Parting

…is such sweet sorrow.

After 3 days in Istanbul, I departed for my residency in India, and Sarah for her program in Hungary.  We spent our last night drawing dueling portraits among the lively crowds in Kumkapi.  Sarah, I’ll see you this summer in some undetermined place…lets keep the adventures coming for years to come my friend.

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The Show: Part 2

My last night in Ibrahimpaşa was concluded with an open studio.  After spending most of the day cleaning and packing, my drawings were displayed and I laid out plenty of cookies and juice for my guests.  The show in Goreme had been successful and enjoyable, but I was looking forward to sharing my project with the town that had been my home for 6 weeks, and had given me so much inspiration.

At 4pm, I welcomed the women to my cave studio.  Ibrahimpaşa is a gender segregated community, and in order to respect this way of living, separate times were arranged for men and women to visit the space.  The girls arrived in one large group.  I had spent a lot of time in their homes, helping with food or drawing their portraits, and I was so happy to welcome them into my space and show how grateful I was to know them.  The room was filled with laughter and a sweet, gentle air as we passed drawings around and skyped with my parents in Wyoming (who wanted to see the show and meet my new friends.)  I kissed all the girls as they left, promising that they would be dearly missed.

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I called my family again on skype so that they could meet the men of the town.  My dad compared notes about gardening with the locals as I translated in Turkish, and I suddenly realized how surreal and wonderful the moment was.

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The open studio lingered on for several more hours while we drank çay, ate sweets and haggled about the price of drawings.  I wasn’t expecting to sell much of my work, as I had only sold one piece from the show in Goreme and I was happy just to display and talk about the drawings.  However, to my surprise, there were a few interested buyers.  Turkish culture is well known for haggling about the price of anything, pazarlik as they call it.  So, I found myself bargaining on the price of my drawings in a foreign language as eager eyes shot between myself and the buyer.  When at last the prices were settled, drawings were signed, hands were shook and a few small pieces given away as gifts.  I have found myself bargaining on many occasions in Turkey, but this was the first time I was on the side of selling.  At the end of the night I had pulled down 7 drawings from the wall, sad to see them go, but happy they would be staying in Kapadokya.

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By 9pm I realized that I hadn’t eaten dinner.  So, after the crowd departed, I headed to Kuş Mehmet’s shop for one last tost, sitting in the back as I always did, eating while drawing my last village portrait.

1014264_10151654178317416_2008515997_n 1016506_10151654173737416_859778316_n 189888_10151654174102416_1878289281_nThank you to Willemijn and Paul at Babayan Culture House, all of the Ibrahimpaşa villagers, and everyone I met in Kapadokya this summer…it has been an irreplaceable experience!

 

 

Babayanlılar: The People of Babayan

As a part of my project this summer, I conducted a series of individual portraits, and Ibrahimpaşa‘s residents served as my models.  I made as many portraits as I could, and sometimes could barely keep up with all the appointments I made.  I drew the villagers at work, in their homes, drinking çay in the kahve hane (coffee house) and taking lunch breaks in the town square.

Rather than bringing models into my studio, I wanted to see and interact with them in their own element, where they where comfortable, where they are themselves.

Thank you to all of my village models, for all that you have taught me…

"Kus Mehmet" Mixed Media on Paper, 2013

“Kus Mehmet” in his shop, Mixed Media on Paper, 2013

"Dukkan" Ink and Watercolor on Paper, 2013

“Dukkan” with Kus Mehmet behind the counter, Ink and Watercolor on Paper, 2013

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“Mustafa ve Linda” Ink and Watercolor on Paper, 2013

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“Eski Mustafa” Graphite on Paper, 2013

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“Merve” Ink and Watercolor on Paper, 2013

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“serefe” Graphite on Paper, 2013

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“Recep” Ink on Paper, 2013

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“Ismet 1” Graphite on Paper, 2013

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“Ibrahim ve Mustafa” in the kahve hane, Mixed Media on Paper, 2013

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“Ismet 2” Graphite on Paper, 2013

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“Kadir” the kahveci, Graphite on Paper, 2013

Sketching the Friday Market

For my residency project, I was interested in dealing with man’s relationship to food and nature.  I believe this is a sacred relationship, one that is increasingly disrespected as the modern world becomes more disconnected from the land. I have always been concerned with humanity’s relationship to food, and after my previous travels in rural and urban Turkey, I became particularly interested in open markets, food displays and Turkey’s agricultural system. The artist in residence program at Babayan seemed to be the perfect opportunity to explore this idea, allow it to develop, and possibly take it in new directions.

After spending a few days getting familiar with ibrahimpaşa, and reflecting more on my concept, I decided the best place to get started was with the small village market, open in ibrahimpaşa square every Friday.  It was a wonderful experience sit on my little stool, use a box crate as a table for my paper and watercolors, watch interactions between the villagers as they came and went, buying their weekly supply of produce.  And of course…I was always offered a çay and a small handful of fruit while I worked.

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“Friday Market” Ink on Paper, 2013

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Commissioned Drawings

Various Drawing Commissions….

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“Greyson” Commissioned Portrait, 11″x8″ Pen on BFK Paper

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“Gabriel and Finley” Commissioned Drawing, Mixed Media on Paper

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“Pearl Street” Commissioned Plein Air Sketch, 8″x12″ Mixed Media on Paper

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“2nd Street” Commissioned Plein Air Drawing, 8″x11″ Mixed Media on Paper.

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“In Snow” Commissioned Watercolor for Wedding Invitation. 7″x5″ Watercolor on Paper

 

Commissioned Paintings

As an in-betweener post, I thought I would share some past commissions.  Below are various painting commissions done on request.  Commissions come in a variety of forms, but I am always welcome to them because they often pay for my travel.  And is there any better way to make money than by doing something that you love?…I don’t think so.  If you are interested in a commissioned work of any kind, please visit my website and click on the contact link.

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“Waldo” Commissioned by the University of Wyoming Library. 54″x74″ Oil on Canvas

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“Waldo” and its twin “On Road” on display in the University of Wyoming Library

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“Essential Wyoming” Commissioned by Park Street Law Office. 54″x74″ Oil on Canvas

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“Siena Twilight” Commissioned by Mark Gifford Attorney at Law. 42″x60″ Oil on Canvas

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Detail from “Zoe”

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“Zoe” Commissioned by Mark Gifford Attorney at Law. 20″x16″ Oil on Canvas

 

Rüya

Istanbul, September 2011: I visited an antique book market several times during those sweltering Fall days.  It was a temporary market, set up beneath white tents in a parking lot next to the Pera Müzesi.  A great place to rummage through lose papers, beautiful old Quarans and books illustrating the art of carpet weaving.  I would dig for an hour or so before relaxing  in a plastic chair to have a hot çay, and gaze out over the sprawling city.

I had collected several sheets of lose paper with arabic writing, and a few worn out journals bound together with cardboard covers before finding a magazine dated from the 1920’s.  The cover illustration reminded me of a dream, and I felt compelled by the simple quality of its line and color.  I purchased the piece, having been so transfixed by this image, and after many months of handing he magazine, flipping through its pages and admiring the delicate writing and eloquently drawn cartoons, it struck me to recreate a version of the cover image for my Hüzün Exhibition.

This dream-like image seemed to fit perfectly into my concept, as it reminded me of that surreal Istanbul feeling I was trying so desperately to capture.  The tittle came to me before I began, Rüya….Dream.  Below is the original drawing by the unknown artist, and the evolution of my version.

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"Ruya" Mixed Media on Paper, 2013

“Ruya” Mixed Media on Paper, 2013