This commissioned portrait is Wakhan Girl. A coloured pencil portrait, drawn on a soft brown paper which was chosen to compliment the colours in her clothes and to allow the white of her head scarf to really come alive on the page. This was and still remains the most complex and challenging portrait that I have drawn, I am very proud of it and grateful to have had the opportunity to do so.
At approximately 40 cm (16 inches) tall she stands proud and fixes the viewer with her gaze. I wonder what she was thinking in that moment. She is still a child yet her expression and poise has a maturity about it which belies her age.
The client met this girl and her family and took the photographs which inspired this portrait when visiting Afghanistan’s Wakhan Corridor. I often find myself thinking about her, how her world might be and how it may have changed in recent years. And now as we watch the immense challenges facing the Afghan people I cannot help but wonder what she is experiencing and what lays ahead. In a bid to help in some small way from my world thousands of miles away, and in honour of the star of Wakhan Girl and her fellow Afghans, I will be donating 25% of all profits from sales of my art from now till the end of the year to School of Leadership Afghanistan (SOLA).
Any purchases of greetings cards or original art, any sales of limited edition prints – including pre-orders of the latest series I am working on ‘A Handful of…’ and all commissions confirmed between now and January 2022 will directly support the education of girls in Afghanistan.
You can read more about the life changing work of SOLA and the journey of the school’s founder Shabana Basij-Rasikh on their website. It is said best in the people’s own words.
“The most effective antidote to extremism is to create the best-educated generation in Afghanistan’s history. Our girls today – the women of tomorrow – will make that happen.” Shabana – SOLA founder.
“I will use my education to teach other girls how to be brave, and that they are very important in society. Today, I am here, I am brave, tomorrow another girl will be here and she will be brave like me.” These are the words of one of our students, and she speaks for every girl at SOLA, now and in the years to come. They are the ones whose bravery has the power to change the world. We hope you will join them, their families, and us as we work toward “sola” in Afghanistan – as we work toward peace.
I have over 35 greetings cards designs featuring original artworks, and limited edition prints of almost all of my non-commissioned portraits. I also have a selection of original artworks both framed and unframed available now. The best way to browse the selection is to visit my gallery on my website. Click on any images you are interested in and you can see if the original artwork and prints or cards are available. Contact me with any enquiries and I will send you further details of sizes, prices and presentation options as required.
Commissioning an original piece of art is a simple process which is a collaboration between us both. I can offer a range of options depending on your preferences and budget, and I make every effort to ensure that I exceed your expectations with the portrait created. As each picture takes many hours to create, if you have a date in mind for a gift for example, the sooner the commission is planned the better to ensure it is possible to achieve. I am always happy to discuss any deas you may have, so drop me a line or give me a call and I will help in any way that I can.