Thursday, 7 April 2011


In June 2003, when our firstborn was 4 months old and we were still living in the Netherlands, hubby (then a graduate student) had a conference in Marrakech, Morocco, and we decided to make it a family holiday. It was one of the best holidays of my life (and that is saying something as I am not a holiday person). We saw some amazing places, the people were extremely friendly (they loved our blond baby, everyone wanted to hold him), the food was delicious...

I'm still sorry that I didn't buy that red plate! (it would have been hard though to carry it home in a backpack)

Marrakech is a gorgeous city. We had a wonderful afternoon at the Jardin Majorelle:

When the conference was over we took a bus to Essaouira, a beautiful small city on the Atlantic coast.

We spent some lovely days there and then took the train to Rabat, for our last few days. Another beautiful city where we enjoyed exploring the kasbah:

As you may remember, the Australian and New Zealand Art Quilters have a journal quilt project this year with the theme Countries. You can see my first quilt, The Netherlands, here. For my second quilt I wanted to use this photo of Essaouira and reduce it to its essentials.

Here is the quilt:

It's not quite what I had in mind and I'm not sure if I'm happy with it... (my boys said 'A steamboat!' when they saw it!) Would love to hear what you think!


Jenny Bowker said...

It is an interesting piece - but I think what the boys are seeing is the much enlarged size of the white area. If this had been low and a minor part, as in the photo, I think the composition might have been less dominated by the white shape.

Love the colours and the way you have quilted it.

annemiek said...

Apparently Marrakech is the number 1 city in the world where tourist don't come back a second time ...

I have been twice and absolutely loved it, and the rest of Morocco as well. I have been from the northern tip, to the far south-west, across the Atlas and relatively close to the Algerian border. What a beautiful, extremely hospitable and culture-rich country!! And still relatively unexplored by tourism!

And I like your piece, but as a two-left handed person, I agree with the previous poster that the city shapes better had been a little bit less prominent. Still beautiful!

Judy Warner said...

I actually like the juxtaposition of the shapes. I understand how your sons saw a steamboat. How essential is it to you that people see what you saw? I sort of like creating a piece and then letting people interpret it as they wish.
I really like the choice of blues and the use of the red and white coloring. :)

Alison Schwabe said...

You said you wanted to reduce it to the essentials but I think you overdid it Linda. In all the photos of buildings there are columns and arches giving a complexity of planes and shapes which you completely obliterated, leaving no suggestion of where this place is or what it's magic is to you. It could be any ultra modern cityscape near some water. Or a steamboat.

Kathy said...

Love the idea of reducing to a minimalist state! My perspective, though, would emphasize the boats and the turquoise. Even minimalist buildings have a few more details, or maybe just a few more building shapes. Or maybe this becomes the top right corner of a set of 4 pieces that show the whole photo....hmmmm? If I hadn't seen the original photo, however, I probably would have interpreted this as a cruise ship on the sea.

Marie-Thérèse said...

I immediately saw a large cruiseship too....
But that's ok, I agree with Judy, that you can let people interpret for themselves what they see.

It is different when you want to give us your impression of that particular scene. Then you need many colours to catch that particular sky and the fisherboats. Also the proportions of the important subjects should be carefully chosen. And you need to find a way to tell us that we see a morocan village in the distance.

All and all a very difficult task. I would chose another picture, where it is more easy to point out, that it is about Morocco. I have many foto's of fisherboats like these, but they were taken in Italy, Portugal, Spain, France, etc.

Thank you for asking our opinion. I found it very interesting to write my opinion and also in this way we learn with you:o)

Good luck with this project.

Mary said...

Thank you for being brave and asking our opinions. It has been great to read the responses. I have come across from the group. My first response was that it was a container ship, so the sea part has worked well. I hadn't realised why I saw that until I read the other posts, and yes, I agree, the white is much bigger than in the picture and doesn't seem to be in the distance. The boats in the foreground are not the focus anymore, if that was your intent.
I am very interested in your attempt to make it minimalist and abstract, I am currently studying in a drawing class and am having terrible trouble with trying to make an image abstract. So well done. I have found this inspiring and encouraging.

aykayem said...

been busy/otherwise distracted amd only just looking at this now ...
I see a container ship, arriving from one of those "countries other than Australia" ... so to me - it fits the theme, just not any particular country, like Morrocco - LOL
btw - I do like it though ;-)
(oh - and I could probably also "see" all sorts of other things in it too ... just that once someome mentioned ships ... and with all that blue that says "water" ... and my mind wandering to the various places I have taken photos of boats and ships - then busy ports and container ships is what I thought of ;-)