These photos were taken of Melissa during a recent figure drawing session.

This weekend is Labor Day weekend, and I’ve really got nothing planned. I’ve got to actually work this weekend, just to get ahead on my job and I plan to do some scouting for my next photo workshop. Gotta find a new location. Something out of the sun, scenic of course, and something not too difficult to get to. That’s the real trick, right there. Mainly, if its easy to get to, scenic, and shaded, its going to have a lot of people in it. Which is sort of counterproductive unless all those people are paying participants. I don’t mind so much then. So much of today, or yesterday was spent at work. Tomorrow, I’ve got a lunch date, and then its off to scouting. Labor Day will assuredly be spent laboring and depending on my progress, I might be able to work in some scouting if I don’t find what I am looking for on the morrow. I’ve only got these two days to find something.

On another matter of locations, I was reading about Morocco a few days ago. My first encounter on anything Moroccan, besides the leathers, was two girls I picked up out of the rain while in Grad school in Kentucky. They were carrying grocery bags from Wal-Mart which was right across from campus. One of the girls was holding a bag that I thought was a baby which is what prompted me to stop in the first place. It was raining. What man wouldn’t stop? But in my car is now seated the most beautiful slash gorgeous woman, I think I’ve ever been that close to. Forget celebrity beauty. This girl was just plain fascinating. She was like museum beautiful….not to be touched…just gazed upon. I’m talking Mona Lisa, here. I got to know her over the next few months, since we had classes together and were both in the MBA program. At different times, I was introduced to other friends of hers. ALL of them were gorgeous. None as beautiful as she was, granted, but all these women were Moroccan and they were all gorgeous. Well, this girl got to see some of my work at one point and we discussed my artwork. I never made a pass at her and never even asked her to model, but she did bring up the possibilities herself and we both considered it. Alas, it never came to fruition. She went on to graduate a semester before I did I think.

Nonetheless, I began to research her country even after she was gone. Everyone knows about Casablanca, but I knew little else about the place. I recently read that Morocco was the first county to officially recognize the United States when we claimed our independence:

1750 – 1912 “During the American Revolution, so many American ships called at the port of Tangiers that the Continental Congress sought recognition from the “Emperor” of Morocco. This was accorded, in effect, in 1777, making Morocco the first country to recognize the fledging American republic. Negotiation of a formal treaty began in 1783, and resulted in the signing in 1786 of the Moroccan-American Treaty of Friendship. John Adams and Thomas Jefferson, both future U.S. Presidents, were the American signatories.

This was about 3 or 4 years ago and I have since steadily been reading about this country. I must visit this place. There are many places in the world I want to travel to. Belize, Jordan, Israel, Portugal, and Turkey, top the list. I want to revisit some places, I have already been such as the Netherlands and Spain. But Morocco is one place I don’t think I would mind living in. Aside from the beautiful women, its another place for me to explore for a few years. I like learning about new cultures and being in different surroundings. I understand from my friend, that the place is much more progressive than what I might think of a Muslim country. However, I am not sure how well my nudes would go over there. I think for that time in country, I’d resign myself to landscape and portraiture. It would make another interesting chapter in my life. I don’t know when I would be able to visit. There is much in my own country I am still exploring. But if the opportunity presents itself, who could pass that up. Yes, I think I’d move there.

André Elbaz (born April 26, 1934, El Jadida, Morocco) is a famous Moroccan painter and filmmaker.

Elbaz studied art and theatre in Rabat and Paris from 1950 to 1961. He started painting only at the age of 21, until which age he had been interested mainly in theatre. A few years later, he managed to combine his two passions into a new approach in art-therapy, inventing together with his wife, a psychiatrist, the Pictodrame, which brought him world recognition.