Artwork in India (3) – Pushkar

Pushkar has been wonderful; a strange and delightful mix of the spiritual and the decadent with a bit of filth and hassle thrown in for good measure.

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Don’t touch the flowers that are offered down by the ghats (sacred lakeside bathing areas)- you’ll get dragged into a lakeside blessing ceremony  and charged well for the honour.

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I sat in the doorway with some kind young musicians while I sketched this little market stall. They insisted that I showed the greengrocer the painting afterwards. He loved it.

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Unknowingly I arrived in Pushkar during the most sacred week of the Hindu calendar, which coincided with the famous camel fair.

The streets were full of pilgrims from all over India and beyond. I met an Argentinian Hindu who was staying at the same hotel and he explained a bit about the bathing rituals and took me to a couple of temples.

Photography is strictly prohibited at the lakeside so I thought I’d sketch the scene instead.

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The photography ban didn’t stop me being asked to pose for a couple of pictures!

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In Udaipur I met a lovely young camel expert from New Zealand who spoke so passionately about the camel fair that I decided to visit. When I arrived in Pushkar I met up with her again and spent a very interesting hour or so meeting the camels. They’re surprisingly sweet and dignified.

Inspired, I drew the camel above, the circle is a design based on the ornaments the camels are dressed with.

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I then painted this version on the hotel wall before I left.

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The annual moustache competition was a hilarious highlight of the camel fair – Rajasthanis are certainly blessed in the hair department!  

Arte Vejer on the Move

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Arte Vejer has certainly had a busy few weeks. The community group which promotes visual arts and creativity in the Vejer de la Frontera region has really been going for it as you’ll see and read below!

 

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What is a mobile art exhibition? You might well ask…I had no idea before taking part on Sunday 13th December.

It turned out to be as dynamic, colourful and festive a procession through the streets of Vejer as the poster promised.

 

 

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Sol Muniain (right), a truly gifted artist and the inventor and driving force behind the Arte Vejer mobile art exhibition unlocks the door to the castle for a session of painting faces Picasso style prior to the procession.

 

 

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Sol paints the face of Ismael Virués, another dedicated Arte Vejer organiser and the banner bearing leader of the art parade.

 

 

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Having picked up the art works we were joined by a band of marching drummers and set off around town.

I was wearing a couple of my artworks as well as carrying one (right, centre); my cockerel skirt and my 2CV silk scarf

 

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The drive and energy exuded by the marching drummers was amazing, especially when the parade passed through the narrowest alleyways and the rhythm really bounced off the walls.

 

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It was also quite surreal to look back and see a view of Vejer within a view of Vejer.

 

 

 

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We made several stops en route, here we are in the Plaza de España for a photo opportunity…..

 

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…and enjoying being part of the back drop near the Arco de Segur within the old town walls for this, the first of several short flamenco dance ‘tablaos’ …

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…more flamenco dancing on La Corredera….

 

 

 

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….dancing to an African style drum troupe in La Plaza de San Francisco…

 

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…and returning to La Plazuela with tired and happy arms (and no, despite the crazed expression, I did not get arrested)….

 

 

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…before replacing the artworks on the walls of the Hotel Convento San Francisco where they will rest, for sale, until January 10th 2016.

 

I was delighted to have my artwork accepted for the mobile exhibition and feel priviledged to have taken part in such an extraordinary event. Many thanks again to Arte Vejer for the huge amount of work and good will which went into coordinating all the art forms so beautifully and happily.

Click here to see yet more photos of the event on facebook, thanks to Jackie Cornwall.

And there’s even more:

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On the 29th November Arte Vejer staged the first ever painting competition for young artists in Vejer.

I was honoured to be invited to join the judging panel and was really impressed by the high standard of the artworks produced.

 

 

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About 30 participants signed up to the competition in Vejer’s beautiful Plaza de España and then dispersed to various parts of the charming old town to work on their paintings and drawings for several hours.

 

 

Click here to see photos of the event and the impressive range of artworks; the overall winner has her painting included in the (previously mobile) Arte Vejer exhibition in the Hotel Convento San Francisco and the other prize winning works are currently displayed in La Bodeguita, a local bar.

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The 6th December was pueblo abierto (open village) day for Vejer, which coincided with the ruta de tapas. Arte Vejer celebrated its recent allocation of a room in the castle by the town council by mounting an exhibition of members’ work there and including the non-prize winning works from the young artist painting competition.

 

 

 

water colour, sketch, pen and watercolour, vejer sketcher, castle, patio, andaluciaI made this pen and watercolour sketch (right) of the castle patio while sitting on the doorstep of Arte Vejer’s room and then went up to the ramparts to make an abstract watercolour sketch (below) inspired by the lichen which adorns many roofs and walls in the old town.

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As well as an exhibition space the castle room will be used as a venue for creative workshops. I’m planning to host one early in 2016 for adult sketchers who are a bit rusty and lack the confidence to come and draw with the Vejer Sketchers group.

If that’s you, please get in touch!

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