Pick a card.

I should be doing my morning yoga, but I left my telephone/timer downstairs, so I decided I would write to you instead. (I am trying to get into a routine of yoga every morning or every other morning; I’ve gotten from 5 minutes up to 15 minutes, and I NEED to do some this morning because yesterday morning was already the “other” morning.)

Well. Now that I’ve gotten that off my chest, I can post you three pictures – you can pretend they are the three cards that you picked when I read your Art Fortune. Or, if you don’t like these three, and you’re close enough and free enough to get to Foça this Wednesday or Friday afternoon, you can pick your own cards. It only takes about 5 minutes, it’s absolutely free (unless you want to buy me a beer or a coffee or support some other “worthy cause”), and best of all, we get to have a conversation.

Now, let’s pretend:

4kazanThis card is “The Four Cauldrons”. It looks like you’re running from here to there, trying to carry something forward while negotiating with others who are also trying to do the same. But as you can see, there’s not much room to negotiate in.


yolculukThis card is “Travel”. In fact, part of you would rather just take off with your hubby to some Mediterranean shore (Oh, wait: You live on one!)


dengeWhat the future appears to hold is this card, “Balance”.
(Unfortunately, it was really me who picked the cards, and it is very hard to interpret your own fortune. Maybe you can help me out…)

A Rambling Post After a Long Winter…

Is there a word that means what happens after hibernation?

If there is, that is what’s happening here, in Bodrum, in my house.

Built as a ‘summer paradise’, it can be a winter hell. Not because there is nothing to do – as many a lady, tired of endless handicraft courses, may opine – but because the infrastructure sucks. That means your house is cold, because there’s no insulation. Which leaves you susceptible to very tiny creatures crawling around your insides and wreaking havoc – creatures that are probably crawling around inside your tap water…

That’s where I’ve been this winter.

After putting together an exhibition for International Women’s Day on March 8, I thought I would take a few days off to go up to Foça and plants some artichokes and some trees, and when I came back to Turgutreis, the bugs got me. (Insert frowny-face.) Slowly-slowly, though, things are starting to turn green on the outside (of my house), and a rosy-pink on the inside (of me), so it may be time to start gearing up for springtime: Better late than never, isn’t it?

A friend – I forget who – was expressing a slight bit of jealousy in that I could always ‘just post pictures’ on my blog, and that I did not actually have to write anything. In fact, because of ‘the medium in which I realize my practice’ – to quote some grad student somewhere – I don’t necessarily have pictures to post, even though I most certainly have started working again.

I suppose I could do a drawing of the inside of my brain, but that might not be pretty. So, rather, a list:

1. Thinking about ‘spatiality’ – how not every place is the ‘right’ place for every work of art.
2. Thinking about ‘collaboration’ – how not everyone appears to be ‘into it’.
3. Thinking about ‘drawing’ – how, in spite of the fact that it is probably of more benefit to the draw-er (artist) than to the draw-ee (audience), it could have potential as an enjoyable source of income.

As they say in Turkish, ‘cemre düştü’* – so I guess it’s time to translate 1, 2 and 3 into a., b. and c.

a. Write that paper for the conference on Spatiality at Mimar Sinan University in Istanbul, and fill out that application for the 2nd Bodrum Biennial  so that I can exhibit the installation ‘Have Your Photo Taken as an Ottoman Princess’ at the Bodrum Castle – ‘nazar değmesin’** – a ‘right’ place for it.
b. A couple of projects to be written, or implemented, or both…
c. Have already cut lots of paper to size to continue with the ‘water paintings’ series as soon as this latest cold-snap ends – ought to start investigating exhibition opportunities… all suggestions are welcome (Insert winkyface.)

As a reward for having gotten this far, here are some pictures:


what comes up in our water-logged ‘garden’,


‘Giant Fennel’ (‘körek otu) taking over the lot next door, and

Good Govt on country detail 2

A little detail of springtime in the countryside of 13th-century Sienna,

all of these providing inspiration for ‘1, 2, 3, a.b.c.’

