On arrival in Morocco we could see the snow cupped peaks of the Atlas mountains in the far distance as we travelled towards the Nomad Palace, heading for blue skies and sunshine. Imagine the surprise when we opened our windows on the first painting day to see camels standing in the mysterious haze of a desert sandstorm. We decided to head for the Salon and settled there for a very enjoyable day painting young Berbers in their colourful robes.
The sun soon returned and we ventured out into the shady courtyards and surrounds of the Nomad Palace with it’s attractive arches, doorways and Nomad tents near the entrance. Two days later we visited a hilltop close to the desert with fantastic views across typical adobe buildings and magnificent sand dunes in the background. At tea time we set off on a trip around the Erg Chebbi – Morocco’s mini desert – and had a ‘cuppa’ with a Nomad family on the way. Another highlight was our visit to the nearby deserted village, where we painted in the cool shade of Tamarisk trees and old buildings and lunched on Berber Pizza followed by delicious Moroccan oranges.
After our wonderful days at the Nomad Palace we found it hard to say good-by to our host Ali Mouni and his friends. But we still had two great days painting in the stunning Dades Gorge and in colourful Ouarzazatete to look forward to, which made leaving just that little bit easier. Painting the lush colours of the Dades Valley from the terrace at the Auberge Panorama is always a special pleasure, since Mustafa and Ibrahim, who run the Auberge, are both artist and were delighted to meet us. I was very fortunate to be able to return to the Gorge after the course to paint, explore the area and enjoy strolling through the orchards filled with almond blossoms.
Back in London it took a while to adjust to the winter weather after the warmth of Morocco. But double sweaters have stopped me shivering in the studio!
With warmest regards, Bettina
"I enjoyed it so much, thanks for making it such a memorable trip."
"Thank you again for a wonderful time."
"I have used some photos I took to do some oil paintings and have used some of your techniques on some water colours. So it has been a most productive excursion."