Thursday, December 31, 2015

Workshop Patterns III

My last post of 2015.  I am still influenced by the colors and patterns of Morocco.  I don't want to graphically reproduce the actual symmetrical patterns but rather suggest them in a freehand manner.

Sorry to say that the colors are not exactly as the original...there is much more purple in the blues and magentas... but knowing that every monitor will see them differently I won't go to the "Rabbi".
I have experimented taking pictures with my Canon G11 and my phone Meizu Note2 the G11 won out.

11 x 11 Inches
Wrapped Canvas
Oils & Cold Wax

Wishing you all a very Happy and Creative New Year.  I am taking up Leslie's 30 in 30 challenge which starts   TOMORROW....I will be working way out of my comfort zone.  First by size small 6 x 8 inches.
Then wet on wet in oils... impasto colors without medium straight from the tube... theme mainly foliage with a slight chance of flowers.  Trying to keep a COOL head, not working still a bit stressed.  I just have to JUMP in  Happy swimming everyone.  

Monday, December 14, 2015

Workshop Patterns II

Still experimenting with oils and cold wax.... love the process... each layer  I discover different aspects sometimes a completely new painting emerges from the original concept.  Lots of surprises along the way.
The palette used is brighter than what I usually use. Again I used some cut stencils but opened them up.
I find these painting have been greatly influenced by my trip to Morocco.

30 x 25 wrapped canvas
Oils and Cold Wax

Have posted some photoblog-posts of my recent trip and will continue. Day 1, Day 2, Day 3, Day 4

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Workshop Patterns 1

Still working in oils and cold wax.  Experimented with cutout patterns in this one to pull it together. Still feel a bit lost in this media but the more I paint I guess the more I will learn.

Format  40 x 40 cm gray cardboard without gesso.

Oil and cold wax 

Thursday, November 26, 2015

Workshop New Mish Mash

Continuing to cover some old paintings with oils & cold wax.  I have been working on several paintings simultaneously, find this a great way to rest from one to the other and come back with a fresh eye.

New version
Oils & Cold Wax

Cardboard 28 x 37 cm

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Workshop Oil & Cold Wax

Well after a very hot summer,  September 30 x 30 , a trip to Morocco( I am slowly blogging this trip), I have finally returned to my weekly workshops. The way back to painting has not been easy. I have decided to experiment more using oils and cold wax and painting more intuitively in an abstract manner. Not an easy task. My first project was to paint over a collage that was made when we met for brunch at one of the workshop artists, Traudi.  Thinking back it wasn't the best choice.  Haven't a full image of the collage before I started messing around.

Colored Paper Collage

As usual I took pictures of other's holding their works but neglected to have  someone take a picture of mine. After 2-3 sessions  and making a mess, not really knowing where I was going with this we decided that it was complete.  

Oil & Cold Wax

Traudi with her Creation

Monday, November 16, 2015

Morocco 2015 Trip Day 4

Morocco 2015 Trip Day 4

Today we say goodbye to Marrakech after 3 nights at the Grand  RM Manara hotel. Last yoga session in the colorful lounge....

Yoga Practice 

It was much cooler than the day before and when leaving the hotel there was a drizzle of rain and an overcast sky.

R M Manara Hotel 

Today is the first day of Succot so our first stop was the New Synagogue in Marrakech were there would be a service.  Since it was a holiday no photography allowed in the Synagogue.  The Synagogue is near the American Centre  and there is a sign outside that the Jewish Community is loyal to Mohamad VI. Interesting site about Jewish Heritage in Morocco. I was really moved with this visit to the Synagogue and listen to the service. 

Our next stop was the Yves St Lauren Garden and Museum the Majorelle Museum.  A beautiful and calming atmosphere and interesting Museum exhibition. We were pressed for time and the Museum was quite crowded it would be nice to revisit to just sit and ponder and perhaps sketch.

Playing with Topaz Retro Filters

Used a tree image as texture

Put in some fish... added the Yves St Lauren Memorial

Saying goodbye to Marrakech, we are on our way to the High Atlas through the pass to Tizi_n'Tichka and on to Ouarzazate which is on the border of the desert.

Map on journey

Right off the bat we saw we were in for a rainy day... stopping at a roadside restaurant and small hotel in Touama before the climb to Tizi_n'Tichka pass. Light refreshments and restroom facilities and surprising WiFi connections.


We're in for a storm
Views right and left composite

Just as soon as we got back on the bus... it started to rain!!!!

