Saturday, 26 May 2012


...Well I did not sleep too well again, after a long day talking with many people and sketching, all I could see when I closed my eyes were hundreds of faces. I did quite a few sketches yesterday and all were imprinted in my brain, it takes a lot of concentration when people are around you watching. I was never good at performing in public, I remember when I was very little having to do a very small part for a school play and had just a few words to say, but when I appeared on stage and saw all these faces staring...expecting.....waiting, I froze, then you can feel the tension, and the silence and the distance of time in between, horrible feeling. Exactly the same with sketching, all these faces watching, waiting, expecting something amazing to happen, it is another interesting fear to overcome, so good to practice.

Very dissapointed with some people's idea of charity, only interested in trying to 'win' a bargain, some offers came in that just about covers the cost of each frame, let alone the time and effort everyone has put into this event and for me to offer original fine art paintings.

The most upsetting part is what must be in peoples minds, not considering this is a charity event and they are trying to cheat these poor people in Nepal from raising money for them. One person wrote an offer of 1500 INR and said "well you never know I might be lucky if no one bids for it I will get it cheap" Charity or bargain hunters ?

I felt like putting up a sign this morning, saying:

" this is a charity art exhibition purely for the benefit of under privilaged people of Nepal, not a charity art exhibition to help people decorate their homes with quality, original fine art that they are not willing to pay for generously" Please consider the cause at hand, thank you.

On the whole it has been a great succes, simply with the enthusiam and moral support from the press, friends, family and the people of Ahmedabad. We have had very generous offers on some of the paintings, and donations from people just wanting to help and support, so a big thank you to all these people for making it happen.

Thank you to Himali Thapa for her dynamic sales pitch, telephone skills and energy for a charitable cause putting aside all her other pressing demands, also her In laws and husband Ankit, for putting a roof over my head and helping out so much with the organisation.

Thank you to HCN, especially Deepali, the chair person who has been with us all the way giving us online support and encouragement.

Pranav Gupta, for the exclusive use of his beautiful exhibition room, donating this and printing banners, placing advertisments for us and generally wishing us a big succes in raising charity for HCN. Thank you.

And finally to all the people that have come and supported us, thank you.

On The Spot Sketches




Friday, 25 May 2012

opening day

Art of Giving 25th 26th May 2012
I had a restless nights sleep thinking too much about how the day would go today, thinking also of the many people with high hopes and expectations  from Nepal, waiting for news, "how many people came?" "how many paintings are sold"

I set off in the morning and mounted my faithful bike, "come I said its just another small mountain to climb, I know you prefer real mountains, rivers, and exhillerating roads to new horizons, but this is a good thing to do, the mountains will always be there waiting for us.

Along my little 7km commute to the Gallery there was a noticed increase in the usual attention, horn blowing and friendly gestures, people hanging out of rickshaws, thumbs up, waving, so it seems the mornings press releases had reached quite a few people, and that put a smile on my face and I increased the pace, cycling and weaving in and out of the bombardment of obstacles. Before I arrived in India I feared their traffic rules, or lack of them, thinking you would be a bit vulnerable on bike, but actually despite all the variety of obstacles, both organic and mechanical, it flows quite well, the faster you go and the more Gods you pray to the better the chance you have of making that gap....

Many people turned up, all very impressed with the paintings and the whole story of how it all came about. Himali, here explaining what, where, how, who, why and the thousands of questions that people are hungry to know.

Samples from my sketch book diaries and sketches drawn on site whilst staying in 'Darpuk' village in Nepal, were on display, along with a sample of photographs of the various places I had cycled through.

Dont say that you wiill never be able to do something and make excuses for not doing them .... this man has both his arms missing but paints amazing paintings with a brush in his mouth, a great example of determination overcoming these physical obstacles.

At the end of this day I had done about 7 portrait sketches, in between talking with many people about the journey, and what we are trying to achieve here, so a very full day and hoping tomorrow would bring some buyers.

Exhibition press conference

Considering we have never put on an exhibition before and I just arrived a couple of weeks ago in Ahmedabad, with no where to exhibit, no idea where to exhibit, no budjet and with a rolled up bunch of well travelled paintings, it all came together quite nicely, thanks to the support of friends and family and to the many local people I met through the galleries, art societies and friends of friends who helped and supported as much as they could. Thank you was a success.

Finally, just at the last minute after much rushing around like headless chickens, the stage looked to be set and some, but not all of the press arrived.......