Tag Archives: Lahore

Inspired By The Punjab

26 Oct
October 2 blue

Completed full colour stacked monotype.

I carried on with stages 2 (red) and 3 (blue) of my new monotypes while I was doing the final day of my pop-up studio event at Swansea Print Workshop. Yesterday I posted stage 1 (yellow) for both the first pressing and the second – ghost – pressing. You can see the full set in the slideshow below.

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The monotype was inspired by a car journey through the Punjab during my residency in Pakistan last year. We started in Rawalpindi and drove to Lahore through a spectacular landscape with an ever-changing sky, from brilliant Spring sunshine, to heavy rain, to violent thunder and lightning to giant hailstones and back again. I sat in the car and frantically scribbled into my small square Khadi sketchbook with Daler Rowney Artist’s Soft Oil Pastels.

October 2 blue ghost

Completer ‘ghost# monotype

I did 50 drawings, no more than 2 minutes on each. These drawings are the basis of the monotypes I’m doing. You can see the original drawings, with a Pakistani soundtrack, on the video below.

The Carved Elephant – A Drypoint Etching

27 Sep


I have been doing some printmaking at The Bagpuss Window, the temporary artspace in Swansea’s High Street, making a little edition of miniature drypoints (similar to etchings). I set up a printing area around the little etching press, with an inking table, a blotting table and a drying table. I measured and ripped 8 pieces of Bockingford 250gsm paper and put them into a bucket of water to soak. I like to leave them for at least an hour.

I started out with a small sketchbook drawing I made last year during my residency at the Zaira Zaka Print Studio in Pakistan, and redrew it with a soft drawing pen onto a piece of paper drypoint plate (from Intaglio Printmakers). Then I scratched into the drawing with a lot of cross hatching and mark-making, using a drypoint tool, although a 4 inch screw will do.

I used a little rubber squeegee strip to apply drypoint etching ink – it’s important to get the right ink, ordinary etching ink doesn’t work so well. I scraped across the surface to remove surplus ink with an old plastic card and removed a little more with some tissue, wiping the edges with a clean rag. It’s vital not to overwipe, it’s surprising how much ink you can leave on the plate – it doesn’t show up on the paper.

Then I gently blotted a piece of the paper between two sheets of kitchen roll with a small roller – just to remove surface water, not to dry out the paper – and placed it over the etching plate on the press bed, put some clean tissue on top, put the blankets over it and wound it through the press.  Then I dried it between sheets of tissue under a heavy board to stop it from wrinkling. You can get 6-8 prints from a paper drypoint plate if you’re fairly gentle.

The Elephant In Lahore

24 Sep

elephant 1

I started working on a new tiny drypoint. During my residency in Pakistan last year, I did a fair bit of sketchbook drawings and I spotted this carved elephant in a restaurant in Lahore. I scribbled it and I’ve now redrawn it, with a Faber Castell Pitt drawing pen, onto a small piece of drypoint card (available from Intaglio Printmakers).

elephant 2

I used a drypoint tool to incise the lines, making sure that the tool cut through the plastic coating. It’s now ready for printing. That’ll come tomorrow.

Two More Mountains

7 May


I’ve been carrying on sorting through the pastel drawings I did on my recent residency in Pakistan, tidying some up and spraying them with fixative. Here are the last two of the mountain drawings. I did them with Daler Rowney soft pastels into my Khadi sketchbook. They were done very quickly on a car journey from Lahore to Rawalpindi, just very quick impressions.


Coming Home……

26 Apr

Bani Gala

So here I am at Kuwait Airport, having a cuppa tea on my way home from my printmaking residency in Rawalpindi, Pakistan. It seems like just a few days ago that I was sitting here on the way over,but it was almost a month. The time I spent there was so intense, so packed that it shot by.

Jet lag, a visit to the ancient monuments at Taxila; working day and night in the Zaira Zaka printmaking studio with my fellow artists Hannah Lawson, Zaira Ahmed Zaka and Atif Khan; the exhibition launch at the fabulous Satrang Gallery in Islamabad; the hectic weekend in Lahore for my birthday; a full schedule of meeting with artists and gallery owners when we came back from Crazy Lahore.

I made a lot of new work; 4 editions of drypoint etchings, 4 Monotypes and 40 drawings so far. I need a holiday!

This is a pastel drawing I did shortly before we left, at sunset at Lake Rawal in the Bani Gala area of Islamabad. I used Daler Rowney soft pastels into my Khadi sketchbook.

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


rose acw



Even More Lahore

25 Apr

quiet lahore

Lahore is probably the craziest city I’ve ever been in, makes London and New York look provincial. The traffic is relentless but I was up early on Sunday morning and I sat in the hotel foyer, looking out of the window at silence. No traffic, no people, no mayhem. So I had a quick scribble. Like I always do.

Just one more day to go on my printmaking residency in Rawalpindi, flying home tomorrow. It’s gone so fast. It’s been supported by Wales Arts International and Arts Council Wales.

rose acw

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


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.


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

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