I got just one day free: friday.. and last friday a good friend of mine convinced me to go to Dubai. "lets go to Dubai to see a film" he said. I was afraid not to find any free place, since I had heard that everything was sold out, but not having anything to do and to do nothing together in Dubai is always better that not doing nothing in Al Ain. And besides I considere driving with an uncertain plan as my own private road movie, because in the two hours we have time to talk a lot, get to know each other better and fullfill the rituals we have when we go to Dubai, like his usual prayer at the mosque and my cold coffe at the Gas station. We were lucky our road movie turned very well. We found out that there was a free film showing open air at JBR and besides it was an egypcian movie about underground music bands in Alexandria, where my friend comes from. The film name was "Microphone". I loved the movie and the music and although the film doesn't have a happy ending, cause the bands weren't allow to play in the concert at the end, you know that the film itself IS the happy ending cause they had reach through it a broader audience that they would not have done with a concert. After the film there was a concert with the bands and I did some sketches of them playing and also from the two main actors that where also present. The funny thing is that I got them to write their autographs on my sketches. So it was an ecceptional day! I also posted it in the urbansketchers blog
Here a few pictures of me if you want to see how I look like when I sketch.... I noticed a few things I didn't know about me... 1.- I look too serious.. even a little scary.. maybe that's why people usualy don't talk to me by sketching... 2.- All my pockets transform into material containers 3.- Now I know the origen of this funny ink marks on my lips.
On the 2nd of December is the celebration of the National Day on the UAE. For that day the Alliance Francaise, Dubai, organized an event called En Musique at the Souk Madinat Jumeirah. Groups of Musicians played in different corners of the Souq and in the anfitheather. I was asked to sketch the event. I was enjoying the day and was very experimental in my drawings, looking for different ways to catch the music and movement of the players.
On the 23rd of November the German Embassy organized a party at Beach Rotana Dhabi to celebrate the german national day. Of course the german national day is not on the 23th of November but we had a lot of fun. There was a band playing, great music, and a very contagious energy! I did some sketches...
I came again to this great place in Hilli industrial area in Al Ain. The Apollo Saj Cafeteria. The owner allways insists that I try a new different lebanese dish, so it is a great gastronomic experience for me. At the same time the team is extreamly friendly and I can practice my arabic. If you happened to be arround (I guess I still don't have any Al Ain blog reader) take a look at him and tell me if there is a resemblace in the portrait!
My favorite place to sketch is the Al Jahli Fort, It is a big fort, but at the same time it have many interesting corners to sketch. There is the Jahli tower, and there is a small building inside the courtyard. I also like the galeries with the guest room where u get some arabic coffee and dates. I went last friday with two friends. I needed some Photos to use in my sketcher profile. Me sketching and the building in the background. We arrive a little late (the fort closes at 17:00) and although we got still an hour my friends got fascinated exploring the tower and didn't came back till it was almost time to close. We just got time to do a few pictures. I did two new sketches. I have not scanned yet. But I post here some old sketches I have done before.
There are many Forts in Al Ain. They are built with a mud architecture system. They have been restaurated in the last years. A friend of mine, a german architect, is now working in the restauration of the Muwaijii Fort. I wrote about it in the Urbansketchers blog.
I always forget to write about things, and never wrote the last news about the Moleskine exchange. Well, there is going to be an exhibition in Minnesotta, USA, next year from january to march with some of the group's books in the Moleskine exchange. Our group is going to participate with Roberts Moleskine.
As soon as we knew that, we are trying to speed the work in the Moleskine. Ramires (Brasil) and I have been preparing our works so that we won't loose more that 2 days work on the moleskine. Of course we still have to wait for the post but I guess express post is worth it!
So I'm ready. I had worked in the last days with Roberts portrait. I wanted to try acrylics. I was inspired by the nice works from Ramires and Tim. I started painting a middle tone background and from them working the dark and light areas. I struggled with the tecnic but I 'm quite happy with the result. I was really a surprice! I guess I made many mistakes by working but I learned a lot with them to. The good thing about acrylic is that you can always paint over it. I left the painting to rest for a few days and then I make some corrections I found appropiate. I draw myself with a golden caligraphic marker and made some skratches with a cutter to get Roberts beard.
When I arrived here I though finally will have the opportunity to see this famous arab horses, and "inshalla" maybe be able to paint them. I'm still looking for, I don't know where I can found them arround here. I painted this watercolour a year ago. It was base on a picture. I'm looking forward for a live one.
I have not post many sketches from Al Ain here. Most of the time I have done in the urbansketchers blog. My first sketch of Al Ain. When I arrived in the UAE I got a sketcher block. I could not sketch. Maybe was the heat in June or the stress related to getting use to this country with a short budget. Any way I was taking the bus to Abu Dhabi in the afternoon. I was early and had to wait till the bus left. The people I draw are the pakistani taxi drivers that offer rides to Abu Dhabi or Dubai.
In my last flight to Abu Dhabi, I made an sketch of my seat neighbour. I posted in the urbansketchers blog. You can click here if you want to read the post.
