Friday, October 31, 2008

Tahir al Sudani

This is Tahir, from the Sudan. He was so good-natured and friendly that I spent quite a while talking with him. He was happy to let me take his picture, and I hope to paint his portrait.

A Boy and His Pidgeon

This Yemeni boy was fun to talk to. Most people express surprise or even insurmountable disbelief that I can speak Arabic. This guy though, took it completely in stride. Why wouldn't I speak Arabic? That made communicating with him much easier, and much more fun. It was natural and almost effortless, despite my unfamiliarity with his particular dialect.

Camel Driver

A man and his camel

Wadi Hannifa

Another view of the wadi adjacent to our compound.

Trail, Diplomatic Compound

Here's another view of the trail that surrounds the compound where I live.


The other day I got the chance to travel a ways out of Riyadh to get in some practice at a shooting range. Every time I get out of town the immensity of the desert surprises me. It's not an easy impression to convey in a little painting.


Daraiyah is an ancient walled city on the outskirts of Riyadh. The substantial ruins there are being pulled down and a sort of replica is being built. This mosque is one of the remaining old buildings.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008


I just received my last shipment of household goods from home. As you can see, the cats really enjoy helping me unpack.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Carpets and rooftops

This one's not quite finished, but I think it's getting there. What do you think? I use only transparent watecolor, and no white, so the white details in the carpets are areas where I avoided putting any paint. It's a little trickier than other media, like oil, or acrylic, where you can just put a little white paint wherever you want it, but watercolor gives me things those other media can't, so I stick with it.

Sunday, October 05, 2008

Thorn Tree

The Eid holiday is over, and I'll be back at the office tomorrow. I've enjoyed these last few days of seemingly limitless time for painting.

Saturday, October 04, 2008

Colonnade, Diplomatic Quarter

The Diplomatic Quarter, which is where I live and work (and yes, for those who know me and are wondering, I do appreciate the irony) has lots of beautiful architecture. The Ethiopian Embassy, the Tunisian Ambassador's residence, the Palace of Culture, I hope to paint them all. Unfortunately, I'm not allowed to photograph embassies or official residences, or I'd show you what some of them look like. As I paint them though, I'll post them here for you to see.
This painting is from part of a warren of narrow passages and colonnades on the outskirts of the Palace of Culture, which, as far as I can tell, has very little to do with culture, and is more like a collection of shops and offices radiating like spokes from a mosque at their center. Even on hot days (and I'm happy to tell you that the weather lately has been much more pleasant) these places are shaded and seem to channel the breezes, which make them a nice place to sit and read or to take discrete photographs of scenes I hope to paint later.