Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Monsieur Bouabid

Monsieur Bouabid

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
And on this photo taken on a different evening last week I am wearing Mr Bouabid's lovely coat (he lent me it because I was cold) and eating chocolate given to me by another new Essaouira friend. That is why I love love love plein air painting. Unforgettable, unmissable experiences. The kindness of people.


  1. I love this painting of Monsieur Bouabid. And the secret (abbreviated shins) is safe with us...your fans!

    1. Phew thanks! I knew I could rely on you ;-)

  2. Bonjour chère amie,
    Je savoure en images et à travers vos mots ces délicieux moments de peinture.
    Quelle richesse vous avez dû en tirer !
    Cette dernière peinture est sublime avec cette lumière particulière qui caractérise ce beau pays.
    Le regard bon et sincère de cet homme me touche dans votre peinture. Une peinture qui a une belle âme, celle du partage et du coeur.
    Gros bisous

  3. bonjour, Merci beaucoup pour tas présence sur Essaouira. Cette présence ma offert l’occasion de te rencontre et de découvrir à travers toi une autre passion. Voir la vie à travers les yeux des autres et de partage les moments qu’on regarde avec toutes les personnes qui regardent les tableaux. Ces très baux et jolie en même temps. Ces ‘’ l’Arte de la vie ’’
    Merci HAIDEE
    Ton nouveaux amie qui à partage avec toi le chocolat :)


Thank you for your words!

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