Ibrahimpaşa is stunning at night; when everyone retires into their homes, the streets are quiet, and dim lamps reflect yellow and orange hues against stone houses tumbling down the hill.
The last time I did a night drawing was in Istanbul 2 years ago, with fellow sketcher Nicole. We sat awkwardly at a tippy table in Fener, using çay as medium while street cats walked across our drawing paper and the light rapidly faded. I remember how uncomfortable the situation was, but also how all of these challenges brought about unexpected energy to our drawings. For me, another layer of difficulty brings another layer of exhilaration, and I find that my work often benefits from a bit of chaos.
One way to add a great deal of chaos to the drawing process, is to work at night. Finding a good light source, sitting in the cold, trying to capture the infinite lights and darks that appear within shadows, being able to see the colors you are using….all difficulties in the night sketching process.
In the early Kapadokyan summer, I sat under a dim street lamp with frozen fingers. Drawing shapes that had become so familiar to me during the day, and so mysterious at night.