Friday, September 28, 2012

There was a crooked man (IF crooked)

Crooked Stile: A study. 18x18cm ©Sue Pownall 2012
The theme for Illustration Friday was Crooked. Luckily for me although here in Muscat it is Friday, and a new theme is due, it's still Thursday in USA and I can post this last minute submission. I was thinking of using Cathy's idea of a crooked tree (see her lovely entry here) when I remembered this poem and I produced this drawing. The stile is actually an element in a idea for a drawing I've been toying with for a couple of years, so maybe now I will start on it.

There was a crooked man and he walked a crooked mile,
He found a crooked sixpence upon a crooked stile.
He bought a crooked cat, which caught a crooked mouse.
And they all lived together in a little crooked house.

“The origin of the nursery rhyme "There was a crooked man" is in British history. The origin of this poem originates from the English Stuart history of King Charles 1. The crooked man is reputed to be the Scottish General Sir Alexander Leslie. The General signed a covenant securing religious and political freedom for Scotland. The 'crooked stile' referred to… being the border between England and Scotland. 'They all lived together in a little crooked house' refers to the fact that the English and Scots had at last come to an agreement. The words reflect the times when there was great animosity between the English and the Scots.” (Source:

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Winter Wadi

Winter Wadi. Pen & ink. 360 x 240mm © Sue Pownall 2012
In April, I joined the tour company The Guide Oman to cross the Hajar mountains. I did a few sketches, which I shared here, and took a lot of photos. This drawing results from that trip.

For those who don't know, winter here in Oman is really just less hot than summer with occassional rain. You can tell this is a winter picture after rain, as you can see grasses growing between the buildings.

This original drawing is for sale. Please use the contact form for more details.

Sunday, September 23, 2012

PechaKucha Muscat II

Audience A5 sketchbook © Sue Pownall 2012
The 2nd PechaKucha Muscat event was held earlier this month. The venue was too small for the large crowd, so like many my view was obstructed. I did manage to see either the speaker quite well or the screen as the sketch below shows of 1st speaker Mohammed Al Kindy. Mohammed, a graphic designer, was very interesting, and I enjoyed the originality of a young Omani girl talking about her nail art. However, the best speaker in my opinion was Faisal Hameed, a photographer, who was a great speaker, amusing, and had chosen fabulous images to show & talk about.
Speaker Moh'd AlKindy A5 sketchbook © Sue Pownall 2012
Due to the visability, I drew the audience as I listened and the results are at the top of this post and below. 
A5 sketchbook © Sue Pownall 2012

A5 sketchbook © Sue Pownall 2012
PechaKucha Muscat 3 is planned for January. I really hope the team get a bigger venue, spending some of the British Council grant they successfully won, preferably with a stage area, so everyone can sit comfortably and see.

Monday, September 17, 2012

Stop-over sketches

 Rustem Pasha Mosque, A5 sketchbook © Sue Pownall
My flight home from Italy was first back to Barcelona then via Istanbul. As I had a 10 hour stop-over in Istanbul, I met up with one of my favourite arty people Samantha. She blogs at Harika and is an urbansketcher. Also, with us was Pedro, an illustrator from Portugal (I forgot to get his site address). We spent most of the time in the Taksim area of Istanbul, in a café drinking Turkish tea, chatting, and of course sketching. My drawing is a composite as people came and went.
Firuzağa Çay Bahçesi A5 sketchbook © Sue Pownall
This is what our table looked like minus a few tea glasses.
Firuzağa Çay Bahçesi © Sue Pownall
When we finally left the café, we walked through the narrow streets of Taksim and down to the river to have fresh fish for lunch. We crossed the river into the Fatih district and after lunch wandered around for something else to draw. I had only my little point-and-shoot Olympus with me, which needs throwing away!!! However, I did get one good shot (below).
© Sue Pownall
We chose to draw at the Rustem Pasha Mosque and tiredness made me shy away from tackling anything to detailled or difficult, so I drew two colourful tourists having a rest before visiting the mosque. (top)

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

A day in the life of... me

I sometimes wonder where my 'drawing' time goes. Yes, I waste time on 'marketing' myself a.k.a. facebooking, checking emails, and tweeting. However, serious internet time is spent catching on my blogging friends, adding content to my facebook page, and checking out possible art opportunities etc. So after finding no time to draw today, I thought I would chronicle my day.

It started at 12.45am when I got up, not being able to sleep, in order to finish my submission for an exhibition, whose deadline was today. I went back to bed an hour later with it 99% finished. 7.30am I got up for the second time and fiddled with my submission on and off for a couple of hours, whilst facebooking, eating breakfast, showering etc. 

