For 10 days you will have the unique opportunity to travel together through the sights of Northern Morocco, stopping to sketch and paint. The itinerary is organized for us with meals and lodging provided so we can immerse ourselves in the culture and focus on our daily painting. In addition, our guide will have excursions planned for us so we can get to know Morocco better. In our travels, we will paint on average 4-5 hours each day. Bring your cerulean, cobalt, ultra marine, phthalo and more.
Sound like a memorable trip – sign up now, to join us Fall 2024.
Once registered, we will send you a list of needed supplies to bring with you.
Your private guide and driver will be there to welcome you at the airport, and they'll transfer you to your accommodation in Casablanca, the largest city in Morocco. The itinerary for the day will be adjusted according to your arrival time, with highlights including a visit to the Hassan II Mosque and exploration of the picturesque area along the Atlantic Ocean beach.
After enjoying breakfast, we embark on an enchanting journey towards Rabat, the current Imperial City and capital of Morocco. Our planned stops include visits to the Mohammed V Mausoleum and the Hassan Tower Mosque, providing you with ample time for sketching and painting. Following a delightful lunch, our next destination is the international city of Assilah, situated on the northwest tip of Morocco. Assilah is celebrated for its beautifully preserved historic medina, featuring whitewashed buildings adorned with vibrant blue accents that create a charming coastal atmosphere. Additionally, Assilah is renowned for hosting an annual Arts Festival, attracting artists and visitors from around the world.
Discovery of the city from the heights of the medina. Sketch sessions along the way. Lunch break followed by a descent through the alleys to the city fortifications and the fishing port. Vibrant atmosphere guaranteed. In the evening, departure by minibus for a panoramic tour along the city's seaside promenade towards our next stop: Asilah (approximately 50 km away).
Following breakfast, we'll embark on a roughly 3-hour journey to reach the delightful and picturesque "Blue City" of Chefchaouen, situated in the Rif Mountains and famed for its distinctive blue-washed buildings. The shaded cobbled streets are adorned with colorful doorways, porches, and roofs, creating a charming atmosphere. Additionally, the town boasts a variety of weavings, jewelry, and pottery that serve as fantastic sources of inspiration for painting. The afternoon will be dedicated to sketching and painting, allowing for a creative exploration of this captivating setting.
Exploration of the first narrow alleys, sketchbook in hand, of course. Doors, fountains, terraces – everything is an opportunity to pause and draw or paint. Expect your stock of blue to significantly diminish! Dinner and evening in the city. Overnight at the Riad in Chefchaouen.
After morning meals, our journey takes us through the aromatic olive groves, a three-hour drive leading us to Fes, Morocco's second-largest city. In the afternoon, we'll visit the tanneries, where we'll capture the vivid colors of this extraordinary location with our artwork. A leisurely walk through the world's longest pedestrian-only alleyway, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, offers a chance to marvel at the incredible arts and crafts that abound in the surroundings.
Discover Fez and Meknas
Departure for Volubilis, the remains of a Roman city built on the ancient site of a Punic-Berber town, which was the capital of the Kingdom of Mauretania, located in the Saiss plain in Morocco! Then, we head towards Meknes. Overnight stay at the Riad in Meknes.
Following breakfast, we will embark on a 3-hour journey to Casablanca. The rest of the day will be dedicated to unwinding and getting ready for our journey back home.
It is hard to say goodbye. but, this is the farewell day...Transfer to Casablanca Mohamed 5 International Airport (CMN).
Born in The Netherlands, Jan-Willem Boer, currently lives in the USA. He is a practicing fine artist who has exhibited in the USA and Europe, winning several awards, and has also undertaken many public and commercial commissions, in both of these countries. In addition, for several years he taught at two universities. Jan-Willem has worked in various mediums over his career and is well versed in various techniques of those mediums, thus this retreat being open to various mediums.
Nancy worked for many years as an Art Representative, representing the work of many illustrators and photographers, and contributes her knowledge of the art to the educational process, bringing an observant eye to the process.
For the last 10 years, Nancy and Jan-Willem own and successfully run the Shenandoah Art Destination in Lexington, Virginia USA. They offer all-inclusive courses (meals, lodging, and art instruction/tutoring) to those that come. Their courses are individually oriented for the beginner to the professional of all mediums.
One of the most notable aspects of Moroccan cuisine is the emphasis on the quality and freshness of ingredients. The produce is sourced from a land free of pesticides, chemicals, hormones, or preservatives. Animals are typically slaughtered just hours before they are used, with mutton being the prevalent meat offered, rather than lamb. Market vegetables are freshly gathered each morning. The use of spices, herbs, fresh fruits, nuts, and dried fruits imparts an invigorating vitality that stands in stark contrast to the packaged and imported products commonly found in much of Europe and North America.
To further acquaint you with the culinary delights, here are explanations of some of the most common and popular traditional Moroccan dishes:
Harira: A thick soup made of chickpeas, lentils, and haricot beans, often flavored with mutton or chicken, lemon, and tarragon.
Brochettes: Grilled kebabs featuring mutton, liver, and fat.
Kefta: Spicy meatballs crafted from minced mutton and offal, often served in a seasoned sauce.
Pastilla/Bastilla: A pie composed of multiple layers of flaky pastry filled with chopped pigeon meat, eggs, almonds, and spices. Chicken or fish may be used as alternatives to pigeon.
Tagine: Alongside couscous, this is one of the most ubiquitous Moroccan dishes—a slowly simmered stew cooked in its own juices in an earthenware bowl with a distinctive conical lid. Variants include tagine de viande (mutton stew with vegetables or served alone with prunes), tagine de poisson (bream or sardine stew with tomatoes and herbs), tagine de lapin (rabbit stew), and tagine de poulet aux olives et citron (a delicious chicken stew with lemon and olives). The lemon imparts a delightful bitter zest to the meat.
Mechoui: Lamb roasted whole on a spit or baked in a special oven. This delicately fragrant meat, distinct from typical mutton, is often enjoyed with bread but is considered an elaborate luxury that may need to be ordered well in advance.
Couscous: Made from half-baked flour ground into semolina-like grains, perfectly prepared couscous involves a meticulous cooking process with steamings and oilings, resulting in distinct granular texture. While best enjoyed in a home or a quality restaurant, it is often served with sept légumes (seven steamed vegetables) and occasional mutton. Couscous can also be served as a dessert with sugar, cinnamon, and rich, warm goat's milk.
Cornes de Gazelle: Croissant-like pastries filled with honey and almonds.
Each country has its own history: historical facts, events and important milestones that gave the country its true historical value. The history of a country is one of the events considered worthy of remembrance, which perfectly applies to Morocco. With several dynasties that have succeeded one another over the years: the Idrisside dynasty, the Almoravid dynasty, the Almohad dynasty, the Merinid dynasty, the Saadian dynasty and the Alaouite dynasty, Morocco has gained international consideration as a multicultural country, with several types of heritage recognized as World Heritage by UNESCO. Morocco is one of the go-to destinations for discovery lovers, the most fascinated by nature, history, the art of living and Moroccan hospitality. The experience gained during their journeys in Morocco leave them pleasantly satisfied with their stay.
When we receive your deposit we will email you to confirm your reservation and payment.
Once the retreat becomes guaranteed (minimum number of registrants met) we will contact you to confirm your reservation and arrange payment of the balance for the retreat if only the deposit was paid at registration.
If for any reason the retreat does not become guaranteed, you will be refunded any funds paid (deposit or total amount).
A deposit is required to the teacher :