In Istanbul, I was surrounded by vivid colors and powerful shapes. It was at first overwhelming, as though I couldn’t sort though what my eyes were taking in. Everywhere I looked I found delicate curves, strange symbols and angular figures combined with subtle color shifts and odd combinations. I am talking, of course, about carpets.
Textile art was at first very foreign to me, and I admit in my difficulty to understand it. However, after a summer of wading through these hand made works, studying their unique qualities and many beautiful imperfections, I fell in love with them. A good friend of mine once remarked on when, she wondered, would these patterns make their way into my painting, and I asked myself the same question. I felt as though I had an archive in my mind overloaded with imagery, and no way to sort my way though it. However, after being home for several months, and reflecting on my experiences, I think I am at last ready to let carpet culture creep into my work.
I recently had a deadline that began to force some of the imagery trapped in my head into the world. I spent a day sawing, nailing and sanding my new panels, and at last started working seriously on my Istanbul based series. It is, an incredible release.
Here are a few details of what I have been working on, more images soon!
I love drawing people. In Turkey, I would often sit in a tea house for hours and draw the crowd of Istanbullus, talking, laughing, smoking and sipping tea or coffee as if they had no other cares or obligations in the world . An open sketchbook, pencils, pens, markers and brushes scattered in the table in front of me, a hot çay and a sea of endless faces and gestures to capture is all I would need to feel as though I were in heaven. In Wyoming this summer, I didn’t have a tea house but I still found interesting places to draw people. Here are a few sketches from the sale barn in Riverton, where I was for three hours, drawing cowboys bidding on cattle. This is ironic because I have not eaten meat in years, but I used to go here with my grandpa and watch the cattle, sheep and pigs as they are herded in and out of the arena. I would listen to the auctioneer as his lips moved rapidly, resounding into the microphone his almost musical rythum. I haven’t been here in years, but was delighted with the variety of faces I found and the nostalgia of the atmosphere. I can’t imagine how out of place I looked, but no one seemed to notice me staring at them from the corner, just as no one seemed to notice at the çay bahçesi in Istanbul.