On the balcony overlooking the Raffles Hotel lobby, a local man stopped to talk to me.
He said, “You’re a painter?”
Me: “Here at the Hotel for one month from Canada.”
Him: “Wow! These are beautiful paintings!”
A few more minutes back & forth. While he was walking away he turned around & said, “Wait! I have a gift for you. I must give you something. You’re from Canada!” ...reaches into his pocket...”You know charcoal? You put this on charcoal & it burns & has nice smell. They use it at weddings. It’s very beautiful smell. 1 kilogram of this is ten thousand dollar.”
Hands it to me with a big smile.
These moments of kind interactions from a culture I know very little about but each minute I fall more in love with it.
This painting was created during my second residency at the Raffles Hotel in Dubai in February 2018.
Acrylics on canvas