Tag Archives: Art Safari

Exploring Essaouira

Day 1 started off with a short art lesson on the roof.  Temperatures were comfortable mid 70s the entire week.  Karen (of Art Safari)  had some really great tips and instructions on perspective, and how to “shrink” people as they get further away, depending if you are sitting or standing.  She also gave a few pointers on the different arch types in buildings.

Lesson in perspective

Our first lesson was valuable with so many people around!

Then, we were off exploring this new town.  So many sights, sounds, people and creatures – it could have been overwhelming to the senses, but Karen got us sketching first thing, and that definitely got me focused: What do I want to sketch?  Study it before starting.  Then, just make the lines.  Everything else slowly fades away.

Bread wagon

Bread wagon


Essaouira window

Essaouira window

Shop display

Shop display

After a bit, we all stopped for a break. The mint tea again! Oh joy.  I so need to learn to re-create at home.  But it’s never the same, is it?

Mint tea

Mint tea

Then more walking, some lunch and more sketching. (Exactly what I came for!) We found (I should say Abdul found it!) a shop that sold spices and watercolor pigments. The owner happily demonstrated the various colors, which several of us went back to purchase later.

Watercolor Pigments in Essaouira

Watercolor Pigments such as mogador blue and blue marjorelle

Closed up the afternoon sketching in a square with colorful rugs for sale, displayed on the sidewalk, even hanging from trees!

Rugs on display

Rugs on display

Madrid – a short visit

A short background: This is one of several posts about my first trip to Madrid and Morocco.  I found Art Safari online, and am I glad I did! This company plans trips for artists. They worked closely with me and planned every detail, with an end result of perfection.  I met some great people, who now feel like old friends, enjoyed my art lessons from Karen and found the perfect blend of interacting with others and free time to myself, learning new things and relaxing, going and not going. For me, a nearly perfect vacation!
Art Safari is based in England, but they are planning a trip to NYC in January, if you’d like to meet a few of the team!

Now, on to my story…In my short time in Madrid (only 1.5 days), I couldn’t do the city justice, although not for lack of trying. The architecture was divine, I could have sat and just sketched buildings!

madrid hotel view

Bara Cosmetics building- view from my hotel window

After my morning arrival, I rested in my room for a bit, then took off exploring. First strolled down Gran Via and over to Puerta del Sol. There were lots of street artists, and entertainers, and several looked as though they were defying gravity.

Madrid motorcycle artist

Then over to Plaza Mayor, where I happened to find the Mercado San Miguel, which, yes, it was touristy, but hello, that’s what I am! Inside was a feast for the eyes, nose and stomach!

Madrid Mercado San Miguel veggies

Veggies at Mercado San Miguel

I passed on the animal brains and the sea urchins (One question? How to eat?) and chose paella, easy on the stomach.

Madrid sea urchins

Another easy on the stomach (and eyes!) was the hotel breakfast – croissants, fresh fruit, cheese, jambon and plates of scrambled eggs were offered.

hotel las letras breakfast

Unfortunately, my internal gps was incorrect as usual, and I took off in the wrong direction, thinking I was heading back to my hotel. Wrong!  Thankfully my phone’s gps was working, and once I realized I had NO idea where I was heading in such a hurry, I switched it on and got safely back to the hotel.

I will be posting more of this amazing trip soon!