, 2014 at 19:50 #

      Thanks Myriam. I’m off to Lahore tomorrow for my birthday. I hope to get some more lapis when I get back.

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