Friday, October 28, 2011


Checking maps in Picadilly. A6 sketchbook © Sue Pownall 2011
Yesterday in London, having arrived early at our meeting point of Eros in Picadilly I sketched the tourists around me. I was a little concerned by a Spanish lady in woolly hat, thick scarf and hooded coat, as it wasn't that cold. We met at Eros as we wanted to see the Degas exhibition at the RA, but unfortunately as we hadn't prebooked, it was half term, and we chose not to wait the 45minutes+ to get tickets.

People at Eros in A6 sketchbook © Sue Pownall 2011

Instead my friend, the fabulous designer Mary Wright, & I went straight to Tate Modern, via the protestors at St Paul's, to see the Gerhard Richter exhibition Panorama. I was amazed at the mixture of styles from super-realism to abstraction that he uses. I can't confess to liking or understanding all of his work, but I'm very pleased we saw the exhibition. I introduced Mary to my favourite café in the Tate, no sketching as I was too busy chatting & eating, before we explored all the other exhibitions.

Next stop was back across town where we went to the National Portrait Gallery, my favourite, where I saw Marc Quinn's Blood Portrait for the first time. Something else I'm not sure about, but it is certainly intriguing. Unfortunately, we were at cultural overload by the top floors, so we went to another of my favourite cafés The Café in the Crypt.

Finally, here is a photo of a happy customer with her edition of Cuban Scenes, which had arrived in the post that day.


My website is now live. Please check it out.


Thursday, October 20, 2011

Cuban Scenes - Available now!

Throughout this book there are photographs and drawings from the capital Havana, in the countryside at Vale de Viñales, and in the town of Trinidad. They were all taken or drawn this summer, 2011.It is available in normal paper formats and as an ebook, which is for iphone/ipad/or to download to your computer.

Portraits of Khartoum is also now available as an ebook too.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011


Envisioning Doha skyline as Emerald City backdrop.© Sue Pownall 2011
 The day after I returned to Doha I ended up at the welcome night of the Doha Players, the local theatre group. Somehow, I ended up volunteering to be involved in the set building for their upcoming Wizard of Oz (WoOZ), and better have been engaged to translate the director's and build team's ideas for the sets into workable designs. Sue Pownall- Artist, illustrator and set designer??? Unfortunately not as I am leaving Qatar tomorrow.

Waiting to audition © Sue Pownall 2011
My A3 sketch pad.
Anyway, my first task was to turn up to the auditions to view the space we would be working with. By coincidence the next day, Cathy Gatland, A sketch in time,  posted a lovely sketch of children rehearsing. Inspired I decided to see if I could produce something similar.

First off I drew the stage, and then concentrated on the groups of children sitting, standing,and singing. Considering how much children move about, I am very pleased with the results.

Then, the following week, I had to produce the first, and as it turned out last, set idea, which was for theEmerald City backdrop. I would like to have done more, and seen the project through, but life has other plans for me. Keeping me focused on drawing perhaps?
Auditions © Sue Pownall 2011

btw the sketches were done in pencil and the set with coloured inks and ink pen.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Showcasing my work

Before the event.
On Thursday I wrote that a friend was hosting an art event to showcase my original drawings and new limited edition giclée prints here in Doha. I am very happy to report that it was a wonderful day and a great success. I was especially worried that nobody wold turn up, but we had people coming in all day. It was a wonderfully informal affair, which suited me, with people staying for a tea or coffee, cake and a chat.

Remember in that last post I wrote:
"if I make a sale I will be happy or if I gain a commission that would be nice too"
Well, with regards to prints, I covered my printing costs and ended up in profit on print sales. I sold all four copies of my book Portraits of Khartoum that I had. However, the biggest news was that I sold the framed original of Khalifa's Gate. I'm sad to let it go, to be honest, but I know the new owner will give it a good home. Two of the prints sold were also of Khalifa's Gate, which I have to confess to being a favourite. Still, as one of our guests said,  'Duke Ellington, who, when asked what his favourite composition was, replied that he hadn't written it yet'. I guess my favourite is the next one I draw.

SOLD! With the happy new owner of Khalifa's Gate.
A special thanks goes to my fantastic friend Karen who hosted the day, a big thank you to all my friends who came and supported me, and finally thank you to everyone who bought something.
With the event's wonderful hostess.
If you wish to purchase one of my limited edition giclée prints, or wish to commission a drawing, please use the contact form above. 
Full details on print availability were in my newsletter and will be available on a tab here in the next day or two.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Busy, busy, busy

Hanging pictures ready for Art Event: Private view this Saturday.
So much has gone on these last two weeks it is hard to know where to start.

Synchronicity occurred during the first week of October when I entered an online facebook competition to win a book of b&w photos with the Qatar Museum Authority (QMA). Sunday lunchtime - I was drawn from the hat, and Monday I collected my prize over a cup of tea and quick chat about who I was. Tuesday nasty photo published of me and my prize on FB plus my FB page & blog details. (see below) As I wrote on my facebook page "I won a prize and got some publicity for my art too".

If only I had known how much... The same day I was called by their senior designer who wanted to commission some illustrations after looking at my work. Last Thursday, I met her and  she commissioned some drawings for her concept towards a collectors exhibition. You may notice from the example below that it is not my normal style, I was requested to do them in a woodblock/scraper board effect. As with all these things, there was little time to do the work, this morning, a week later, I delivered 3 illustrations. Fingers crossed the concept is accepted because that will mean lots more work for them. A big thank you to all of you who replied to my email asking for help: all your answers were very useful.

Khanjar (QMA commission) © Sue Pownall 2011
Now, a normally sane person would take a break after working too many hours to get the illustrations done on time, but no... This Saturday, a friend is hosting an art event to showcase my original drawings and new limited edition prints, which has involved making posters, promoting it, signing prints, hanging pictures (see top photo), converting prices into local currency and the to-do list is still a mile long too. However, if I make a sale I will be happy or if I gain a commission that would be nice too.

Another thing I have been doing, is working on a new book of drawings and photos from this summer's trip, but I haven't finished it yet. To the left is the contents page. I'm currently calling it Cuban Scenes, but if you can think of a better title, all suggestion are appreciated.

Finally, I wrote and distributed my first newsletter. Don't worry if you didn't get a copy, you can still sign up and receive it, just use the tab above.

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Doha doodles

Critical Thinking Lecture. A5 sketchbook. © Sue Pownall 2011

Here are a couple of sketches from this week:

Prof. Bucsescu reading his notes.
The double page spread above was done at a lecture by architect and Pratt University professor Dan Bucsescu. The lecture was Critical Thinking in Design at VCU, Qatar. Whilst an interesting subject Prof. Bucsescu cannot give lectures and sat reading his laptop whilst the slides showed his "script". The only time I need to look at the stage was when he gave examples of theories such as Munch's Scream. Great opportunity to draw the people around me, and I also got some nice food to eat.

Earlier in the week I had gone to the Doha Players', a local theatre group, welcome meeting and sketched this on my notes's. A friend said "you can't help yourself [draw] can you?" ummmm no. At the meeting, I had gone to volunteer to help with set painting, but I think I have ended up helping with set designing, as I get to translate ideas into workable designs and help build them.