This was one of my most exciting painting moments from my trip to Morocco last week. Monsieur Bouabid who is the wc attendant near the harbour in Essaouira remembers me from my painting trip last year and so, as we exchanged pleasantries I asked him if I could paint a picture of him right there and then and he agreed! I was a lot braver this year about attempting to put the people into the paintings and I felt that attempting this portrait in the street was a pretty courageous move.
Of course, the doing of it attracted a lot of attention from the other workers and passers by but I had to pretty much ignore them and crack on. I just didn't know how long I would have and thought that he could have moved off at any moment. (It could be, I was thinking, that I'd misunderstood when he'd apparently agreed to sit for me, in French)
Unfortunately I soon realised that I wouldn't get his whole self in unless I did a naughty thing and shortened his legs by a couple of inches. Usually I would have restarted at that point, with the top of his head higher up on the board but I was in a major hurry thinking that this glorious moment wouldn't last long. So I had to make a decision and I sacrificed accuracy for the added information of being able to include his feet, which will come in useful if I start a studio painting based on this. And if I do I will know I need to lengthen his shins :-)
|The painting in situ, outside the toilets|
All was not as simple as first appeared with this white jacketed figure lit by bright sunlight. I was amazed at the amount of reflected light bouncing up from the ground, it certainly made things tricky.
|Fresh fried fish, Essaouira|
You might remember this studio painting from last year, that's my friend Monsieur Bouabid there on the right hand side, underneath the WC sign.
|With a little help from friends|