Sun & Shade; Essaouira (Mogador) Morocco

An apology first, I haven’t updated my blog for a while, been busy as usual with the Gallery and I managed to escape with fellow artists Haidee-Jo Summers, Mo Teeuw, Eric Davies, Dave Bachman, Tim Fisher and Mike Worthington to Essaouira Morocco for a week of painting with no responsibility for anyone else, apart that is that I booked the accommodation. Having met the lovely Sandra Cripps last year I knew there would be no problem with staying with her at Riad Remmy. Everyone was very happy with the accommodation.

Repeated many times before, an artist paints to test themselves not just to sell, I painted 13 oil paintings in the week I was in Essaouira, a few I was really pleased with and others were a learning process. As artists we don’t develop if we don’t push ourselves being with a group of other professionals was a really good challenge for me, I’m not naturally a group person, and not because I wanted to paint like them but because we were all honest with each other in critiquing work done and there was no slacking, it was work.

The good company in the evening and wonderful food also helped with the artistic output. In Essaouira there is a wonderful small square where you could paint all week, this became known to us as Cantina Square, where an English lady runs a Tex Mex Cafe The Cantina, it could also be known as Karim’s rug shop square, or the Jewish Quarter Square it was at the top of “Lovely Street”

I started painting Karim’s Rug shop one afternoon but wasn’t happy with the result, I had been chasing shadows and there too many, not enough contrast in light and shade to make a pleasing composition. (see below)

ImageReturning to Cantina square, with the same painting, in the morning two days later the sun was on Karim’s Rug Shop and I was able to add sunlight to areas that had been in shade on my previous visit. I knew it was worth persevering as I loved the subject. Karim and the other cafe & shop owners were fascinated by our presence in their square and in their town


When I had finished the painting Karim invited me into the shop for a Moroccan Whisky, for the uninitiated that is mint tea normally taken with lots of sugar, asking for it “Sans Sucre” is odd but when made in a pot that has had sweet mint tea made in it for years it is  sweet anyway.                                                  Karim in his rug shop☟


We chatted for a long time in French about his family and the rugs they make and my family in England,  not wanting to be rude I had to leave to get on with more work in another part of town. It was always difficult to explain that we couldn’t always stop to chat for a long time, but we wanted to get down on canvas as much as we could in the short while we were in Essaoiura.

” Bon jour, Madame Artiste” was the cry as we set out each day, even in the evenings without our painting kit we were recognised. Essaouira is a lovely welcoming place and I am happy that I will be returning with a group of clients in October to Riad Remmy again.

See for details

We made lots of friends in Essaouira and the joy of Facebook, Twitter etc is that we can keep in touch easily,





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