Water Collages

Water collage 1

So, here we are, quite in the Throes of Summer, and my plans for hanging out in the ‘outdoor section of my studio’ and working on more of the Water Paintings have been thwarted by a. computer problems; b. developing a project for the ‘2015 Bodrum Biennial’; c. doing menial labour to raise funds in re: ‘a’; and d. covering my large outdoor drawing table with mounds of cut tiles for a ‘concrete camouflage’ home intervention, which makes it rather impossible to start any paintings at this time..

As an all-purpose solution, I embarked on a few ‘Water Collages’ – which I can work on comfortably in the ‘indoor section of my studio’ – while listening to the radio and avoiding ‘c’ from the above list.

The paper is all ‘leftovers’ – the final collages are about 12 inches (30 cm).
Who knew there was so much blue paper in the world?

Water collage 2

A Little Lake

Just a few small watercolors from NY, trying to capture the changing of the leaves all around the edges of the lake.

Fahnestock 1

Next year, I will try not to break my ankle before the fall foliage season begins, and maybe we will have some more paintings.


Fahnestock 2

This year, it was abut all I could do to hobble down to the edge of a little lake in the woods at the southern tip of Fahnestock State Park in NY.

Fahnestock 3

The good news is that the cast came off today, and we are having a few days of ‘Pastrami Summer’ here in Turgutreis, so I’m hoping to be standing up a little bit to do some more work on ‘the water paintings.’

But mostly I suppose I ought to be getting ready for the ‘Homesickness’ exhibit I’m opening up on 18 November at the Şevket Sabancı Cultural Center in Turgutreis (Bodrum). For information on joining the International Mail Art Exhibit, and seeing some of the work that has arrived,

click here

but do it fast, because there’s not much time left. For information on my installation, stay tuned…


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La Mer

La Mer

Back we are, at Kissebükü.

But are we on the shore under the umbrella, or are we on “La Mer”?

A8 La Mer

I had a very hard time with this painting. It just did not know what it wanted to be.
As a result, it went through several stages before it was finished (and silly me forgot to photograph them!).
Finally, it is finished. If you consider a painting without a title finished.

Personally, I think titles are very important for giving insight into what is going on in the work. In this case, I am having a very hard time finding a title, because I am still not sure what is going on in this work! I’ve given it the tentative title of “La Mer” – for “La Mer: The Boat” as well as for “La Mer: The Sea”

70x70cm, oil on paper.

If you think you’ve got a better title, please share it with me.




Romantic Beach Scene


I like that; it sounds like “kisses”.

So, this is Kissebükü, with some people.Kissebükü - Romantik

It looked rather romantic to me, so I’m calling this “Romantic Kissebükü”.


70x70cm, oil on paper.

Any questions?

Blue Cruise to Kissebuku


An extremely uncooperative internet connection has kept me from posting any photos anywhere for the past few days, which is why I am sitting at Kahve Dünyası now.

That, and their lattes.

I am ambivalent about Kahve Dünyası – and not just on the level of “poor service vs great coffee”, but on a more existential level of “corporate chain vs mom+pop”, “shameful elitism vs shameful populism”.

But I sit here at Coffee World in the Doğuş-Holding-owned marina AVM (because it is an AVM ‘shopping center’) basically because no one in Turgutreis has figured out that good coffee+free WiFi+a breeze=customers; either that,  or they just couldn’t care less.



So what does the tourist want? In any discussion of sustainable tourism, that question has to figure into the picture.
But it’s not the only question. Which means that even if “If You Build It, They Will Come” is true, it does not necessarily make building it a Good Idea.

In fact, at this point, in Bodrum, “building it” is no longer a good idea at all – if “it” is a hotel, dwelling or  commercial establishment. The fact is, we’ve got enough of them already.  Trust me – ask anyone, and they’ll all tell you the same – the exception being anyone in the construction industry, or any politician dependent upon the construction industry.

But don’t get me wrong. Just because I am against the idea of paving paradise to put up a parking lot does not mean I am against construction in Bodrum (or Turkey or anywhere) per se.

In fact, construction in Bodrum is necessary.
In fact, construction in Bodrum is very necessary.

For example,

Build me a sewage treatment plant in Turgutreis so that I can swim in the water somewhere reasonably close to where I live.

Build me a couple of schools, so that my neighbor’s kids can get a full-day education that might give them a chance of growing up to be something a little more emotionally and economically rewarding than a bus boy or a cleaning lady in a “7-star hotel”.

But please,


and certainly,




If you’re thinking of coming to Bodrum, think of a sailing trip in the Gulf of Gökova.
Think of staying someplace other than an all-inclusive hotel that doesn’t put anything back into my community.
Think of how what you’re doing affects all of us here, including the farmers that are trying to feed us, and the sea turtles that are still out there, somewhere,

and think of yourself, and how you will want it to be here when you come back again.

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!