Flags from Around The World 01

As I said in my last post, “Market Places from Around The World”:

“…I have recently been a little more active in my artists community “Fine Art America”, having found some more time and above all pleasure and comfort in participating in the social life there. I have to overcome some immensely deep sadness because of the sudden death of my brother, and the best way to do it, for me, apart from travelling, is to meet people… without really meeting them! I am more of a lonely wolf, but I love communication and exchange, so interaction on the internet and especially in a nice artists community such as FAA is, is very appropriate….”

Having enjoyed the contest about the market places I am hosting there, I decided yesterday to start a new context about “Flags”. I had just finished an artwork from Essaouira, that wonderful harbour town in Morocco, and I thought “flags” would be a great theme for a contest.

Essaouira Town 03 S

All media are accepted, painting, drawing and photographs. Paintings, drawings and photographs where flags play an important role. It can be the flag from a country, a state, an association, an event, etc…The winner will be featured in this blog, perhaps even interviewed if I get inspired by the winning work. You have to belong to FAA to be able to take part, and if you are, and fancy a go, you are very much welcome.  Here is the contest link, where you can submit your work.


but hurry up,  the contest ends on June the 14th.

I have in fact many artworks where flags play an important part. The one below was sketched in Lisbon, in a street market.

11 03 Flags Stand in Lisbon Painting Portugal S

It was in 2008, and while we were there, Portugal had reached the quarter finals of the Football Euro Tournament 2008  and Portuguese flags were hanging everywhere! Once we even saw a donkey crossing a street with a flag on his back, it was hilarious! That donkey though, made us decide to support Portugal, we bought a flag and travelled around with it on our Boomobile.

Vila Cha 03 New S

The scene above was sketched in Vila Cha, a parish in the municipality of Vila do Conde, situated in the Northern region of Portugal. Unfortunately they lost the quarter final to Germany, and the flags hysteria stopped… Well, speaking about football, I saw in Vila Cha another interesting motif with flags, a statue on the roof of a building in honour of FC Porto…

FCPorto in Vila Cha New S

Let us go to Italy now, more precisely to Tuscany. It was in 2011, I was on a long painting trip there, and I had made a series about shops and restaurants entrances.  In this particular one, I found it very funny how “the girl” is carrying the Italian flag, and wearing a hat and a dress in the design of the flag, but with a  panel on her chest saying:

“we speak Russian”

Welcome to Italy 07 New S

Let’s go to Cyprus now, in 2012, and get more serious. A very fast sketch of the local hero Archbishop Makarios III, and in the background three flags, and I  do not remember which ones they were, and the sketch is so basic that it does not give any clue! Probably, Cyprus, Greece, and…?

Archbishop Makarios III S

I certainly have many more paintings with flags from the countries which I visited, but for now I will go to another kind of flag, not from a country, but from a sports event, The Olympic Games. The following two paintings were inspired by two gold medals winners in London in 2012. First, the winner of the high jump competition, the Russian Ivan Ukhov

Olympic High Jump Ivan Ukhov S

And the next one is inspired by the winner of the  female 100 metres hurdles, the Australian Sally Pearson. In my fun artwork , I replaced her with Oly’ver The Kangaroo, jumping through the Olympic rings!Olyver S

Well, this will do for now, but I will do a second post in the next few days with more flags artworks. I thought I should just show you a selection of artworks featuring flags, to give you an idea if you want to participate to the contest. In any case, go and have a look at the images already submitted, they are really interesting!

Moroccan Woman Carrying Baby

I saw this Moroccan woman carrying her baby in December 2011, in a town called “Ait Ourir”, about 30 kilometres east of Marrakesh. She was standing, immobile, at the side of the road, and looked like a statue, like a Madonna even! The baby on her back, on the contrary, was quite agitated which provoked a quite spectacular contrast. Personally I was sitting in an internet space, on the other side of the road. I saw the woman by accident, as I just looked away from the computer screen to think about something. This is the moment when I saw her, and I was totally dazzled by the beauty of the scene. I quickly took my camera and without moving, made a photo from where I was.

By the way, when I say “woman carrying baby”, I am probably incorrect, at least partly: the woman seemed to carry 2 babies, one outside and one inside!

I always wanted to paint this scene, and well, I eventually did it, in watercolour. A US artist,  Lesa Weller, commented:

“…Miki, what a beautiful image! There is so much life and living in this piece. The background really compliments and brings out the subjects. Great job! f/v…”

This artwork featuring a Moroccan Woman Carrying Babies, as well as many other paintings from Morocco, is currently available as Giclee prints in different dimensions, on paper, canvas and metal, as well as greeting cards. Just click on the painting above to access my shop online.

