In search of Matisse's Morocco


30th Jan - 6th Feb  2020

Led by Valda Bailey and Doug Chinnery

Many are surprised to learn that Matisse spent time painting in the medieval walled city of Tangier and was greatly inspired by North Africa's vivid colours and sharp contrasts of light and shadow.

We have put together a tour of northern Morocco offering an insight into the fascinating culture and diverse landscapes of this compelling location.

The first night of the tour will be spent in the enchanting capital city of Rabat.

The day after our arrival we will travel to the blue town of Chefchaouen - surely one of the prettiest villages in Morocco. There are many theories about how it came to be such a beautifully pacifying colour - some say it was painted blue by the Jews who settled there after fleeing Hitler, others say it’s to keep the mosquitos away, while some just said it represents the colour of the ocean. Whatever the reason, we will doubtless enjoy interpreting the vibrant colours and textures of this artsy mountain village.

We will also spend three nights in Fez, one of Morocco’s four imperial cities. From the golden gates of Dar el-Makhzen to the rich history of the Mellah (Jewish quarter), we will attempt to engage with this fascinating urban sprawl  and create our own interpretative images.

The maze of alleyways through the medina (the city’s oldest neighbourhood and UNESCO World Heritage Site) is utterly unique in that it has retained much of its history and roots. We will find much to inspire us. It radiates as if lit from within - the raking light reveals textures and patterns on the rough earthen walls giving us an incredible canvas to work with.

Just as Matisse really didn't like to travel farther than a 400-yard radius from his hotel, so we will take a similar approach to our creative endeavours. This does not promise to be a frenetic tour  of every attraction in the region - we are more concerned with immersing ourselves in the culture of the country, taking our time and trying to connect in a more familiar way than a whistle-stop journey would allow.






Social media, Valda

Social media, Bailey Chinnery

Social media, Doug