Saturday, September 30, 2006

Desert view

So today I sneaked this photo while I was out on photography assignment for work. Its also pretty much my first view of what lies outside our compound. Maybe this next weekend I will wander out along the wadi and see what there is out there - apart from sand!

Have started working on some sketches - trying to think of the symbolic. Echoes of University and conceptual art - you know its serious when you have to try and think of why and what instead of just doing. Brainstorming and trying to pinpoint what I want to say in my art.

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Diamonds in the sky

Morning Shadows

Noon shadows

Afternoon Shadows

Monday, September 25, 2006

Drumming my fingers

I'm still waiting for my stuff to arrive and so am still not painting - I need to focus more and get out and sketch. I've been set a task to photograph some stuff for work so I am going to take the opportunity to photograph a bit more than I am supposed to! Shhh don't tell anyone! Just had some photography books arrive that I ordered that have me learning about apertures, shutter speeds and ISO speeds and the effects you can get. Not that I can photograph anything to put it all into practice. Biggest joke was ordering a book about photographing water - in the desert? hmmmmmm maybe I was hallucinating when I did that - or sunstroke maybe - or maybe planning to photograph mirages! Funnily enough we have a photography competition coming up at work and I am trying to figure out if, and if yes, what to enter - answers on a postcard please! Maybe something from DC.

I was sitting sketching in the corridor the other day - a banana tree - braving the curious stares of my fellow workers - wonderful comments included "Its so nice to have a hobby" and "Could you draw me?" and "You're so talented" on looking at what looked like a squiggle on a scrap of paper! All I could do not to burst out laughing!

Seriously, I can't wait to get back to some serious work. The light here is so beautiful, wonderful blue shadows in the evening and early morning. Wish I thought there was any chance of painting plein aire, either without being imprisoned or without frying in the heat!

"The view is loaded with Light, Light, Light, ever changing and so wonderful in its myriad colors." Candace Faber

I cannot paint the sun on the desert on a bright summer morning, but maybe in terms of paint color I can convey to you my experience ............. Georgia O'Keefe

Wednesday, September 13, 2006


Someone left and left this door - not sure what they intended to do with it but I am thinking of making it into a dining table. The colours are more obvious than they appear here, ultramarine blue and burnt umber on the raw wood.

My office looks out onto a little patio area with diamond shaped opening to the outside world and the shadows that fall in this area are lovely. I am trying to capture it in sketches with a view to painting but the sun seems to move so fast here that it is taking me days, doing a little each day. Lots of other areas around work that are interesting and I have to see if it would be allowed for me to paint here.

Had an interesting trip out to see the work of a local photographer (portrait work) whose studios were like mini film sets with drapes with lavish tassles and velvets, piles of silk cushions. Very exotic and rather like a bad B movie in taste! Also interesting to see that while women are kept firmly in their place, covered from head to toe, in the photographer's studio anything goes! A lot of exposed skin and seductive poses!

The weather is cooling slightly - temperatures are between 105 and 110 during the day now and down to around 80 at night. Its bearable in western clothes but the abaya in this heat is torture.

The appearance of things change according to the emotions and thus we see magic and beauty in them, while the magic and beauty are really in ourselves.
Kahlil Gilbran

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

One week on

No art as yet though I fully intend to get down to it by the end of this week. Thinking a lot about interiors and also some still lifes. In our new home we have some interior angles that are very interesting and might lend themselves to some Hopperesque work.

I am a little stumped by the no photography rule here though one girl at work says she has taken photographs in the Souk and no-one said anything to her. Not sure if I am that brave though!

Found out that it will be a while before my art stuff appears, maybe even as long as 2 months - which reduces my serious painting time here to 10 months. I am also going to have to be very strict about not attending every party that we are invited to! Or at least not feeling that we have to stay from the start to the finish. Will be a little easier when we have something to do at home other than sleep.

At work there are the most beautiful, large (4ft by 5ft on average)photographs of the countryside here. I hope we will get the opportunity to get out and see some of these sights. I need to find out if this is possible.

"Sunshine all the time makes a desert" - Arabian proverb

Friday, September 01, 2006

Sand, Sand and more Sand!

Endless miles of brown sandy landscape.
City of sandy brown houses.
No photography allowed.
Hot, Very Hot, VERY VERY HOT, dry, Very Dry, VERY VERY DRY.
all artwork is copyright of Anita Murphy 2006/2007/2008/2009