Clowning Around in Morocco

ink & watercolour illustration, 8" x 10" [20.5 x 25.5cm]

Last post, our talk of rose petal tea and rose water led me to thinking of peppermint tea, which led me to wandering through this alleyway in Morocco {Just in my imagination, as you've come to expect...}  When I kept this charming holiday snap of Katie's as fodder for an illustration {thanks as always, Katie!!}, my first quick glance of it assumed a bicycle to be leaning in the foreground.  When I sat and started drawing, I stopped before adding a second wheel and had to zoom, re-zoom and hydrate my contact lenses to be sure ~ it looks like this is some kind of unicycle, or the end result of a practical joke.  I can't help wondering if there's a circus clown slaving over a tajine with Katie in a cooking class behind one of these doors...

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  1. Quite possibly, Shell. I heard that there are lot of clowns in Morocco :)

    Gorgeous little alley, beautifully drawn and painted as always Shell.

  2. I wonder if Katie noticed the unicycle and if that is one reason she took the photo?

    Your illustration makes one want to walk down this alleyway. Perhaps even go for a spin on the unicycle.

    I read that the color of the year is turquoise and here it shows up on your blog. Or is this teal?

  3. Such a wonderful drawing Shell! (And a lot better than my photo, if I'm allowed to say that.) I checked the original photo (which I'll post tomorrow) and I really do have to agree with you that this looks like a unicycle. And how did you know we were all clowning around a little bit in our tajine cooking class?!

  4. Do you visit every place you paint & post here? It's refreshing the work you do, ShSh!

  5. A clown or maybe a trapeze artist or an escaped circus monkey. I love the colorful painting Shell. I'd love to visit all the places you illustrate. :)

  6. Katie: I feel the same as you regarding comparing my photos with Shell's drawings. Am glad you will post your photo. Now, did you take one with laundry hanging out to dry? ;-)

  7. MmeB ~ I'll expect to see more unicycles in that case. :)

    Cali ~ I think it's turquoise. I wasn't trying to be trendy but I won't object if it accidentally turned out that way. ;)

    Thanks, Katie!! Your photo is lovely, as everyone will see when you post it. And your cooking class photos showed how much fun you were having there.

    Cafe ~ maybe even as refreshing as a mint tea? ;) I'd be a jet-setter {only a distant relative of the Irish Setter} if I went to all these places, wouldn't I.

    Amy ~ oh, a monkey ~ great idea!!

  8. You have been showcasing turquoise on this blog for awhile now so you actually set the trend. The rest of the world is just catching up!

  9. Ah, that's lovely, and brings back memories of a holiday in Morocco, of which one of my main recollections is beautiful tiles everywhere. I guess I was so busy marveling at their intricacy that I never saw the unicycles whizzing past.

  10. As if Morocco weren't exotic enough. Lovely as always, Shell.

  11. How do you do it, creating lovely illustrations on such a regular basis? Some people need a month or more to come up with something half as good as one of yours.

    The idea that monkeys and clowns might be behind those closed doors taking cooking lessons made me laugh. Food fight!

  12. from cali and katie: me too! I spent a part of the early '70s in Morocco, but (alas) sans camera. (Just tonight had this conversation with one of my daughters: what I wouldn't give to go back to Paris, Italy, India, Morocco, London with a good digital camera!)
    Katie and Shell—you've both captured the feeling of the souk perfectly. I'm transported—and blown away.

  13. Cali ~ LOL ~ I wonder what Martha Stewart would think.

    Mise ~ beautiful tiles can do that to a girl...

    Hiker ~ as it's not Friday, I figured a change of scenery would be nice.

    PCN ~ thank you! And my money would always be on the monkey in a food fight.

    Alexa ~ I was mourning my old film camera for its photo quality, but when I remember the convenience of digital and being able to snap, snap, snap without worrying about conserving film ~ well, I don't mourn quite so hard.

  14. Maybe yes :)

    And I too assumed it to be bicycle!

    Village Life

  15. If Morocco is going to be this charming then I'm on my way.

  16. Bhavesh ~ I love optical illusions!

    Petrea ~ {having fun with your profile pic again? :) } A nice side trip next time you visit Paris...


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