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A Xmas Carol

Towards Uzumlu 9" x 6" Acrylic on mount board

Towards Uzumlu
9″ x 6″ Acrylic on mount board

I wear the chain I forged in life,’ replied the Ghost. ‘I made it link by link, and yard by yard; I girded it on of my own free will, and of my own free will I wore it. Is its pattern strange to you?’ – Scrooge is visited by the ghost of Marley, his long dead business partner

Turkish Wild Flowers

We are blessed here with wild flowers and around now they begin to spring up in the fields, on the hills and especially on verges and similar bits of unused land. It’s not unusual to see a dozen new varieties if you walk for an hour, many of which you didn’t notice the previous week.

Blue Iris, watercolour, 10" x 8"

Blue Iris, watercolour, 10″ x 8″

I am trying out a new pallette of Daniel Smith watercolours that I bought over from the UK, quite daring for me as I was far from mastering the previous selection!  There are only six, basically a warm and a cool primary, no secondaries or earth colours and this is one of several flower studies I have managed to complete this week.

I’ll post more tomorrow….

Eucaliptus at Köyceğız

Acrylic on card, 8"x12"

Acrylic on card, 8″x12″

During my recent vısıt to Koycegiz, I grabbed a photo of the fantastıc Eucalyptus trees that tower over the  Tourist Offıce. They are common enough but their sheer size is always impressive. Strangely, and I wonder about the trivia stored in my head, but as I painted in the black and white structure of these trees I had an unsettling sense of deja vu. Eventually I realized that a melting clock draped over a branch would conjure up a Dali landscape. The surrealism faded as the foliage grew.

The Flora Hotel in Köyceğiz

The Flora Hotel, Koycegiz, Nr. Dalaman.8" x 12" Acrylic on card

The Flora Hotel, Koycegiz, Nr. Dalaman.
8″ x 12″ Acrylic on card

One of the very few things I miss about the UK is fishing for wild trout in the mountain rivers and lakes of Snowdonia. Although I have my fly fishing tackle here I haven’t found anywhere to cast a line but then, while searching the web for possible places, I saw the huge carp in Koycegiz lake. I’m not a carp fisherman but, as it’s only 60k from Fethiye, off I went for a three day visit. This is not going to be just another fishy tale as I caught nothing – Koycegiz Lake is huge and you need plenty of skill and experience to find the fish, let alone catch any – but it is a stunning place.  You also need a boat as virtually the whole perimeter is lined with rushes so I was lucky to meet Alp, the owner of the Flora Hotel, where I stayed and who provided suitable equipment.  When returning as the sun set at the end of a clear, calm November day I took the photo which I used to create this painting.

A Turkish Winter Treat!

The Fethiye Friday market was really special today, a profusion of winter vegetables sat alongside seasonal delicacies like dried figs and walnuts, such a heavenly combination. But today, in the sunshine, the market was full of wild çintar mushrooms, the saffron milk cap or lactarius deliciosus, which have a woody, meaty taste. They develop green patches when handled, which can be offputting, but fear not, they are superb.

Cintar mushrooms.

Cintar mushrooms. 20 x 16cms. Acrylic on card.

They appear in pine forests after the rain and we’ve had 3″ of that in the last couple of days! For about £2 we were tempted into buying a kilo, too much to eat certainly but you can’t begrudge these old village women a couple of lire by buying any less. Tonight, we will wash and dry them carefully and then saute with garlic in a dash of newly pressed, and still slightly cloudy, olive oil. After 7 or 8 minutes we’ll whack in some cream and serve them on toast with scrambled eggs and some fried Proscuttio. I can’t wait!



And why not?

Diary_of_a_Nobody_first“Why should I not publish my diary? I have often seen reminiscences of people I have never even heard of, and I fail to see – because I do not happen to be a ‘Somebody’ – why my diary should not be interesting. My only regret is that I did not commence it when I was a youth.”

So begins the journal of Charles Pooter, as documented by George Grossmith in his seriously funny novel The Diary of a Nobody, published in 1892 and never out of print.

Nowadays, we might call this a blog and although this blog will not be a diary, his introduction strikes a chord with me. I want to create better work and hope that adopting a Daily Painting discipline will keep me true to that ambition.  I will try, however, to avoid the fate of Charles whose surname spawned the word “Pooterish” to describe a tendency to take oneself excessively seriously.