Taken by smartphone from bus

By the time we arrived at our next stop, it was really pouring!!!! 

Cat & Dogs

Guess we brought rain to Morocco

A nice visit to a cosmetic factory that make products from the Argan nuts.

Argan Cosmetic Factory 

After the visit, we had lunch at the restaurant next door.  That soup was really on the spot!!!

Delicious lunch

After the break on through the pass to Tizi_n'Tichka  and on to Ouarzazate in the rain!!!

All taken with my smartphone from bus

Of course, we arrived at Karem Palace, Ouarzazate, in the dark... straight to dinner.   It was rainy and the hotel is laid out with paths and wooden awnings that the rain slipped through. We are at the edge of the desert and David, our guide said he never experienced so much rain in this area.   The rain didn't spoil the the disco. 


Saturday, November 7, 2015

Morocco 2015 Trip Day 3

Morocco 2015 Trip Day 3 September 27 Sunday

Wake up call 7:00 - Yoga 7:30-Breakfast at 8:30 on the bus by 10:00 Headcount, water and we are on our way for today's new adventure.

Today we again start our tour in the Medina, old city, of Marrakesh specifically the Mallah or Jewish Quarter. We were let off in the main square where I visited 2+ times the day before... as we started to go through the winding allies I saw they were very familiar because I was there!!! But this time I saw that we had another person with us on a motorcycle... he was for our local security.  Well, yesterday I also had some local security. First the view of the carpet seller at the corner, the entrance to the alley where the old Synagogue was, and even in this dingy dark alley the blue sky seeped through and remnants of patterned tiles could be found.
Composite plus Topaz Simplicity

The Old Synagogue Marrakech is still in use, but the Jewish population does not reside in the old quarter but is spread in newer areas of the city. I found this interesting photo album about Jews in Morroco. Rachel, one of our group was born in Marrakech and she remembers this Synagogue as a child. It was an emotional visit.
It was the eve of Sukkot and there was a decorated Succa along with many pictures  of the members of this congregation.

Succa in Old Synagogue
Composite plus Topaz Simplicity Filters

Entrance to Synagogue Courtyard
Another composite of the Old Synagogue and Ezrat Nahsim
the women's section

Our security escort

One of the many Boutique Hotels in the Mallach
Jewish Quarter
Leaving the Quarter  the Old cemetery of Marrakech
Will write more about the Morocco and Jewish connection in a separate post

Leaving Marrakech for the  Mountains through the  Ourika Valley. On the way we visited a typical Berber home and learned much about their traditions.... what views and what hospitable people.  it was very dark inside and I don't use flash my images are a bit grainy.

View from the upper balcony

Another view

A typical Casbah

View of the kitchen

Entrance area

Having tea with a special ritual.
That white lump is sugar!!!

Stopped at the tomb of Rabbi Solomon Bel-Hench

There are many tombs of Jewish Tzadikim (Saints) scattered in Morocco. The tomb of  Solomon Bel-Hench, who was the revered Head Rabbi of Marrakech. I found this interesting video. Muslims and Jews make pilgrimages to this tomb.

Composite of the courtyard

Tomb of Rabbi 
Solomon Bel-Hench

Picnic grounds on the Ourika river which flows all year round. many rickety bridges cross the river to many picnic grounds. Some picnickers put their tables and chairs  in the river. 

Picnicking on the Ourika River

River crossing

Have to be very careful
Look straight ahead and not down!

All along the road there are many vendors for food and of course souvenirs. One little shop much like a game arcade for playing hand football and pool.  Yael took her hand against the sons of the owners. 

The boys won every match!!!

We arrived back at the hotel late afternoon, time for some relaxing time at the pool early dinner and then off to the Fantasia.  It was an interesting show, but I guess my expectations were too high.  The sounds and colors were fantastic but, in the end I felt a little let down. 

Fantasia in Marrakech

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Morocco 2015 Trip Day 2 Lost

Morocco 2015 Trip Day 2

Arrived at the  RM Menara hotel just in time for dinner last evening.
Wake up call 7 AM, Yoga 7:30... breakfast 8:30.. On the bus by 10:00..Hassan passing out our daily water for our tour of Marrakesh...  also counting the heads so no one is missing.

Yoga in the gorgeous lounge opposite the dining room
Composite plus Polaroid texture 

Our first stop was an artificial lake in the Menara Gardens..
Impressed with the wide plaza leading to the lake.... the local people including the venders that were everywhere.... Here is a composite of two views... one leading up to the lake and second of the lake.
Combined both photos and merged then  ran two filters in Topaz Simplicity, hard pencil and painting IV which I masked and blended in.

