Me and Frederic Church

So, I had to start putting together a slide presentation for the workshop at Olana this Saturday, right? I thought I’d try to start out with a little bit of what Church might have seen as his ship passed through the South Aegean.

Well, this is what we see (almost) outside our bedroom window in Turgutreis:

Catal sunset


And this is what we see when we head about an hour to the east (Kargacık).


And this is what we see when we head about an hour to the north (Didyma).



And if you take your spectacular sky, combine it with a bit of craggy landscape, and add a column or two, you get…


The Aegean Sea – by Frederic Church.

At my workshop at Olana this Saturday (October 11), we’ll be looking at the architecture/architectural decoration of Anatolian Civilizations, taking examples from along the route Church traveled between the Holy Land and the Black Sea – through the Mediterranean and Aegean Seas up to Istanbul. We’ll also go over some design fundamentals, and I’ll pass on some simple techniques that will help you “create life” in your living space. All this at Olana, Church’s very own ‘Oriental Fantasy’.

You can find out more about the workshop and how to sign up by going to the Olana Partnership web site (just click here).



Reminder: Olana Workshop – October 11 (Let’s Get Decorating!)

Reminder: Olana Workshop – October 11 (Let’s Get Decorating!)

If you are looking for something to do over Columbus Day Weekend in New York, how about a visit to Olana in Hudson, NY? Maybe you know it, maybe you don’t – Olana is a marvelous place, an Orientalist Fantasy with views of the Hudson River designed by 19th C. landscape painter Frederic Church.


I will be giving a workshop there on October 11, talking about architectural decoration, with examples from Anatolia, following the route Church traveled from Cyprus along the Mediterranean and Aegean Seas up to Istanbul.

We’ll look at examples from Roman, Greek/Hellenistic, Selcuk, Byzantine and Ottoman architecture – and we’ll  tour Church’s house as inspiration – and then participants will get down to business designing something to bring color and joy into their own homes.

I’m full of ideas to share – and tips for simple techniques that “you don’t need to be an artist” to accomplish!

For information and to sign up for the workshop, contact the Olana Partnership (just click here).

Rustem Pasa sütün

Above: Ceramic Tiles from the Ruştem Paşa Mosque in Istanbul.

Below: An installation I created “under the influence” of Iznik tiles…

kuthaya 1


It’s from Kos, it’s Italian, it’s in New York

It’s from Kos, it’s Italian, it’s in New York

I just love this sketch!

Sketch - Ironwork

It is a drawing for a detail of an iron gate from the 1920s for (if I remember correctly) the entrance gate of a government building on Kos (Cos), the island that I see out my window. At the time, Kos belonged to Italy, having been occupied by the Italians in 1912 and then formally ceded by the Ottoman Empire with the Treaty of Lausanne in 1923 – as punishment for the Turks’ being on the wrong side in World War I. Today Kos belongs to Greece, which means to visit, I need to get my passport stamped on the way in, after a  30-minute ferry from Turgutreis. (Total time from my house to Kos: 45 minutes.)

In fact, on the occasion that I took this photo – at an exhibition highlighting the island’s Italian architectural heritage – I took the long way ’round (bus to Fethiye, ferry  to Rhodes, ferry back up to Kos; Total time: 2 days!), as I had been invited to write about how “Turkish Tourists Help Greek Islands out of Crisis”… but that’s another story.

This image will be one of a number of examples from Kos that I will share in my talk/workshop on architectural decoration at Olana on October 11th.