The Giclee prints from the above mentioned Online shop are manufactured in the USA and sent directly to the client from there. For personal or financial reasons it might not be appropriate for everybody to order their prints in the USA. Also, you might prefer to purchase my Giclee prints hand-signed. If so, you can alternatively order directly from me. Simply contact me indicating in which size. Go to Goodaboom Boutique to see a guideline of pricing for different dimensions.

I also sell A3 posters (297mm x 420mm) as high quality digital prints on a Heavyweight White 350gsm paper, each packed in cello with card stiffener.

Poster Price: 50 euros.

They are a great alternative to the Giclee prints, to a more affordable price.

(the price does not include packing&shipping)

Sell Art Online

Trip to Morocco 04

Old and Lonely in Morocco 02 - by Miki

Some more paintings from our trip to Morocco in December 2011, especially from the lonely old people there… well, at least they seemed lonely, but perhaps the community there cares for them more than in our European countries… it was just a feeling I had, as I saw many local people giving money to the beggars… a religious thing probably, but great!

no time for more words today, we have to make preparations for our new mini-trip tomorrow!

Old and Lonely in Morocco 03 - by Miki

These paintings are available directly online as Giclee print in many different dimensions, on paper or canvas, and also as greeting cards. Just click on the widgets below to access my FAA store

Sell Art Online

Photography Prints

And if you are interested in seeing more of  “My Dear Old People” series, please click on the image below

"My Dear Old People" Gallery - by Miki

Trip to Morocco 03

Moroccan Market 04 - by Miki

I won’t have time to write many words today, we are about to hit the road again and I must pack.

So, here are some more scenes of our wanderings through the Moroccan markets. The donkeys are the main “vehicles” there, they are chiefly the ones which carry the sellers, the buyers and the goods to the markets, and back. Sometimes the poor things must go dozens of miles to reach the market, fully loaded with tons of people and stuff. They are gone the whole day, leaving at dawn and returning in the night. And this, just to make a few dinars. This is a life one can hardly imagine…

Moroccan Market 05 - by Miki

And of course, as with cars and trucks, when the donkeys are unloaded, they need to get out of the way, so in these markets there is donkeys parking… the first time we saw one, we thought all these donkeys were for sale, but we were soon told otherwise!

Moroccan Market 06 - by Miki

So, as I said, we are about to leave. Destination: Algarve, Portugal. First Kevin will rock for the BMW German bikers, and after the gig, we will go. This is surely the best way to get his adrenaline down after the gig! But don’t think twice, this is not a pleasure trip. This is serious stuff. Two of our (Derby County) football Academy lads, Mason Bennett and Will Hughes have been named in the England Under-17 squad for the Algarve Tournament in the first week of February. England will face Portugal on February 2, Holland on February 4 and France two days later. Being huge fans of these two boys and expecting a great deal from them (no pressure of course  🙂  ) we have decided to go and support them live, attending all three games. Last time I went to a football match, as far as I can remember, was about 30 years ago,when I lived in Goettingen, Germany, where I saw my adopted home team team playing against Schalke.

Needless to say I am quite excited about this trip!

I hope I will find some time to sketch between the games, as Portugal is one of my favourite sketching motifs! But my hands will be probably shaking from fear and excitement, so involved I have become in Derby football.  And these two lads, they are our future (again: no pressure!)

But back to business, even if it is not as serious as footie, by far! (The legendary Liverpool Manager Bill Shankly was famously quoted as saying “Football is not a matter of life and death – it is far more important than that”!) The paintings above are available directly online as Giclee print in many different dimensions, on paper or canvas, and also as greeting cards. Just click on the widgets below to access my FAA store

Art Prints

Photography Prints

Art Prints

And more generally you can see all the stuff I paint by going to my gallery “Miki’s Enchanted World”. Just click -gently!- on my face.

Trip to Morocco 02

Moroccan Market 01 - by Miki

As promised in my last post “Trip to Morocco 01”, I have created some more watercolour paintings from Morocco, focussing on the Moroccan markets. The markets are I think what most amazed me there, probably even more than the tourist attractions such as the Medinas of Marrakesh and Essaouira.

In the painting above, there is a woman sitting by the side of the steps, one of the rare women I saw in these markets. But I was told by a local that the women do go to the markets, just very early in the morning, while we are still sleeping, dreaming of our breakfast… They know exactly what they want and  do their shopping very quickly. For the men, however, it seems to be more of a social event . I also got the impression that the men buy and sell all kinds of tat, just for the sake of it! It reminded me of my boyfriends and brothers when they were small, they just spent their time swapping whatever they had!