(For more pics, just scroll down or click on a tab or two…)

*’ the heat has fallen’, ie, ‘spring has arrived’

** ‘don’t let the evil eye touch it’, i.e. ‘protect my luck’)

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…)

What’s Going On In My World

What’s Going On In My World

And the totals are in!

OK, actually, I did not really do any quantitative data analysis – not in the spirit of fortunetelling, I don’t think; however, it did strike me as odd that the people who came to the Art Fortunetelling sessions (see here for details) kept turning up the same cards.

What are the odds that some cards would be turned up 3 times and others none at all?

I don’t know.  (Ask a statistician or a mathematician or some other kind of ician if you are really interested.)

All I can do is let you in on which cards turned up 3x :

The Journey



The Runner



The Nurse









The Golden Ball



Four Cauldrons


Considering that the meaning of each card depends on the other cards in the reading,  and that all readings are subjective, I can’t give a hard-and-fast explanation of what these mean.

Best to just look at them and ask yourself the question that you might ask yourself in the presence of any work of art:

“What do I see here that tells me something about what is going on in my world?”

Return to the Museum

Return to the Museum

When in Ankara, the most important thing to do – the only really important thing to do – is to stop at the Museum of Anatolian Civilizations.

This is definitely one of the best museums in the world.

And it has provided me with tons of inspiration.

This piece – I called it ‘The Turkey Piece” – is something I did nearly about 20 years ago; it was in my first exhibition in Ankara at the Dost Gallery (which, unfortunately, no longer exists).

Turkey piece

It was nice to see on display one of the inspirations for this piece

gold twins

In fact, there were 5 of these cute couples on display – somewhere around 5 cm (2″ ) each.

Another of my favorite objects at the museum is this strange metal tool:

metal top


I drew a sketch of it the first time I was at the museum – 1993. A few years ago, during a bit of housecleaning, I found that sketchbook on a shelf among a bunch of other things that were collecting dust, but which I couldn’t throw out. So I decided to cut up that sketchbook and use the parts in my collages…


These are the collages I will be using in a few days for my Art Fortunes.
If you’re in Bodrum and would like more information on this, just click here.


18 December in Ankara : International Migrants’ Day / Homesickness (?)

If you’re in Ankara, I’d love to see you…

the Bodrum Kaymakam’s Office invited me, along with 4 other ‘yabancı‘, to attend an evening event at the
Vali Galip Demirel Vilayetler Evi / Gölbaşı-ANKARA.
We’ll be showing off the contributions to society made by the Migrants of Bodrum… I’ll have the soundtrack and drawings frommy recent exhibit ‘Homesickness/Sıla Hasreti’ (along with other stuff…). For more on that exhibit, along with a slideshow, you can look under the heading ‘Installations’ (or click here).


Look Into My Crystal Ball (…er, collage…)

Look Into My Crystal Ball (…er, collage…)

It’s close to the end of another calendar year – what a better time to give a good once-over to the studio, getting all those papers in order…

or at least clear off enough work space so that I can get back to work.

First up: a watercolor drawing for the Emanetçiler web page.

And then finish off a couple of new collages.

And speaking of collages, I thought I’d engage in a little experiment on the cusp of 2015:

Sanat Fali


Yes,  inspired by the response to my coffee-cup readings at the Yerleşim Cafe way back when, I decided it was time to get back into the fortunetelling business – this time, with art.

Why not? We’re used to looking closely at a work of art to try to discover the layers of meaning hidden in its deepest, darkest recesses – aren’t we? (Well, aren’t we?)

So, I devised a basic system of telling fortunes from collages – starting with a basic ‘pack’ of 52 ‘cards’. For example,

The Three Trees



Pointy Objects

Pointy objects

And of course all readings are free.

Happy Holidays!