Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Mimi's question answered...

Mimi of Watercolors by Mimi Torchia Boothby asked: "can you put into words why you don't want to leave? (especially after the police incident!!?)".
This is the type of police car I got sandwiched in 
(taken swiftly with phone from minibus)

A difficult question Mimi, and one I would normally answer on my other blog, but I will try.
Work and living conditions were difficult (I never want to live in a hotel again and the hours were long), but somehow I felt comfortable in Khartoum. For all my travelling and living abroad (it's been 10 years now), it was like my soul had found where it should be. I loved the quiet life, maybe that's what I need now after the years in Oman. Just going for a juice or to sit in a park and chat is so peaceful. The last 4 months there have been easy for me as a well-paid expat, but that's not why. Most importantly, the people are amazing - the nicest, kindest, friendliest people I've ever had the pleasure of meeting. My post from May (I'm in love) gives a great example of this.
 It is difficult to explain the feeling I get there; it's a bit trying to explain why you love a certain person or a specific food. I think it comes down to the fantastic people and a feeling of peace that I got there. Hope that helps Mimi.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Life drawing class - Vicki

It is so good to have a weekly drop-in life drawing session near my parents and I went along this morning, still suffering from travel tiredness. I think all the drawing I have done over the last 4 months - especially EDiM - has paid off, as I was very pleased with my results. However, I didn't complete the full 3 hour session as I got too tired to concentrate.
Having got my scanner back, which takes A4 comfortably, I drew on A3, so these are the images I could squeeze on it. Plus I covered 8 sheets, so it's too boring to post them all.
Drawings from top to bottom: Long pose in pencil: 15 minutes of long pose in coloured pen: 15 minute seated pose; & 5 minute warm up sketch.
I'm not sure who's blog it is, sorry, but recently an EDMer wrote about her life drawing, pointing out that she had realised that it''s not necessary to draw the whole model. Today I remembered that and concentrated on the shapes I liked, hence the legs at the top, and had fun with the 15 minutes before break and used orange as my main pen colour.

Final sketches from Sudan - for now

For the first time in my life, when I reached the airport on Friday the feeling that I didn't want to leave did not go. In fact, I felt devastated to be leaving Sudan. A country has never affected me like it has. I do not know when I will return as I chose the sensible option for my next contract - Doha, Qatar - rather than to follow my heart and struggle financially with a job in Khartoum.

On my penultimate evening, I did the sketches above, which I think reflect the randomness and flightiness of my thoughts as I skipped from subject to subject. Bottom right is a candy floss/ice cream seller at a totally different scale from the people. The people are washing at a tap in the park ready for Mahgrib prayers, the ones at sunset, so the light was bad. In the picture below, done a week earlier, the people are doing the same thing.
From the same park, throughout you can see couples sitting, without touching, and talking, as in my sketch.
Finally, a quick sketch done from a parked bus, whilst a friend shopped at the market, of the women sellers sitting on the floor.
 BTW - I've been reunited with my scanner, at least for the summer ;D

Saturday, July 17, 2010

"Is that supposed to be me?"

As many of your know, I battled with EDM challenge 20 in order to do a portrait for my dad. The result is here.
I returned to UK for the summer yesterday and gave it to him. The response was:
"Is that supposed to be me?"
I guess that puts me in my place. I doubt I will do another portrait of someone I know again.

Friday, July 9, 2010

Escorted by the police - the photos

The story of my adventure this morning, which ended with me being driven to the hotel between two policemen,  and the embarrassment of walking into the hotel reception side-by-side with them is on my other blog here. Below are some photos of Khartoum taken this morning before this all happened.
A shop
A street cleaner
Nasty plastic bags, which are every where
Ingenious sunshade attached to a kiosk (Closed because it's Friday morning)
A college courtyard
The adjacent church
 A mosque
Why would anyone paint a building florescent green and orange?
Lime green in its proper place
Chai ladies under a tree
Faculty of medicine
A portrait in orange
Finally, the reason for my escort.


Please remember all photos are © and all rights reserved by Sue Pownall.
Contact me if you wish to use any images, thank you.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Waiting for a bus

The hotel I have been in for the last two weeks (I changed due to the appalling food and service at the other one, but that's a tale for my other blog) is on a busy down-town junction. Following writing exams, I got to come back early to mark the papers. Before starting, I'm great at procrastination, I had lunch and was watching the people opposite catching buses. Masses of people would appear, as if from no-where, stand for no more than 5 or 6 minutes and then get swallowed up by a bus. The three women in my sketch were not standing there at the same time, but are representational of the groups that were. I drew them in consecutively left to right. Sometimes they were all women of mixed ages, sometimes old married women in their thobes, and at other times young women in their denim skirts and bright colours. Men were also waiting.
The traditional wear for married women is the thobe, and it can look really beautiful and elegant. However, some of the larger ladies allow it to slip underneath their bellies and get wrapped around their shoulders, as the lady on the left of the sketch and in this bottom photo.
Back in my room and after doing half the marking, I worked with the resistance of the moleskin paper, using a virtually dry brush, to add the colour. I also took the photos out of my 5th floor window.   

Top - people disappearing into a bus, middle - a daisy-print thobe & traditional jelabiah, bottom- how thobes often end up. Can you imagine what it looks like face on?

Classroom sketches

The ladies writing.
Heads & hands.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

I hate my moleskin!

I haven't sketched anything for a few days as I have been completely exhausted. On top of that all mental energy has been taken up with trying to secure the immediate future.

Last night I walked to the park whilst watching storm clouds overhead and hearing distant thunder rumbling above the city. The air is permanently full of dust and with sunset it just went yellower. Being early to meet my friend, I pulled out my moleskin and watercolours, started to try and capture the amazing clouds and cried out "why won't a moleskin take watercolours????" With fading light I did the best I could to capture the storm in colour and to ink in the kiosk in the park and the surroundings.

It is such a shame moleskins do not take washes as the size is perfect to pop in a bag or even pocket. Mind, before it I had a similar sized small sketchbook, half the price, and it took washes. Back to that brand for me I think, if I can find it.

BTW it didn't rain where I was, but apparently did in other parts of the city. However, the storm brought a delicious breeze and a drop in temperature. It was hort-lived relief as today has been boiling again!!! Or as Al Jazeera International's forecast - Extremely Hot.

Tue Afternoon clouds. Extremely hot.  41°C

Wed More sun than clouds. Extremely hot.  43°C