Morocco: The Fishing Port

After a few days in Marrakech, Chris and I took a short trip to the seaside town of Essaouira. Swirling with seagulls, the beautiful 18th century is famous for its ramparts upon which Orson Welles shot his "Othello". The city, with its French, English, and Italian built architecture, feels both very European, Moroccan, and African all at once. The people felt more conservative than in Marrakech, in both dress and attitude towards the swarms of tourists trying to take their picture.

Usually I have not encountered the same resistance from people towards drawing as I have seen towards photography. With drawing, you are in a more vulnerable position since you have to wait and finish, so it feels less predatory and more reciprocal to me than photography. But in Essaouira, the people in general felt very hostile towards it, and one man was furious and ripped up the drawing I had done of him.

The only place this was not true, was in the fishing docks where everyone was very friendly, and interested in what I was doing. As an international port, the center of the city is the fishing dock where fishermen go out in bright blue fishing boats all through the day and bring back their fresh catches to sell on the docks and into the medina.

Early in the morning, the men prepare their boats and repair their nets to go out to sea.

Men wait as the fishermen bring in the latest catch.
Men and women along the docks wait to sell fish, rays, sharks, eels, lobsters, crabs, and any other type of sea creature you can think of.

Also at the fishing docks is the shipyard where a dozen ships are put up on dry-dock for repairs.

After drawing so long at Mystic Seaport in Connecticut, it was wonderful to be able to see a completely different type of shipyard.  Here the men were repairing a sardine boat, with ribs exposed.

Seattle: Pike Place Market

This summer, I had the chance to visit the Pike Place Market in downtown Seattle. It's a bright and colorful place with a diverse group of sellers (and the original Starbucks!).

My favorite was seeing the incredible flower shops run by the Hmong. The Hmong are a group of people from Laos, who, during the Vietnam war, came in large numbers as refugees to America. The Hmong were unsung heroes of the Vietnam War, with over 18,000 losing their lives in dangerous missions from the CIA in a special task force. As a result of the war, there are large Hmong communities across the country, with one of the largest in Northern California. Their flowers were brilliant, fresh, and endless.

Pike Place is famous for as a fishing market, and there are several fish and seafood shops. I'm not much for eating seafood, but it is an entertaining array of things to draw.

The "fish toss" is one of the main attractions of the market, with tourists lining up to take pictures as the sellers toss large fish back and forth.

Among the flowers and fish are stands of delicious and vibrant fruits and vegetables from local growers, so I decided to make a few fruit crate labels for the Market.