I added here a close up of the watercolour. I love to look at watercolours very closely, specially when they are drying. You can notice that the image is just that wonderful spots of colour. The water play funny games while drying, creating strange textures sometimes. It is the surprise effect what I'm looking for and what facinates me.
I have told you about the Moleskine Portrait exchange. I get a Moly by mail and then I do a portrait form the owner and myself and then I send it to the next on the group. So everybody have sent his Moly and the project is finished when all Molys got a drawing from all the members of the group. This is my drawing for Tim's Moly. I choose to draw myself as a tattoo on his arm. In the original picture he was showing a roadrash he got in a bicicle accident. The funny about this game is to choose clever ways to conect both portraits and at the same time lik to the previous drawings. Ramires for esample use a Photo from Tim using some 3d glasses and decided that he probably could have been watching something extraordinary like UFOs. He portrait himself inside the Ufo in a pop-up way. Ramires is such a great artist! His acrylic skills and imagination are extraordinary! The first entrance of the book, was from Tim (his selfportrait) He said it was his first time using acrylic but he did a great job. This was my first time with acrylics too (the blue background and the red shirt) I still really bad on acrylics and have a lot to learn.
Please check out www.flickr.com/groups/moly_x/ , moly_x: international moleskine exchange. Also, www.mxportraits2.blogspot.com/
One of my blog readers (the only one maybe, thanks Sue!) made a comment about the size of my watercolours. I start writing an answer but it ended being so extensive that I decided to make a new post.
Once upon a time a gentlement in his 60´s visited an antique store in a small town in north Hessen, Germany. The owner of the store was a friend of mine and some of my "miniature" watercolours hanged in the shop. The guy appreciated the watercolours and told my friend that I should contact him.
He lived in downtown Kassel, in a beautiful apartment in german Grunderzeit Style. The apartment was very elegant decorated. He had recently retired from the family business and spent his new won free time between some voluntary work for the restoration of the city’s Botanic Garden and watercolour painting. He got a big knowledge of watercolours and introduce me to the works of some german contemporary watercolour painters (Horst Kohler, Bernhard Vogel..)from the books in his library. He said he liked my paintings and insisted that I should paint in larger formats...
So once afternoon we sat on his terrace surrounded by summer flowers, a tray with biscuits and tea served in Biedermeier cups, prepared to paint together. He gave me a huge watercolour paper blog and a big watercolour brush. It was a great experience.
You start with a big splash of colour…and let it dry… the most important rule is to be patient, make regular pauses and avoid overworking: that is what’s the tea for… drink some tea and enjoy watching the colours dry in front your eyes changing the intensity and creating estrange textures.
So Sue, that is story how I start painting in large formats. I painted later a view from the neighbourhood from his terrace and ended doing an exhibition in a coffee shop on the corner months later, but that is another story
I got contacted by the catanian photographer, Fabio Randone. He had seen my work in a previous exhibition in Catania and wanted to photograph me while doing a watercolour. We didn't have much time when I was living there. Later I left to Abu Dhabi. So when I came back for 10 days to Catania, I decided that we should finally do it instead of postponing it to who knows when. I have to confess that it was a extrange experience. The place we choose offers a great view of the hole city. I realized while painting it, that I really felt Catania as my home.
Waiting for my conection flight to Abu Dhabi in Geneve's airport. A few days holydays in Catania to release my apartment in Catania.... It was hard to pack things, give away others....Again my life have to fill a suitcase... My first time from Ecuador were at least 40 Kilos.... Now not more than 20 was allowed.... Gee... It was hard to leave a place I called home. A place to come back.... a nest. Again I feel myself as a nomad. Free to take desitions about my future.. free to go anywhere....but not quite happy...I really love this city... I did my last watercolour on those days. I will post tomorrow..... they are calling me... is boarding time...
As I wrote I'm participating in the Moleskine exchange. A japanice Moleskine travels arround the world and every artist make a drawing on it. In this case we are doing a Moleskine portrait exchange. That means that I have to make a portrait of myself with a portrait of the owner of the Moleskine... This is Heidi's Moly... my entrance is the last one (scroll it please!) I'm quite proud of myself .I was always wondering the best way to show a Moly in a blog and with the scrolling you get almost the feeling you go through the pages. I add it in the html! (just copy and paste but I feel myself like a Bill Gates programming)
It is a long time since I last wrote something and I also decided to change the language. My english is not perfect but it is the language I used in the other two blogs I contribute. And before I get some language confusion in my head, with the continuos changing from Spanish, German, English and Italian.... lets write in just one language only.. The reason I have not written much was that most of my post here was very similar to the post by urbansketchers... and I got bore to repeat things. But now since I 'm contributing to some other art projects it seem relevant to use this blog to unified the information of all activities. News: so as I have put in the tittle I'm currently in the United Arab Emirates. here are some sketches i did in Dubai mall last week end.
La fiesta acaba al siguiente dia por la mañana. El carro se detiene delante del Duomo. Las reliquias de la Santa entran en la Iglesia. Se le reparte a la gente las flores del carro. Dura todavia una hora hasta que han arreglado el carro para guardarlo.