The Qalam Series: Modern Miniatures | Gouache, Watercolor, Pen, Metallic Gold Pigment
on Printmaking Paper | 8" x 11" | 2013


Artist Statement: The Qalam Series, 1 of 21 paintings: Qalam is the Urdu term for the miniature painting brush. This brush is unique in that it is made from one hair of a squirrel’s tail and requires an extraordinary amount of patience. Qalam also refers to the first and most important step of the painting process. I make gouache miniature works that are influenced by both traditional paintings of the Mughal empire, in what is now modern day Pakistan, and contemporary Pakistani street art. As a Pakistani-American, I longed to go to Pakistan for the rich visual experience. I was attracted to the art in museums, as much as the folk art that fills the streets. By combining the use of flat patterning, repetition, and vibrant colors with contemporary iconography I honor both traditions.


Marium Rana is an American born Pakistani artist who has studied painting internationally. She has received both a Masters in Art Education and a B.F.A. in Studio Art from Florida State University. During her time at Florida State, she was awarded a research grant to study traditional Mughal miniature painting in Lahore, Pakistan. This traditional technique includes painting with a brush made from one hair of a squirrel’s tail. Rana has been hosted as a visiting artist in various cities, and has curated numerous art exhibitions, held solo exhibitions, and exhibited throughout the United States. When she is not painting, she has served as the design chair for TEDxFSU, presented her research at numerous symposiums, and currently volunteers her time by serving individuals who are facing homelessness. Visit for more artwork.