Tag Archives: Afghanistan

Returning Children

23 Jul


I usually work from drawings done from life, only occasionally from a photograph and this is one of the rare original prints, a monotype, done entirely from a photo. I took the original image on a digital camera when I first visited Pakistan back in 2007, an amazing, life-changing journey. We travelled up the Khyber Pass, with an armed guard, and I saw this refugee family returning to Afghanistan. The security situation was much better then and I often wonder what happened to them, whether they were able to stay or whether they had to leave their home again. If you want to see how this monotype technique is done, click here….  I’m also running a short course in it at Swansea Print Workshop, please check on the right …..

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


In The Life Drawing Studio #3

26 Dec

Ink life-drawing in A4 sketchbook.

Another one of my life drawings where I set the life model within the wider studio and record some of the artists who come to the life drawing group. We have a good range of models of both genders and all ages and shapes, but that also applies to the artists as well. They are women and men, teenagers to octogenerians, mostly professional but with some students and keen amateurs. We’re all united in our love of drawing the human body and continuing an ancient tradition into the 21st century. The nude has figured in art since the Greeks in Europe and before that, in Egyptian art.

This is the life drawing studio / gallery space at Swansea Print Workshop. Our model is a young soldier who models in between tours of duty in Afghanistan. His fellow soldiers think he’s incredibly brave to pose for us. He tells them it’s nowhere near as bad as being shot at!

The drawing is in Faber Castell Pitt pens sizes S, F, M and B into an A4 bound sketchbook, opened out to A3.

ps Dad-in-law, who was the topic of yesterday’s blog, is doing very well in hospital.

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