My very first images of Essaouira were made with coloured pencil or as ink drawings and all from my own references. I shall do a post on these someday.
Halfway through 2020, a very good friend in Essaouira, Mr Regragui Aitbella, started sending me photos of local street life, both in town and in the nearby agricultural market, Had Draa. They tended to be taken in a hurry, as people don’t stand around to be photographed. That is a great thing for a painter, as (just with my own photos) there was still something for me to contribute. For example thisimage of a boy on his donkey was taken at a strange angle by Gragui’s son. The original boy was wearing a grey hoodie, which wasn’t a great focal point. You can tell the times we are in by the mask though. The pantherlike animal at his heels is probably a perfectly normal black dog in real life.
I confess, this photo was pretty perfect, albeit (I think) taken from a distance. But how could I resist it? The tall and colourfully dressed man from Senegal (possibly), in affectionate conversation with a local older man. The colourful man will have been selling handicrafts to tourists in the cafes and on the beach (such as were left by that time). A green mop on a stick is tucked into the side of his rucksack.
I have heard that when local country women are left behind on a Sunday, while their men go to trade at the market, they sometimes go for a picnic in the oasis. In fact I did see them once, at a distance, and it looked very sociable and relaxing. Here they are, on their way, though I upgraded the left hand lady’s dark blue kaftan to a bright pink one. I love textiles, love sewing them and painting them
All of these paintings are made with artists’ quality acrylics on watercolour paper and are around A3 in size.