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This calendar presents a collection of portraits as illustration to my stay in Vietnam in 2012. My goal has been to capture the experience through my art. Little did I know how much this journey would influence my technique and artistic focus.

One day as I was searching the streets I stumbled upon an art school. I tried speaking to the teacher, but he had no English, and I no Vietnamese. I persisted in visiting his class every couple of days and, seeing my dedication, he took to teaching me a rare art form. I cannot say if it is a technique he invented or learnt elsewhere, but you can imagine collecting the smoke from an oil lantern and painting with this ‘soot’ to be a good substitute for charcoal. Applying it to paper using a brush has been a new and interesting skill for me. I’m enjoying it thoroughly and hope to ‘master’ it in time.

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