Thursday, April 10, 2014

A Moroccan Adventure: Marrakesh


Marrakesh is quite flat, dusty, peach coloured and dry. The buildings are low and the layout is incredibly confusing: there are few street signs; the souks are labyrinthine and there are no high buildings to use as visual references.

So getting lost is inevitable. But as the city is not enormous this is no great tragedy.

When I arrived in late February there were few tourists and it was most enjoyable, a month later it mas much too crowded and had a somewhat frenetic atmosphere. The city has few cars; and many artisan workshops and provides endless subject matter for painting.

I was hassled much less frequently, and less aggressively in Morocco than in my trips to Tunisia and Egypt where both trips were marred by people pestering me with offers of camel rides, hotels, taxis and items for sale.

I love painting from roofs, and from above, the falcon`s view:

 From the hotel roof, oil on card, 11.5 x 15 cm

From the hotel roof  (with mosque), oil on card, 14 x 15.5 cm

The city is very coherent aesthetically, with very cubic, peach or ochre buildings, nearly all two or three stories at most, everything dusty or bruised:

Building with a phone box, oil on card, 17.5 x 15.2 cm   SOLD

A lane, oil on card, 16 x 15.5 cm   SOLD

A yard, oil on card, 13.5 x 16.5 cm

 A yard, above, makes me think of Guston, rather.

There was a successful run of paintings of Marrakesh`s huge market square:

 Cart and market, oil on card, 14.5 x 15.5 cm

This, above, is one of the best pictures I have ever done, I think.

Little mosque in the market square, oil on card, 14.5 x 15.5 cm   SOLD

 Marrakesh with the mountains beyond, oil on card, 15.5 x 13 cm  SOLD

Market, oil on card, 15.5 x 18 cm

Marrakesh is well served by parks and gardens:

Entrance to a park, oil on card, 14 x 17 cm

There are endless shops and artisanal workshops, all wonderful for painting. Marrakesh is touristy, but much less mediated than places in Europe, and therefore considerably more alive.

Some shops, oil on card, 15.2 x 18 cm

A street near the hotel, oil on card, 13.5 x 18.5 cm   SOLD

Street selling cloth, oil on card, 15.5 x 12.5 cm

A brickyard, oil on card, 14.5 x 15.5 cm   SOLD


To see or buy paintings please visit this gallery:

82 Great Portland Street London W1W 7NW 
T 0207 602 7700. T 0207 323 1710

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