Like these guys in the painting below… no idea what that lively old man eagerly stepping across on the white board was expecting to buy from the seller sat on the ground… I personally saw only little bits of wood there!

Moroccan Market 02 - by Miki

I’m wondering also what the two guys were looking so fascinated by in the little bucket… some worms probably (!) … but I did not dare to go nearer to check… I just took a photo and escaped before I got shouted at!

Moroccan Market 03 - by Miki

The Moroccan Market 03 is in fact part of my series “My dear old people”, and is called (“Together Old in Morocco 01”), featuring old people from around the world, in their daily life, lonely or together. A series very dear to my heart, as I have a very sweet spot for all people. Here is another one

Together Old in Morocco 02 - by Miki

These two old guys looked so sweet!!!!! Portraits in watercolour is not so easy, and I have hardly painted any in my life, being more used to portraying in pastel and coloured pencils.  But well, it will do for now. It would be worth a real portrait though, focussing on the faces… one day maybe! As we say in Spain “Manana!”, meaning “probably never!”

So, enough with Moroccan markets for today, it’s time to go home and eat now!  🙂

These paintings are  available directly online as Giclee print in many different dimensions, on paper or canvas, and also as greeting cards. Just click on the widgets below to access my FAA store

Art Prints

Photography Prints

Photography Prints

Photography Prints

And more generally you can see all the stuff I paint by going to my gallery “Miki’s Enchanted World”. Just click -gently!- on my face.

Trip to Morocco 01

Old and Lonely in Morocco 01 - by Miki

You know, every year it is the same thing. Christmas comes and one has to spend these special days with the family. Well, I love to spend time with my family, and especially with my parents, but somehow, it is always the same procedure. To be more precise: lots of great food, for hours and hours and hours! But now and then I have a craving for another kind of food, not so much for a feast for the tummy but a feast for my eyes! I am definitely not one of these people who hate Christmas, on the contrary: I love it! As I was a child, Christmas was fantastic, our Papa Noel was doing a great job, and these moments marked me for life. So, this year -well, last year, 2011- we decided to have a very special Christmas, and coming back to celebrate just in time with the parents. We booked a ten day trip to Morocco. I had always wanted to go there, and especially to paint it. But well, I knew that 10 days were not enough, I do need more time and more room and comfort to paint, more than I can get travelling from hotel to hotel in a little rented car. But this trip was a test, I wanted to see if I like Morocco, and if yes, we would come back for a much longer time with our Boomobile (our motorhome, my atelier on wheels). Morocco is just across the Gibraltar channel from us, and we both, and the Boomobile, we always love a go on a ferry!

Anyway, as expected, we loved Morocco! But since we came back one month ago, I was caught in a whirl of other artistic activities connected to my profession (still am!) and I had no time to make some paintings, based on the photos I took there. I just published photos from the trip in my FAA gallery, for me, the lazy way to make art 🙂

But now, eventually,  I have taken time again, and grasped my brushes. I guess I won’t do many though, painting from photos is not really my thing!

The first painting is of a lonely old man we saw in Ait-Ourir, not far from Marrakesh. A perfect motif for my series “My dear Old People”, featuring old people from around the world, alone or together. I don’t know if I did him justice, but he was so BEAUTIFUL! I am not sure what he was doing sitting there… simply resting perhaps.. or begging.. well, In Morocco at some point you stop asking yourself what people are doing sitting or laying on the ground, they do it everywhere and at any time of the day and night, probably waiting to see what the Gods will do with them next… Insh’allah!

Street Scene in Morocco - by Miki

This second painting is a scene from a market in a town where we stopped, on our way from Essaouira to Marrakesh. Certainly one of the most fascinating markets I have ever been too.. and I swear, we were the only tourists there! Which did not make my job as a photographer very easy, as I would have needed to be discreet. But I was one of the rare women there, with a baseball cap on my head instead of a veil, and my companion was an English Rocker with crazy long hair… needless to say we had hordes of children following us all around the market! And the adults looked at us as if we came from Mars!!!! Although really, creatures from Mars don’t look at all like us, at least their skin colour doesn’t, especially not when our skin had a lovely golden tan from the sunny days in Essaouira….  :-). I am still amazed that I survived that market, having often been spat at in other places in Morocco, even threatened with stones, when I was taking some photos…

These paintings are  available directly online as Giclee print in many different dimensions, on paper or canvas, and also as greeting cards. Just click on the widgets below to access my FAA store

Sell Art Online

Art Prints

And more generally you can see all the stuff I paint by going to my gallery “Miki’s Enchanted World”. Just click -gently!- on my face.