An Oil Painting Lesson

I’ve taken a break from collages and books and other things to do – of all things – an oil painting – on canvas.

How in the world did this happen??

In fact, a couple of years ago I ordered a bunch of oil sticks, since they fall right in the middle of painting with oil paint using brushes – which I pretty much hate- to working with oil pastels, which I love, and which I’d been doing for years, but which aren’t really suitable for anything not under glass, since they really don’t dry. Also, the oil sticks appealed to me from an ecological perspective, since you don’t really need to be messing around with a lot of thinner, either as medium or for cleaning up. Basically, oil sticks felt like “oil pastels writ large”.

But these oil sticks had been sitting in my studio cabinet for a couple of years; I think the last thing I did with them was some landscapes on board – in an exhibit from 2011 –

Lights on the Waterkkk

Now, I was taking them out again basically for the purpose of teaching somebody a lesson. You see, this friend of mine had a picture of a rowboat sitting in his office. It was pretty ‘tasteful’ – for something that looked like it came from a department store. But my friend was not quite satisfied with it, because if you stuck your nose up real close to the canvas, you could see the jagged edges of the pixels – the tell-tale signs that this was, in fact, a photocopy, rather than an “oil on canvas”.boat erdem

Now, this friend offered to pay me some money to make him a “better” copy of this rowboat – but with real paint, and no jaggy edges. I agreed.

And then I took this photocopy/painting to a printshop and got another copy made, gave this copy to another artist friend, who is supposedly at work right at this very moment painting the exact same rowboat, “only better” (and doing it right on top of the “original” – for the sake of convenience).

I, on the other hand, thought my friend needed a present.

And I think it’s done.

Except maybe that brown triangle in the lower left… what do you think? I’ve still got a week to deadline…

Educating Erdem


So it seems I have not been in the studio much this month…

I thought, and thought, and thought – but could not figure out where the time has gone!

Apparently, I have only made 2 collages this entire month!!!!

So, here is one of them…


(Yes, it’s fuzzy – but I am working with a replacement camera until I can replace the one that got eaten on the plane back from Erzurum.

So, where has the time gone since then?

Elementary school: doing “intro to archaeology” with 3rd-graders…

Housecleaning: unsuccessful; more time spent avoiding housecleaning by playing computer games and browsing facebook (can you relate?)…

Planting tomatoes: outcome unknown; got 1 tomato (on a total of 7 plants), 1 eggplant (at least there was a flower), a bunch of basil (small-leafed, mainly good for keeping away mosquitos), 2 black-eyed peas (not dead yet!), 4 “provenance unknown” (could be peas… ).

With an average of only 2 hours of sunlight a day at any point in our garden, I’d say this is hopeless – but I’m trying anyway! Next up: leaf drawings!