Drawing in /on Milas

So lately, I have been working on a presentation on “Color in Space” that I will use in a workshop I’ll be giving at the Faculty of Engineering and Architecture (!) at Gediz University, which is a private university in Turkey just a 20-minute drive from where I hope to be moving (eventually), Foça.

One of the things that makes Foça so attractive is that it has been able to retain some of its character as an old Greek fishing village. Local tourism has helped in this – Foça is so close to Izmir that you can live and work in the city and still go out for dinner in Foça and makek it home safe in time to get to bed and then get up for work the next day. But mainly what has preserved Foça is that it is pretty close to Greece – so there’s a large naval base and commando training center there (in case we’re invaded?) that has kept the overdevelopment at bay.

Closer to Bodrum is the village of Çomakdağ, in Milas, which is trying to preserve its local character while generating income from tourism by offering “reenactments” of village life for world-weary “city” dwellers in Bodrum and beyond.

Çomakdağ certainly has character, character comprised of color:

Comakdag painted door

I took the photograph of that door on a group trip to Çomakdağ a few years ago. It’s one of the slides in my presentation on Color in Space. I’m using it as an example of how color is used in traditional architecture. In the case of Çomakdağ, the village houses have painted woodwork inside and out.

In addition to wandering around the village and taking photographs during my visit, I sat with the rest of our group to watch a performance of a village wedding. My friend Annete found this photo and send it to me last week – it’s a picture of me and a budding young artist drawing the dancers. (Notice our matching hiking boots…)

Drawing in Milas

OK, now (in the immortal words of Matt Groening), “GET BACK TO WORK”


Women in Art

The following  pictures are from the installation titled ‘2000 Women’ from 2000 that featured 2000 drawings of naked women. The drawings were all copies of about 7 classic nude images from artists ranging from Reubens to Degas.

After the exhibit, I thought that a better title might be ‘Backfired’.

2000 women installation shot
(unfortunately, best resolution I’ve got – sorry…)

That’s because the original intent of this piece – together with ‘Nü-Nar’ (‘Nude-Pomegranate’), another installation in the British Council’s gallery in Ankara – was to raise the issue of the commodification of women through art.

With 2000 women, I thought that the entire piece would turn into a giant abstract work that would in some sense supersede the individual drawings (200 per month over a 10-month period, 50/week, Mon-Friday, 10/day). In a sense it did, but in a sense, it did not. Horny men still expressed the most interest in the big-busted blondes, whereas they had less appreciation for well-drawn feet and faces.

I thought I would post these today, 4 days after a young woman in the southern Turkish city of Mersin was murdered by a would-be rapist.

The first photo below is another exhibition shot, but the next 2 are pictures of some tea trays I decorated using parts of some drawings that had been in the exhibition. Over the weekend, I had a box of about 200 of the drawings on sale at an open-air Bazaar in Turgutreis that hoped to breathe some life into the dead downtown of a tourist trap in winter and earn some money for some women trying to improve their economic circumstances.

Money – Sex – Violence – Power.

These are the things that ‘art’ messes with.

In the meantime, my husband and I happily celebrated Valentine’s Day with a dinner out on the town:
I’d rather celebrate love than excoriate hate.

Let’s see how to ‘tag’ this one, folks.


2000 women detayi fuzzy


Tray- Caryatids

tray - angel w winged bowl



A Couple of Old Columns…

So, in my last post I was discussing strange shapes, or, more specifically, how I like to work in formats that are not in the usual Golden Mean of proportions – namely, squares, or columns.

Lately, I have been working on a lot of vertical collages (just browse some of the earlier posts here), but this format is nothing new. Way back when (in graduate school in Baltimore), I got infatuated with columns – part of a general interest in architectural decoration. After a couple of long, tall paintings on wood, I got the opportunity to install some ‘real’ columns in a church in Baltimore. The occasion was a small exhibition of installations I was organizing at the back of a space that was being used for theater performances; the church had had a fire that had done some serious damage to the main hall, so until they got the funds together to replace all the pews, they were holding services in a smaller room on the other side of the church and using the pewless hall for art – bless them!

The pictures below are the only images I have of the 2 columns (had old slides turned into JPEGs last year 🙂 ). The columns were made out of sonotubes, i.e.concrete formwork, which I sliced in half vertically so that I could work on them and then put them back together around the existing church columns. Once I managed to get the tubes to fit in the elevator to my studio, things were pretty straight forward – except for a little difficulty that I might refer to as the ‘pop’n’fresh effect’ (picture a giant toilet paper tool trying to uncurl itself). I covered the surfaces of the columns in a layer of plaster mixed with plastic, another layer of acrylic paint, and then metal leaf, and then drilled holes for Christmas lights – as, luck would have it, the existing church columns each had an electric outlet at the base: plugged in, I had some pretty flashy columns…

With the theme of religion as inspiration (!), the 2 columns were a Goddess Column and what I refer to as my Crusader Column – or, from a more modern perspective, “Black Man, Blue Man”.

Column - brown man Column - blue man

This has been fun, this “Blast from the Past” – makes me want to do some more big sculptures. (I believe one side of the lower half of the Goddess Column went to a friend of mine in California, but the other parts are long gone to the landfill…)