Sunday, January 16, 2011


A few days ago, the people of Tunisia ousted Ben Ali, who had been dictator there for more than two decades.

I visited Tunisia two years ago on a sketching expedition. My friend Alan Foster and I took a trip by hired car from Tunis to the Roman ruins at Dougga.

We arrived at Dougga at the end of the day. We had the whole place to ourselves, except for a lonely shepherd and a flock of sheep.

The sun was setting red in the west, and I had to hurry to finish the painting. Just as I was putting on the last touches, a flock of birds l broke free from the peak of the temple and headed up into the sky.

When the current troubles subside, I hope that visitors will return. The Tunisians are a wonderful people, and the country is full of rare beauties for artists to admire.


Marvin Lorenz said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Marvin Lorenz said...

The place looks beautiful and the painting, too!

John Haycraft said...

James, I could not agree more. I was similarly moved to post my own thoughts and pictures - I hope people will go and see for themselves when the troubles are over.

Anonymous said...

Lovely little prostyle temple.

Marion said...

I had a wonderful holiday in Tunisia a few years ago including a trip to Dougga which is a splendid place. I hope the trouble sort themselves.

Joseph Miller said...

Mr. Gurney, do you ever do landscapes with just water color pencils and the Niji water pens? -- no half pan watercolors. If so, which colors for the pencils do you rely upon? I was looking at your kit picture in the boing boing page and was curious.

your blog always, always, inspires me. many thanks

Joe Miller

James Gurney said...

Joseph, If I'm doing a landscape in full color, I usually use the half pans, with detail and texture added with the pencils.

Sometimes I do landscapes, people, or architecture in ultra limited color or black and white, and then I might work without the half pans.