March is approaching fast and preparations for the panting holiday in Morocco have started in earnest. A new batch of watercolour paper has been ordered, paint brushes are sorted and watercolours checked for missing colours which might still have to be purchased. It's best to do this in good time since there is always the chance of a colour not in stock at the art shop. Once that is done, the big suitcase in the shed will need a thorough dusting and the joyful task of packing can begin. And not too soon the day - 10th of March to be precise - will come for the departure to Ouarzazate, the journey to the desert beyond the Atlas mountains and a big welcome by our Moroccan host Ali Mouni and his friends. Can't wait!
I'd like to invite you to "Four Legs Good Two Legs Bad", a show celebrating the Chinese Year of the Pig 2019.
I'll have a brand new work on display 'The Pigs are back in Town' and will be there in person on Sunday's grand opening (please call to meet on any of the other days). Come and admire my 35-strong coterie of pigs.
When: **Grand opening** Sunday 10 February 2019, 12 noon - 8pm
Also open on: Thurs 14 Feb, 2-7pm, Fri 15 Feb, 2-7pm, Sat 16 Feb, 2-9pm
Where: 100 artists take over three levels of an underground car park in London's West End, Q-Park Leicester Square, Whitcomb Street, London WC2H 7DT. (see Google maps) Nearest tube station Leicester Square or Piccadilly Circus.
The exhibition: 'The Pigs are back in Town' will be displayed alongside works by a large group of artists at Year Of The Pig, the seventh annual exhibition that sees 100 international artists come together for one special day. Art of multiple disciplines will be displayed across three levels of an underground car park, 200 yards from National Gallery. Outside of Asia, London holds the biggest Chinese New Year celebration in the world.
The exhibition explores the themes Year of the Pig and George Orwell’s seminal 1945 book Animal Farm and its duplicitous slogan "four legs good two legs bad", as uttered by Orwell’s cast of pigs, and it’s relevance to our society, environmentally, ethically and politically micro and macro.
The preparations for my next painting holiday in beautiful Morocco – the first course of the year- are running at full speed. I am really looking forward to a well-earned break from the winter and painting in the sunshine. Thaw out your brushes and join me! Add spring to your palette with stunning vistas of the sable dunes, lush palmeries, Berber villages and more.
The Nomad Palace, our base for most of the course, is situated in the nearby village of Merzouga , right on the edge of the desert and east of the High Atlas mountains. It offers en-suite rooms, delicious, home-cooked Moroccan cuisine and also two swimming pools for a refreshing dip after painting. Our time in Morocco includes a day in the astonishing Dades Gorge, at the bottom of which the Dades river runs and almond trees blossom in the spring. And with the expert guidance of our multi-lingual host Ali Mouni and friends, we will visit museums, a wonderful old Kasbah, Nomads in their dessert dwellings and old villages. There is also the opportunity of a portrait session with Berber (Bedouin) nomads in traditional dress, to paint in shady Palmeries and an evening trip deeper into the desert to marvel at the landscape or to do some quick sketching.
"Morocco was an incredible experience and the painting superb. I could recommend the holiday to anyone."