|A view of Chefchaouen, Morocco|
|Pink Leopard Slippers on a blue doorstep|
Chefchaouen was founded in 1471 by Moorish and Jewish refugees fleeing the Reconquista of Spain, led by King Ferdinand and Queen Isabela the Catholic. The town has an Andalusian character like the larger city of Tetouan near the coast. The houses are typically white washed in the tradition of those found all over Andalusia in southern Spain, with related architectural styles. This makes for a wonderful pedestrian Medina with beautiful homes tightly clustered along narrow winding lanes.
|A blue street in the Medina|
|Angel ladders over the Grande Mosquee|
|Funeral Procession entering the Plaza Uta el-Hammam|
|Bags of powdered pigments for sale in the Medina|
The vibrant pigments used today for painting in Chefchaouen are probably synthetic. The colored powders are mixed with water and applied as a wash on a regular basis, often with a primitive brush made of coarse dried grass bound together in a bundle. They come in many colors. In Tetouan I found that virtually every color was used, red, pink, blue, green, yellow, charcoal, purple. But these colors don't sell very well in Chefchaouen. Adding additional layers of color over time gives the surfaces a luminous glow, especially in the evening.
|A blue passageway|
I have heard that the blue washes most commonly used were predominantly pale, but that over time, due to the availability of varied shaded pigments, and creative impulse, combined with civic encouragement as tourism in the town developed, the shades of blue have become more varied, vibrant, and intense. What is most extraordinary, is that places that normally don't get painted, like pavements, are often washed, so that the entire view in some walkways makes for a surreal blue world.
|Pale blue treads and deeper blue risers|
|A woman painting the stairs at dusk|
As the evening sets in the colors become more intense, and they glow in an entirely different way when the lights come on at night.
|Grape vines form a tendril canopy over a street in the Medina at dusk|
I find myself walking up and down and around and around, absorbing the lush chilled saturation of colors, taking photos at every turn. Women often wear vibrant blue kaftans here, complimenting their surroundings. But every color looks electric in this blue world. I have painted the ceilings in three of the rooms in my home blue, so that when I look up it is like looking in to the sky, to the heavens, or in to a crystaline pool, or the deep blue sea. It is transportive and transcendent, and oh so beautiful.
|Colorful Life in the Medina|
|Blue doors at night|
|Blue trimmed everything|
|Technicolor Blue Door|
|My favorite blue ruins|
Thanks for reading as always. I'm going back out there to swim around Chefchaouen.
|Blue and Silver|
|Bags of Hand Spun Thread|
|The Intensity of Blue can be astounding at times|
|Bags of Sand|
|Blue Steps to a Blue Door|
|A Blue Door with a Black Flower Pot design|
|The Sweetest Boys|
|The Sweetest Girls|
|Water trickling down blue steps|
|Doorway to another World|