Thursday, February 28, 2013

BAB (Bab Al Bahrain) Monotypes

Glimps of Groceries 

The word Bab in Arabic means Door.  So the Bab Al Bahrain means Door to the City or to Bahrain.  It is also surrounded by the Souq or Market which is a labyrinth of shops and stalls that meander mysteriously and intriguingly around the Historic old buildings and a beautiful shaded park and some interesting sculptural landmarks etc.;  Great little hole in the wall restaurants and cafes and so much more all radiating out from the BAB.  The main building "The BAB" is a more modernized place with shops and large spaces and coffee shops as well as galleries where the "important" Artists of Bahrain that do very large works are often displayed.  It's a grand place with vaulted ceilings on the inside. I am happy to be a part of this outdoor festival celebrating the renewal of the BAB.
  I will be displaying 15 new print works in the "pop up Gallery"( a movable gallery that will display various artists throughout the month in various locations) which will coordinate with my two small two day workshops on a simplified method of print making.  We will be doing collagraph plates created on discarded mat board pieces donated by Fakrawi Framing in Zinj. They do all my framing and are friendly and efficient with fair pricing as well as just a great place to visit to see local artist's work. Bahrain is really big on recycling so I am centering my workshop on reusable materials and simple at home ways to create prints.  I am hoping to create an interest in printmaking here in Bahrain.
  All my new prints are based on photographs that I have taken in the Souq at various times. It's a fun place and you can find  just about anything you're looking for.  With the revitalization, there should be more and more fun and festive activities regularly that can be enjoyed by individuals or families. Music, Arts, Food and plenty of shopping.  There will be other workshops in addition to mine and you can find them and other info on this website . Hopefully that will work and if not just google BAB Market Project. or contact me at

Turquoise Camels at the Halfmoon Hotel
I will be posting my works daily (hopefully). I have 8 so far and here are the first two.  If you are interested in printmaking you may want to look for the similarities and differences from one print to the next as I am using the "ghost" from one print to the next which means that I am building on the ink left  on the previous plate rather than cleaning the plate and starting from scratch.  I feel this gives me a depth and excitement and interest of surface texture that I would otherwise sacrifice by cleaning the plate between prints.
  I learned this process from a fabulous teacher, Ron Pokrasso who is based in Santa Fe New Mexico.  I had the opportunity to take the course at the Hill Country Arts Foundation in Texas. But you can also go directly to Ron Pokrasso's studio in Santa Fe and take lots of courses directly as well as stay on the premisses.  Very exciting stuff!  These prints are made by a wonderful process using nontoxic inks from Akua inks. A soy based ink that can be cleaned up with soap and water instead of mineral spirits and other harsh chemicals. They have been recently bought out by Speedball so look for them there.  Cheers, Tonya
All images on this blog are copyrighted unless otherwise noted and not to be used in any way without the written consent of Tonya Vollertsen.