9.45 I got in my car and drove to the printers I use for scanning and got the drawing scanned. I then sat in the car putting it its frame. From there I drove to the gallery, which should hang my work later this year, which is at the far end of Muscat. At the gallery I swopped Festival Face #5 The Grandfather, which I had taken with me, for His Brother's Musar. The reason was that I'd received an email the evening before from someone wishing to purchase His Brother's Musar and I need to mail it to its new home in Australia.

From the gallery, it was a mad dash in Muscat Wednesday traffic (think Friday evening in Europe) to the Omani Society of Fine Arts, arriving about 11.30. I handed in my drawing, relieved, was asked about submission details, which I had emailed last week... BUT then was asked about the cd with the jpeg of the drawing aarghhh. Dashed home, cleaned scan from printers in photoshop, burnt a cd, and drove back to OSFA. As I was pulling into the carpark my phone rang, my mum, quick chat, then I sprinted into the building to drop off the cd at 12.45, just 15minutes before they leave for lunch and possibly the weekend.

I drove home again, via the post office as I'm waiting for a package of greeting cards (of my drawings) to be forwarded on, cooked and ate lunch, showered, changed, set up an autoresponder for my mailing list, and was out the door again at 2.30 to go to the day job, which pays the bills. Six hours later I got home, had a quick drink and catch up with my neighbours, ate a late dinner, and collapsed in front of a tv programme. Then, I wrote this post. It's now 11.10pm.

Time to draw??? Tomorrow I hope  after buying packing material, taking the picture to the couriers...

BTW. In case you are wondering about the picture, I'm not sure I'm allowed to publish it prior to the selection day, so I'm not posting it yet. However, here's a sneak peak in an early WIP shot.
WIP Moon Rocks ©Sue Pownall 2012

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Impressions of Italy

Sketching in the middle of a tributary of Fiume Argentino
I'm behind on my summer sketches, so to continue... From Barcelona, I popped over to Italy for a week. With a stopover in Milan I got to see my friend, the author, ceramicist, and B&B owner Diana Baur (checkout her site here!). Whilst waiting for my bus to take me back to the airport for my flight on to Naples, I sketched other travellers.
A5 sketchbook © Sue Pownall 2012
I was busy once I arrived in Calabria trying to sort things out with the apartment - I need to sell it - but went out one evening to sketch an old shed. Unfortunately, I hadn't used any mosquito repellent, so I quickly snapped a couple of photos, abandoned my drawing and headed back.
A5 sketchbook © Sue Pownall 2012
A couple of mornings later, I headed off to paint a ruined building at the bottom of the village. By 9.15, having completed the ink stage, it was already too hot to continue to sit in the sun, so, AGAIN, I abandoned the drawing  and took some reference photos. This time I didn't head back, but went in search of shade further down the valley.
A4 sketchbook
I ended up on a tributary of the Fiume Argentino, literally sitting in the middle of the river on a pile of stones (see top photo). It was very relaxing sitting painting in the shade, and I am quite pleased with the results.
Unfortunately, I did not get another opportunity to sketch before my homeward journey.

Monday, September 3, 2012

It's my 3rd Blogoversary!

 Wow it's been 3 years since I started this blog! 

It started here with An idea of my work  and included drawings like this one, which was sketched in Jordan's Wadi Rum:
A5 sketchbook © Sue Pownall 2005
Sketching and final artwork have dominated the posts, although some of my photography has crept in too, such as this one from Sharjah, UAE:
© Sue Pownall 2009
 The post with the most views was artbased resolutions back in January 2011.
One of the drawings I included in that post was this urban sketch drawn in Torino. It was influenced by the amazing sketches I see on the Urban Sketchers' site and in their flickr group.
At Fiat, Torino © Sue Pownall 2010
 Lots has happened in the last 3 years... little things such as my giving up the pseudonym Travelingsuep... Exciting things have occurred like having drawings exhibited...
Hung at CAS Winter exhibition.
... and 2 books of my sketches & photos published.

Portraits of Khartoum
Cuban Scenes
...As well as interviews in magazines, newspapers and on the radio.
Qatar's Woman Today magazine 2011.
  In the last 3 years, I have followed my nomadic inclination and worked and lived in: Oman, Italy, Sudan, and Qatar. By coincidence, I started the blog in Oman and I'm back in Oman again. I also travelled a little (Beirut, Istanbul, Spain, UAE, Italy, UK, South Africa), with the highlight being my trip to Cuba last year. These countries have influenced all my artwork and sketching a lot. For example, my latest personal work being portraits of Omanis in my Festival Faces  series.
The Grandfather. 240 x 330mm, Pen & ink. ©Sue Pownall 2012
  However, a big influence has come from the people I interact with on the internet through blogs, groups like the Urban Sketchers, and the artists I have met over the last 3 years as a consequence. I always appreciate your comments, thoughts, and advice when you stop by.

Thank you for all your support over the last 3 years
& I hope you continue to stop by.