Chefchaouen, 2012, oil on cotton 18 x 36

In Morocco one can buy pigments in bags and jars of lavender oil from street vendors. There are also lots of oranges.  While traveling, I used both these things as solvents on oil pastel drawings I made taped to a Van Gogh hardcover. The drawings and the Van Gogh book smell fantastic. 

 

I made this painting at home from one of those drawings. Honestly, I think the oil pastel drawing is probably better, but this painting is pretty good too. It took patience to make all those varying blue buildings (a characteristic of the town of Chefchaouen), while resisting the urge to make a big blue and white swirl. The whole thing really moves and I am always impressed at how simple the essence of a "house" can be, in this case a box with two window lines and a little roof as a hat. The real strength of the painting lies in giving only some of the buildings hats.