I was travelling in the Sinai Desert in early 1979.
At the time the Sinai belonged to Israel and they had just signed a peace accord to hand it back to Egypt over the next two years. Earlier they had put in a paved road and waterlines. Nuweiba was barren, nothing to it but sand dunes and palmetto bushes, but there was a moshav nearby where you could buy a few essential food items and water. Also some crazy hippies who went around with bells on selling cinnamon buns!
I did several sketches of the shifting shapes of the desert sands.
This was my first painting of the Sinai Desert at Nuweiba, where the sand dunes lead into the waters of the Red Sea. At the moment I see this painting as being very flat and tight compared to the wild beauty of the area. (Acrylic on stretched canvas.)
Detail of the painting. I mixed salt with the acrylic paint to create the texture of the sand – I probably should have used sand – it would have been more appropriate. But the Red Sea is extremely salty, so perhaps salt was right after all. The next sea over is the Dead Sea, which is so salty that nothing lives there.
A later painting of the desert and water. There was a sand storm while I was there and it reshaped the dunes. (Acrylic and oil pastel on paper.)Another acrylic on paper; this was cut out as if I was planning to add it to another painting but I can’t find anything that looks right so I will have to go ahead and come up with something!