Friday, 21 January 2011

Khartoum Portraits. Published!

A book is now available of my Khartoum sketches and photos. You can purchase it in softback or hardback by clicking the link below, which takes you to the blurb store.

Friday, 7 January 2011

End of Year Meme: 2010

I had forgotten I did this last year until I popped over to Bleeding Expresso Michelle Fabio's fab blog today. This year's version follows and you can also check out the previous one here 2009 

1. What did you do in 2010 that you'd never done before? Took part in an exhibition, hanging 3 of my drawings.

2. Did you keep your new year's resolutions, and will you make more for next year? I made art-based resolutions only and exceeded them. A summary is over on artofanomad along with the new ones.

3. Did anyone close to you give birth? No

4. Did anyone close to you die? Luckily no.

5. What countries did you visit? Italy, Sudan, Oman & Qatar

6. What would you like to have in 2011 that you lacked in 2010? Some commissions for my drawings.

7. What dates from 2010 will remain etched upon your memory, and why? November - when I a
chieved a childhood dream of seeing McEnroe play Borg.
John McEnroe serves against Borg. Qatar
8. What was your biggest achievement of the year? Taking part in the exhibition.

9. What was your biggest failure? I can't think of any - how fantastic is that!!!.

10. Did you suffer illness or injury? As last year, nothing too bad, just a bit tired.

11. What was the best thing you bought? Tennis tickets to see McEnroe & Borg!

12. Whose behaviour merited celebration? There are so many people in this world who deserve to be celebrated.

13. Whose behaviour made you appalled and depressed? The politicians who continue to allow Israel's blockade of Gaza.

14. Where did most of your money go? Good question.

15. What did you get really, really, really excited about? Achieving a childhood dream of seeing McEnroe play Borg.

16. What song will always remind you of 2010?hmm no idea until I hear it.
17. Compared to this time last year, are you: (a) happier or sadder? (b) thinner or fatter? (c) richer or poorer? A) about the same B) put on a couple of k in Qatar due to slothness C) monetarily poorer.

18. What do you wish you'd done more of? Drawing and smiling.

19. What do you wish you'd done less of? Moaning

20. How did you spend Christmas? With work colleagues as work continued as normal.

21. Did you fall in love in 2010? With Sudan and its wonderful people.

22. What was your favourite TV program? The Walking Dead

23. Do you hate anyone now that you didn't hate this time last year? I try not to hate anything or anyone. (as last year)

24. What was the best book you read?
So many to chose from, but I think the one that moved me the most was War Child, Emmanuel Jal

25. What was your greatest musical discovery?  None

26. What did you want and get? A new roof - finally I had photographic proof on 29th December.

27. What did you want and not get? A new chimney pipe for my wood burning stove.

28. What was your favourite film of this year? The First Grader, which I saw at the Doha Tribecca Film Festival.

The First Grader cast & producer Justin Chadwick

29. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?
Went for pizza with a couple of colleagues.

30. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying? Being able to find work closer to my friends.

31. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2010? Same as always, although I did buy two pairs of killer heels, which I can't walk in.

32. What kept you sane? Sketching and the online art community.

33. Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most? Rafa Nadal.

34. What political issue stirred you the most? Israel/Gaza

35. Who did you miss? Everyone who wasn't near. (same as last year)

36. Who was the best new person you met? I was fortunate this year to meet so many fabulous new people: the wonderful Sudanese people in Khartoum many who are now good friends, Diana from A certain simplicity, and the artist Sandra (Sandraws). I was also fortunate to re-meet some "lost" friends especially Paula, another amazing artist who I went to art college with.

37. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2010. Despite my self-doubt I AM an artist, and I'm good.

38. Quote a song lyric that sums up your year. This will also be for 2011, I hope. An oldie from '07 Taio Cruz I Can Be:
Now I feel that this heart, of mine has taken many falls,
Still sometimes the rain, can turn into a waterfall,
The prettiest things, can come out of the coldest night, 
And even with broken wings, sometimes you find your way to fly,

It's time to be, bigger bigger, stronger stronger, harder harder,

It's time to be, bigger bigger, stronger stronger, harder harder,
It's time to be,  ...

See I can be anything I want to be, All I have to do is put my mind to it, and I can do it, So what I want you to do, is put your fist to the sky, and say it with me,
I can be,

Saturday, 1 January 2011

Another year over - farewell 2010.

Falcon © Sue Pownall
Wow I'm not sure about the last month, but I'm looking forward to the new one in this new year of 2011. December started on a high, but seemed to have finished in a whimper. Whilst I like Doha I am finding it's a place where I am perpetually tired and feeling not 100%. Furthermore, I spend too much time in can't-be-bothered mode, even little things like going out for milk is too much. My only motivating force is my art, but sometimes even getting off the sofa to pick up a sketchbook doesn't happen either. 
Jude & Lola on Shatti beach at sunset, Oman © Sue Pownall
Anyway, I started the month with a visit to Muscat, Oman for the exhibition I mentioned in my last post. I stayed with some old friends and their children, who I have missed a lot in the last year, so it was good to catch up. I also got to meet a few of my other friends too, although not as many as I would have liked nor for as long. The exhibition event was a success for the organisers and is important for me as being my first show. I hope there are more to come.
Al Shaqab Stud horseman © Sue Pownall
Celebrating National Day
The 18th December was National Day here in Qatar and marked the end of a week of celebrations. On Friday 17th I got to see camel dressage as the riders took them through a course, falcons, selouki dog races, and beautiful Arabian horses. Then the next day, I joined the masses in the streets where the city had a buzz, a vibrancy, that was contagious. I walked along the Corniche where the military parade had taken place ( I missed the soldiers on camels unfortunately), amongst people of all nationalities dressed in the Qatari burgundy and white and/or waving flags. In the streets people had hung flags on their cars, added transfers and decorated them, then were driving around tooting and waving at people. Benign nationalism like this is fabulous.
How do they see to drive?
Two other notable events of the month were my friend's 30th birthday, celebrated on the 23rd, although her birthday is Christmas eve, at a restaurant on the Pearl - Qatar's artificial island. This was a lovely evening where my friend got thoroughly and deservedly spoilt which included waiters singing Happy Birthday to her when the cake was brought out. Finally, I spent Christmas Day with colleagues for lunch and silly games next door, followed by drinks with others colleagues further down the hall. Fortunately, Christmas Day fell on a weekend, but it was back to work again on Boxing Day.
By the waterside at the Pearl, Doha.

Happy 2011, may it bring you peace & happiness.