Marrakech Hues to Desert Blues offers a progressive learning experience through art workshops that are the collaborative effort of 4 women artists. Each of us first came to Morocco as travelers on personal journeys. And now each calls Morocco “home”…
Photography Art Workshop
Spend a day “seeing” the Marrakech Medina in a more creative way-through your camera lens. Two professional photographers with a deep connection to the community will guide you through the alleyways to special people and places where you can enhance your photography skills by stepping out of your comfort zone, learn how to build on images, work with themes, and capture the amazing colors, light and shadows of Marrakech.
Your photographic journey will take you through a local market, bakery, barber and fondouk, as you walk the streets of the M’llah (Jewish Quarter). We will be printing off your favorite photos to use in our Encaustic Captures Session in the desert at Ait Isfoul.
Veronique Schotte: A Belgium-born photographer, Veronique fell in love with the colors, textures, simplicity of life, and warmth of the locals in Morocco. She was pulled so strongly that she decided to leave her past behind to pursue her passion and practice her art in Marrakech. She now shares her knowledge and enthusiasm with others through private photography workshops, and also runs a thriving professional photography studio with her partner Marc, VM Photography.
Hand Printing Papers Art Workshop
Learn how to make your personal mark to create unique hand stenciled and printed papers to use in mixed media art, collage, art journals, and decoupage projects. In this all day art workshop you’ll be guided through the process of creating 3 types of stamps and simple printing plates before we begin the creative process of layering paint, pattern and techniques to create artfully printed papers-some of which we will use in our Collage/Assemblage Workshop the following week.
Melanie Royals: An innovative stencil designer and surface pattern artist in the United States for 30 years, Melanie began leading painting retreats and art workshops to Marrakech in 2009. As has happened to many other creative artists who venture to this warm and visually rich country, Morocco cast its magic spell and never let go. Two years ago she fulfilled a dream to buy a Medina home, Maison 28, to renovate and create and ideal venue for herself and others to host creative/cultural retreats and workshops. She now shares her time between Marrakech and San Diego, California where she is still managing her first business, Royal Design Studio stencils.
Encaustic Captures Art Workshop
In this art workshop in the desert, Michelle will guide you as you find your expression pulling from your emotions and imagery in your Encaustic art. You’ll be guided to translate your visions and encapsulate and alter your photographic images with beeswax. You will learn the basics of encaustics, working with a substrate, painting with wax and using additive and subtractive layers, mark making using pigments, collage elements and found objects. You will also use stencils to build textures and create subtle patterns.
Michelle Fletcher: A Canadian born artist, stylist, photographer, storyteller and above all else-an explorer. With travel and connections as her muse, she finds her passion in transforming and creating. A gypsy by choice she has traveled the globe in search of inspiration. Her wandering eventually led her to Moroccan desert where she’s nowtransforming a “Sandcastle in the Desert” in to a home and retreat guest house: Kasbah Ait Isfoul –our home for the desert portion of our journey together.
Collage/Assemblage Art Workshop
The art workshop will weave together all of our previous creative experiences. Lori will guide you in the elements and principles of design to cut, layer and assemble images and hand printed papers along with additional paint, texture and stamped and stenciled pattern to create a unique personal collage piece (or 2!) Perhaps you’ll be inspired draw from your experiences, thoughts and emotions during your time Morocco to create a visual representation of your discoveries. Or you can simply guide your layers of paint and paper to create a very personal piece of contemporary art.
Lori Gordon: American collage artist Lori Gordon first came to Morocco in January of 2013, looking for adventure, the exotic, and inspiration for her work and life. She found all of those things, as well as her new home, after she formed an instant connection with the country. Having already created a body of work with a Moroccan theme, she began presenting her work in Marrakech with invitations to exhibit at the Royal Theatre and the Marrakech Bienale. For the last three years she has run the popular Marrakech Henna Art Café with her partner Rachid Kech. There, you’ll find her work now on permanent display, as well as being sold at exclusive boutiques around Marrakech.
The Pulse of Morocco: Music
Morocco is a country whose rich art and musical heritages both benefit tremendously from the diversity of countries and cultures that have shaped them. Arab, native Amazigh, Al-Andalus influences, along with its importance to the Trans-Saharan caravan routes have woven the art and music of Morocco into a rich tapestry of cultural influences. On the musical side this is quite evident in cross-cultural styles of Sahara Blue and Gnaoua music. Music that is spiritual, moving, and mesmerizing.
We have attempted to time our trip to the Sahara with the 3-day Taragalte Tribal Music Festival-celebrating nomadic heritage and world music, specifically Tribal Fusion and Sahara Blues, and we have our fingers crossed that the stars will align for this. (We’re still waiting for the exact dates to be posted and we may have to juggle the itinerary a little to accomodate)
Regardless of that, we will enjoy a concert by rising local Tagounite band Daraa Tribes.
“Daraa Tribes come from the oasis town of Tagounite, deep in the Sahara Desert of southeastern Morocco.
“Daraa” refers to the Daraa River Valley running down the southeastern corner of Morocco, opening up the country to the Sahara Desert and the continent of Africa. The Daraa River Valley is renowned for its oases spotted along the river, its ancient kasbahs hidden within them, and the diversity of tribes both indegineous to North Africa and descended from the Arab world dispersed throughout them, each of which contributing to the region its unique tribal culture and mix of traditions and languages.
“Tribes” reflects the diversity of those tribes, which have created and prospered from a culture of peace and tolerance amongst them, established and cultivated over the centuries. Each of the members of Daraa Tribes hails from a different tribe settled in the oasis town of Tagounite, bringing with them a diverse set of music styles. These tribes include the Gnawa, Saharoua, Amazigh, Regaga, and Lkaaba.”
And once back in Marrakech, we’ll end our 14 day adventure with a Gnaoua band house party at Maison 28!