Welcome to my Blog
My name is Pia Ranslet. I am a painter and sculptor.
I would like to show my Art here and at the same time make contact to people who bought pictures from me during all the years I exhibited.
It is my hope that the owners will send
photographs of the paintings they purchased, so I can get all of
the works categorized.
Some of the pictures which I upload here are for sale. I also paint portraits on commission.
Please contact for further information if You are interested.

Saturday, April 14, 2012


Pia Ranslet
Guard from Luxor Museum

Pia Ranslet
Riding on Arab horses close to Gize 1984
I have been riding all my life and owned horses too.

I went to Egypt twice, once with a big group of students from the Academy of Art
in Stockholm and a second time together with the Swedish
painter Maria Björklund. I will introduce her in a future blog post.
Maria and I got a room in a hotel in the middle of Cairo which was situated on top of a huge apartment building . The stairs crawled  up like a spiral along the wall inside the staircase pier, there was
no light in the stairway and no railing to hold on to. And the stairs were full of garbage.
 A wrong step and we would have fallen 20-30 meter down into the open space,
that was once planned to contain an elevator.
But the budget must have been miscalculated so the open hole was just left there. 
I staid in the same hotel first time I went to Cairo two years earlier.

Pia Ranslet
The Hotel room
Pastel on Paper

Pia Ranslet
Breakfast in Cairo
Pencil on Paper

What I feared from the  first trip was the Mosquito attacks,
even more aggressive than Mosquito's in the North of Sweden
or in Lofoten  in the north of Norway!
On the first trip one of my fellow students forgot to smear the face in Mosquito repellent
and woke up next morning so swollen that his eyes totally disappeared .
We all overreacted to the bites and they did swell up so much,
 that it was hard to put on the sleeves when they bite the arms.
Two Students got Malaria on that trip.
So if you ever go to Egypt don't forget to take Quinine
or some other drug against Malaria.
And something to protect against Loa loa.
Another sickness from a tiger striped black mosquito, who bites in full day light!
We understood how aggressive they were,
 when we had to slept under the covers and in the morning  hundreds of mosquito's sat in the cotton,
they had drilled their heads so deep  that they could not pull  out again.
This time I was not going to be bitten!!
The room they gave us had wall paper covered
with huge orange ,brown and green flowers all over .
The  room was very big with 3 and a half meter to the ceiling.
We tried to discover the mosquito's but the wall paper was so dominant ,
 the beasts were camouflaged ! You could only see them if they were sitting on the wall
and you put one eye into to wall and looked at  them from the side.
 When we at last found one and tried to smack it ,it flew up and sat on the ceiling.
We threw pillows and shoes  at  them, but nothing helped it was too high up.
Until I got the the idea to use the two field easels we carried with us from Sweden.
We took them totally apart and screwed the parts together into one 4 meter long stick, on the end we attached a sock and then managed to dot every single mosquito.
This procedure  had to be performed every night. It took hours.
We boiled our water with small dip boilers even before the tooth brushing and this way  avoided the awful stomach infection, that  the students  got on the first trip to Egypt.
Back then  half the group staid in bed for a week!

Pia Ranslet
Farms out side Luxor
Oil on canvas

Pia Ranslet
Minarets Cairo
Watercolour on Paper

When living in Cairo I went up on the roof of a big Mosque every day. The view was fantastic!
And it was nice getting away from all the busy life and terrible noise down on the streets.
The guard of the Mosque let me sit there alone. I was never afraid of walking alone anywhere!
People approached me all the time on the streets, men came with sweet compliments and
often the question if I was married? If not perhaps I would consider? Women pulled my long
hair, if I went with it uncovered, to see if it was a wig.
 Later they apologized deeply or giggled or ran away.
The women  never went alone, always in small groups. Some asked if I didn't have an older sister or brother to look after me?
Sometimes when I sat for many hours up on the roof of the Mosque, the Guard would bring
a glass of tea with mint and 20 spoons of sugar. He did not want any money. Egyptians are
known for their great hospitality. And I learned it is an insult if you try to pay! Instead
you should tell about your homeland and customs
and if you have pictures to show, it is a very appreciated return gift. 
Most Egyptians never leave their country and never get to see other ways
of life ever. I was invited home everywhere, each place the women cooked and
served  big meals.They would not join but just sat looking at me eating.
Even out in the fields kilometers from the nearest town,
I was invited to share the farmers lunch. No other country that I traveled in has a similar hospitality!
 The poorest who has very little food to give ,
would borrow from neighbors just to be able to for fill this important hospitality.

Pia Ranslet
Inside the big Mosque

Pia Ranslet
Minaret on the top of the big mosque

Pia Ranslet

"Engraving" of the same minaret. the guard stands to the left
to show the size of the minaret.This is some 15 meters above the streets
on top of the mosque itself.

Pia Ranslet
The white hospital Cairo

Pia Ranslet
Fields on the ways to the Valley of Death

 I had to go fare into the fields to be alone.
Sitting so still out in  nature would make the animals confident and I saw a huge 
Iguana of some kind, more than a meter long.
But after some hour I would be surrounded of people anyway. They stood around me
in a shape of a v and tried to compare my sketches with the real view.  It left
only a slim corridor to 5% of the view.

Pia Ranslet
Marked place

There are very few paintings and drawings left from this trips.

Pia Ranslet
Egyptian women sorting oranges

Pia Ranslet
Egyptian women sorting tomatoes

Me in a shaken picture, from Luxor I think

I drew many portraits mostly of children and women when I was there.

Pia Ranslet
Said the Egyptian boy
Pencil on Paper

Pia Ranslet
Two Egyptian brothers
Pencil on Paper

Pia  Ranslet
Egyptian Brothers

Pia Ranslet
Boy from Assuan
Pencil on paper

 There wasn't much time to sit and paint , the Academy had a tight schedule to follow and many museums to see. We also visited  Cairo's Academy of fine Arts to see how their students worked. 
I was impressed how they worked with glass! They had some fantastic ideas and worked differently than we were used to in Sweden. .
Most of the works I did on the first trip were sketches. 
Some drawings I sold later on but many I gave away.

Pia Ranslet
Neighborhood close to the big Mosque

Pia Ranslet
The entrance to the Hotel with the Guard
Pastel on Paper

Pia Ranslet
The Hotel Guard from Cairo

I didn't take much Photographs on any of the trips and wonder if any of the other Swedish
Artists who traveled with me to Egypt  have any photos left .
 Please take contact,  I would like to show  
some pictures of all of us here.

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