Lake Manara Marrakech, Morocco

I was impressed and a bit overwhelmed by all the patterns that where everywhere, sidewalks,buildings,gates etc. I made this composite of three photos. One of the entrances to the mosque a second of a prayer sitting at the entrance. I used one of the pattern detail images.  Experimented with filters from Topaz Simplicity 

Muslim prayer and gateway

Facade of the Mosque
Two filters from Topaz Simplicity

Our next stop was to the Medina, the old city in Marrakech....lots of alleys,shops, smells and textures.

Entrance to The Medina
Smartphone from bus window


This is the where I got LOST.. Well really not lost..I knew I was in Marrakech but had lost sight of my group. Here is the last spot where when I lost the group.   On the top right I inserted a blowup of the people near a store where I thought I spotted my daughter with the new hat.  But when I got there... nada... no one from the group in site. Where to go left or right!!! Well I chose left as there seemed to be some attraction in that direction... a few twists and turns and I was in a sort of courtyard with people lined up to view a room. Thought I spotted the girl with the hat ...called out... no one answerd.  Went back to the store and looked to the right but didn't see any signs of any group... ( later I learned that they were in a cosmetic shop listening to a lecture about argam oil and cosmetics ) so back to the square.  One young Morracan boy asked me, in broken English if I was looking for something..answerd "I Lost my group" Well he seemed to know where MY group was among the many that were touring... so I started to follow him and another young man.

Last spot 
See girl with hat in insert.

Well then I thought that the group would be visiting the Mallah, Jewish Quarter so my new companions took me through the alleys to the Jewish Quarter to the Old Synagogue.  There I met a lovely lady from the Jewish Community that explained that there were no groups expected that day... which was the eve of Sukkot and also of Muslim feast Eid al-Fitr.  So off we went through the allies back to some main square. Took only 2 shots during my walk. Mind wasn't exactly on photography....composite showing the alley from the Synagogue and an interesting door with a Hamsa doorknob. I must have been some sight following two young Morocan boys.

My Morrocan guides 
Alley from Jewish Synagogue
Composite + Topaz Simplicity filters

Back to the main square there many tourist buses and we asked a driver about our group... Showed him a shot taken the day before of our bus and driver.... he didn't know him... Then I got the idea that I may have the the telephone number of our guide David... seaching through my phone found the number but alas it was his Tel-Aviv cell number... and the paper with his Moroccan number was back at the hotel...  my new guides helped me change money to make public calls... in the end got change from a local woman sitting and selling some odd items.... the boy saw that the change was not correct and spoke with her harshly demanding the correct amount.... why I didn't think to call the hotel was beyond me... had the hotel card....

Our GREAT driver

Well this is really turning into a long blog!!!! Long story short decided to taxi back to the hotel....David, our guide told us it would cost about 20 Dirhams but taxi driver charged me 50... one of my guides accompanied me in the taxi... saying he was to visit a friend in the Police station off we went... let me tell you you are taking your life in your hands driving around Marrakech.... my guide got a generous tip... actually more than he asked for... wasn't that familiar with exchange rate ...the taxi driver also wanted another 20 dirhams to take my guide back to the square.... end of the line buddy... NADA...

Back at the hotel went immediately to the conseirge and told them that I was from David's group and they  told me that he has called about 1000 times looking to see if I returned..... I thought well I would spend the rest of the day relaxing by the pool... think I deserved that!!! It wasn't much more than 15-20 minutes that my daughter Yael  knocked on the door.... she also had a story to tell... remember the cosmetic shop... well the owner brought her back to the hotel on a moterbike... YIKES.   So back in a taxi ... back to the to the square... the group was on its own to wander ans shop....
Steet Scene

Also we got Henna drawings...

After bringing some refreshments she grabbed my hand and also made a drawing on my hand... which lasted the whole trip....

Henna Drawing

 In the early evening we went back to the Jemaa el-Fnaa square for more shopping and Marrakech experience... this time we rode there by horse and buggy!!! I was quite tired and overwhelmed by the crowds etc.  Yael said it reminded her of India only India MUCH more.... 

Horse and Buggy
A very popular way of transportation in 

Jemaa el-Fnaa Square
Early Evening

Jemaa el-Fnaa Square
Early Evening

Bazarre Jemaa el-Fnaa Square 
Composite plus filters from Topaz Simplify 

My Moroccan Album on flickr