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Friday, April 28, 2017

Souks & Shadows in Marrakech

Many artists profess to "paint the light."
But to show the light one must also paint shadow.  
For some reason, I have always found the shadows
 more intriguing to paint as a subject than light.  There's
a mystery in the shadow...and opportunity for a lot of color.


The markets of Marrakech are a labyrinth of dark passages, twists and turns with occasional bursts of sunlight either from the roof openings or from the arched exits leading to the streets.  The lights bounce around giving shape to the shadows and changing the colors from bright to burnished along the way.

I began the painting above from a photo taken on a Friday morning when traffic in the souks is slow due to the holy day.  Can you find the faint beginnings of two people in this vignette?


I actually started this piece as an abstract...I so badly wanted to leave it that way but something in me keeps pushing for the detail, perhaps a fear that you won't know what I am portraying if I don't give you enough information?  This was going to be a challenge to bring the viewer right into the souk, let them look around and then follow the passage way out.


"Called to Prayer"
14 x 11, oil on canvas, framed
available

Now enjoy the colors of the shadows...grey, brown, dark greens, reds and every other shade.  The "light" patches would not be so interesting without the tremendous support of the shadow. And in this piece there is very little of what we artists refer to as "mid tones."

Now can you find the two figures?  Look closely.  There is a sole man behind the stack of twine balls.  The second?  It could be you: examine the shadow in the lower middle section just left of the basket base.  

Mysterious Marrakech.

In the Shadows,
Cindy