Exploring Nazareth

We headed out on the highway east to Nazareth this morning with patches of sunniness and cloud.  Through the forest along the ridge of Mt. Carmel with vistas stretching out on either side for miles west down to the Beit Netofa Valley and north to Akka.  Then climbed the hills up to Nazareth….

In the Har Ha Carmel Reserve

Olive oil stand

Selling olive oil made from their trees in the background.

It’s been too many years since I’ve been to Nazareth….no years here in print…just that I was only 17, so I don’t remember what to expect.  But it’s grown….and the traffic is incredible and the roads tinier even than what I recall.

Arriving near the old city of Nazareth

We are here and so is everyone else!  The streets are clogged with cars.

Can our car really fit in there??!!!

So we drive right in there and it’s a TWO WAY road!!!  AND we find a parking place….miracle beyond miracles!

We are parked below the Al-Mutran Guest House

Now we set off walking through the tiny “streets” sized more like sidewalks……

Walking towards the market

Inside a lovely gift shop…….read: danger zone!

Inside a 1700's building with 14 foot vaulted ceilings and its own well....but shopping!.

True, but beautiful, danger!

Antique silver pieces repaired for wearing.

Reconditioned coin silver jewelry

Exquisite pieces of coin silver jewelry.

Interior of gift shop near Al-Mutran Guest House at Bishop Square, Old City Nazareth

Fabric embroidered by local women in geometric patterns…predominantly in reds.

Peeking into courtyard of a hostel

Lovely little street in Nazareth

One of my favourite photos from today – a quiet little street with cyprus trees.

Closeup view at a copper - brassware shop

Close up view of old and new copper and brass-ware.

Fahoum Coffee & Spices shop - Nazareth Old City Market

Wonderful coffee where we tried it out first!!

Coffee shopper

Another coffee shopper

Historical photo of Mary's Well, Nazareth, taken in 1920

Cool historical photo found in the Al-Mutran.  It doesn’t look like this any more……
To be continued…..

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Becoming a Student Again

Painting at my cigar box pochade box on tripod easel

This photo was taken during my previous life where I painted every single day, sometimes numerous paintings; sketched, framed, hung paintings, taught classes, lectured, juried, curated and demonstrated.

Still life set up and outline for study

So in September 2009 decided to become the student again!  This still life above was done during a workshop with a good friend in her studio in Northern California.  We were inside an apple barn converted to a house and studio; completely paneled in wood, hung with fresh paintings, carpeted with old rugs, kept warm by a pot-bellied stove.  In the top photo we were painting horses……  It shows my Guerrilla Painters cigar box pochade box on a tripod – my favourite painting set up for plein air, or visiting someone’s studio, because the height is adjustable for tall people!!

Pear Study, Sept 2009

The pear study was begun in order to test out using a painting medium made of a high proportion of stand oil.  It created VERY juicy looking paint which took about three months to dry completely, but which still retains its “wet look” after two years.  Love this series.

Looking over my shoulder at my cowboy painting

The cowboy and horse study turned out okay for a first one….and that type sells well in the ranching/gold rush town/area where my gallery was located.

My easel with Persimmon/Garlic still life started

This week we worked on still life of our own choice – persimmon and garlic were the stars of the canvas.

Persimmon & Garlic, before completion

Persimmon & Garlic #2, before completion of the cloth.

My Chickens during the critique

Having a ranch full of animals – horses, llamas, pigs, goats, chickens, roosters, etc., one of Diana’s specialties is naturally – animals! We were practicing chickens, roosters and cows!

Cows Outstanding in their Field

Cows painted on 8″ x 10″ piece of gessoed watercolour paper.  The background near top of painting is left open as Diana demonstrated, in her loose drippy style!

Diana’s Apple Barn, Tuolumne, Calif.

A photo taken outside the apple barn…..great subject itself for painting, but the sun was going down fast…..

On Diana’s Ranch, Tuolumne, Calif.

Diana demonstrating

Diana’s drippy demo of pears

Diana’s drippy pears in the middle of her demonstration.  They started out as drips and gradually emerged as pears!  Fascinating to watch!

Diana doing a demonstration of painting horses

Below is a shot of the Cute Cows still on the easel…not quite finished as the stage in above larger photo.  This was a major turning point to be able to grasp the solidity of larger animals in my painting.  I have more practice with fruits, vegetables and tea pots!!

Cute Cows in process while still on the easel

Was sorry when this workshop ended – but learned so much from being a part of it!!!  Thanks Diana!