Lazy days in Marrakesh

On a blissful trip to Morocco I got in a bit of sketching. Though the city of Marrakesh is beautiful, and the red walls and cobalt blue skies never failed to amaze me, it’s not really an artist-friendly place. So busy are the streets, so persistent the souk shop-keepers and sellers, that it’s impossible to sit and sketch and not be hassled every two minutes. A shame, but it meant I put away my brushes and had a proper holiday after a busy term, which was probably needed. The hard bit is now getting back into the rhythm!

What I did get around to drawing  were a few quiet shaded spots on hot afternoons.

These are the Saadian tombs, to the south of the city. They date from the sixteenth century but were for many years hidden away until rediscovered in 1917. They are composed of several large mausoleums, surrounded by dozens of graves decorated in beautiful coloured ceramic tiles.

















And these are two courtyards at the Bahia Palace. The palace had room after room of opulent interiors, and every courtyard a different character. This first packed with palms and fragrant orange trees, and jasmine flowers creeping over the roof. So many plants that the sun could barely pierce the canopy. The second, crisply painted with white, the sun brightly cutting against the arches to create deep cool shadows around the yard.