Tag Archives: the Hunza Valley

In The Footsteps Of Marco Polo.

8 Mar

Ink drawing: The Old Silk Route.

I travelled around Pakistan about five years ago in a bus with a handful of other artists from Wales, some Pakistani friends and a sizeable group of Vikings. It was wonderful and it was the first time I had made a real effort to use a travel sketchbook instead of  taking photos. I’d had a digital camera for a while and I found that I was using it less than I used to use my old Minolta SLR. Digital  just doesn’t seem as selective or satisfying as a film camera, but it gave me the kick up the backside I needed to record my travels with drawings.

We were travelling up the deadly Karakoram Highway on our way to the Hunza Valley and stopped at a roadside cafe for some tea. We sat on some rocks looking down the dry river bed, it fills when the glaciers melt, and in the distance saw a ‘ribbon’ on the mountains opposite. It’s part of the old silk route, the one Marco Polo travelled along on his way to China. Ancient history there in front of us.

Reduction monotype: The Old Silk Route.

Returning to Wales, I did a masterclass in three-colour reduction monotype with Vinita Voogd and used my original sketch to produce the print above. It was my very first one using this technique and I’ve been developing my style ever since. It’s in Intaglio printmaker Litho ink in process yellow, red and blue, onto BFK Rives 350gsm paper. You can see how to do this technique on my blog.  It’s very geeky stuff 🙂

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