September was a busy month!
I was out on Vancouver Island at the beginning of the month to see family, then I went to London for a few days before heading to a workshop in Marrakech, and then back to London….then home.
But about that workshop!
It was an idyllic setting
Where we worked very hard
Well, we worked most of the time….it was hot!!
I had decided to take this workshop in Marrakech with the American painter Nicholas Wilton to hopefully help me out of a creative slump I had been in for some time. And it definitely did that and more. He is a very generous and gifted teacher, and I would recommend his workshops to anyone…..regardless of the level of artistic ability. His approach to art making is useful at any level.
The setting for this workshop was Jnane Tamsna just outside of Marrakech in the Palmeraie area. The compound of 5 house with 5 pools feels like you are staying at a private villa rather than a hotel. It was the first time Nik had done an Art2Life course in Morocco (he does them in Spain, Hawaii & Mexico) & I think we all felt it was kind of special. The staff at Jnane Tamsna were so friendly and accommodating and created such beautiful spaces throughout the grounds.
Pretty great right? But we did actually work quite a bit. We started by at least 9am and worked until 1:00, then came back after lunch and a swim (did I mention it was HOT there?!) around 3 or 4 and worked until 7 then had dinner. Nicholas balanced his instruction with time to work at our own pace, with plenty of one on one time when needed. He does have a way of working to share that one can adopt fully, or take parts of and incorporate into your own practice. I went into it with a completely open mind and a willingness to try new ways of tackling art making. I came away with many insights and a new feeling motivation and inspiration….just what I had been looking for!
We worked on 10 or 11 12″x12″ wood panels. The process involves working through many, many layers which is how I usually work anyway. The difference for me here was that we were working in acrylics, working fairly small, & incorporating things like collage….all of which were not my usual comfort zone. I also ended up using much more colour than I usually do, something I will definitely bring back to the studio.
Like I said we worked quite a bit….but we also visited Marrakech a couple of times and got a taste of life in the souks and the city itself. A few people had taken trekking expeditions into the Atlas mountains and Berber villages before the workshop started. Next time I would like to do that also, but I was able to stay after the workshop in a lovely Riad and spend some time exploring Marrakech before travelling back to London.
All in all it was a trip of a lifetime and I am so grateful to Nicholas Wilton for creating such an amazing workshop, and to the other participants who I also learned so much from and enjoyed being with so much.