Monday, January 8, 2018

Image inspirations continued

Hello All, I hope your December's were filled with what you wanted them filled with and that you have recovered from what you didn't.

Today is the best day in the world, my birthday. I love my birthday. I try to make it last at least two weeks and so far, so good. I've had lunch with two good friends yesterday, tonight I am going out with my son and his girlfriend and Steve for liquored up coffees and cake, Wed I am meeting with a gang of good friends for coffee and treats (we do this every Wed  most of the year) and I will plan something for Friday to make it a wonderful week. I have my tiara on while writing. I wear it all day. I have a small box of chocolate candies to munch on guilt free and a lovely scotch to look forward to this afternoon. Bliss.

I am continuing the photos from my various trips that inspire my studio work. Today they are from Turkey. You may have seen some back when I talked about this trip. I have a billion photos and the following photos reflect only the first two days. Turkey was/is such an amazing place. Every where you look, there is something different, something startling, something lovely. The most significant difference between Turkey and other travels are the layers and the intricacies. Modern architecture and urban planning have wiped a lot of this intricacy out in urban centres. I don't think there is a lack of interest in it, but more a lack of funding. That seems to be a world trend. Build fast and furious and forget about any civic interchange between the built environment and humans. However, the past continues to reign supreme in Turkey, because it is everywhere.

Time to stop talking and start looking.

This is a wall. We traveled with a group of 9 other people and unloaded from the mini bus into a parking lot of dubious appearance. We were waiting for a second mini bus so we could all go to the first night's accommodations together. This huge wall faced us. A building had been torn down beside it and what you see is an attempt to cover up graffiti and the existence of the torn down building.

The wall is covered by whitewash and a black tar-like substance. It glistened while the white was very flat.

The wall was probably about 60 feet long and well over three stories high. It was an extraordinary Modern painting, only no one was noticing.

Very worn out steps butt up against a recent repaving of stair landings at a botanical garden. The changes in scale are interesting as well as the grout lines of  the older stonework. The colour palette of greys with that hit of blue and touch of coral could be fun to play with as well.

An older section of the botanical garden's pathways. I like the  centre section with it's almost completely ruined appearance. There is a little hit of gold and white at the centre top that interrupts and conflicts with the central focus. I like it.

This is looking upwards into a vault kind of corner in  a courtyard. Here I am interested in the interruption of the lines and the changes of direction.

This is similar to the image three above. This was the most lovely spot I have ever had tea and fruit in. An enormous and I mean enormous fig tree covered the entire patio. A spring of fresh water poured out of the wall and these channels of water ran through the patio. There were stepping stones over the water course ways. It was so cool and delicious. I hated to leave. The memory of this photo is very visceral. I feel cool and relaxed and excited looking at it. But it has the further wonderfullness of having such interesting intersections of lines and complexity of shape. The grey of the stones shows a lovely selection of values. I think this is a photo that could be really challenging to work with.

This image reflects the layering of old Turkish construction techniques literally butt up to the new. On your left are the walls of an old four story building that housed stores and small cafes. The right side is a new block of apartments.Do you see how the grouting of the old blends into the newer construction? In the upper left hand corner you see a very delicate fern like moss that grows in the porous rock, while the concrete blocks are sterile of growth. This image is more about the poetics of space and time.

Now this image is back at the botanical gardens. I have been working with paper and thread to depict pathways through gardens. If I squint and blur the greys and greens, I get a nice curve of a path leading to a happy surprise. The buttressed wall gives the path a secret room effect. The challenge here will be to both create a room like response and keep the surprise at the end of the path rather than at the front.

This is just funny. The geraniums were spectacular. The one on the far left is in a cooking oil tin. The gnome on the far right is goofy. I keep looking at the plants but the window details are important. The sign above the gnome is the detail that makes this a rather inspired composition. All thanks to the gardener, here. My photo is simply capturing the skill of another artist.

If Steve were writing this post, he would tell you exactly where this path was, the history of the community and why it is important in the history of Turkey. I, on the other hand, can't remember a thing except this was the most interesting hill I have ever climbed. It is super old, there were nooks and crannies everywhere, doorways leading to hidden courtyards and acute angles that caused these very cool overlaps. The walls are of wattle and daub. Vehicular traffic knocks the stone and parging out regularly, repairs are constant. The shawls on the far lower left are un-inspiring in themselves but as a break in the lines, rather fun. You can take this image and turn it around. Each rotation shows up different focal points. I had so many favourite places in Turkey but this hill is in my top ten.
That's it for today. It looks like Turkey might take a few more weeks, but I will also get back to my own work. I hope this inspires you to go through your archives of images and pull out the ones that might inform your upcoming work. It is so nice to go back to those "A-ha" moments and either relive them or get recaptured in the excitement of the the discovery.

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