In my recent post about our transformative retreat to Marrakech, Morocco last April, I talked about our daily routine there and the things we saw and did, but I did not dive deeply into our art making practices there. I felt like that deserved it's own post! The magic, the other worldliness, of that place washed over each of us from the very moment we arrived.
As we absorbed all of the foreign sounds, scents, colors, patterns & motifs, I really could not wait to get working in our painting pavilion.... a beautiful tent that Peacock Pavilions offered us for our use as a studio space during our stay! On our second day there we jumped right in, I unrolled a huge piece of canvas and we created a communal painting, each of us adding drawings, and then pouring washes of colored paint on top.
With each visit out and about around Marrakech and beyond we gathered inspiration in details, small motifs, colors, and especially the good luck symbol of the hand with an eye at the center of the palm, called a Hamsa.
Back to that first painting session in Morocco... Our communal painting turned into an act of worship as we carried it outside to allow the paint to dry. Once outside we began to rub handfuls of the local red earth into the surface of the piece, and then we scattered handfuls of flowers over the top of this.
Spontaneously our group gathered around the painting, a bunch of us sat crosslegged, holding hands while offering tears and prayers up. It was truly a moment I will carry in my heart always. A moment of pure blessed gratitude.
Later on in the week we cut that large communal painting up into squares for each of us. These we continued working on, turning them into dream catchers by stitching them onto a large hop which we decorated with ribbons, tassels and pom poms.
I know that many of these dream catchers have gone on to decorate sacred spaces and personal altars in these women's homes. I hung mine in my favorite room, our screened in porch, where it daily offers me reminders of this beautiful experience!
I can not wait to journey back to Morocco in October and see what new creative adventures await! Find out all the details about our autumn 2017 Marrakech retreat here!