There has been momentous changes in the political landscape and the eyes of the world are focused on Turkey, Syria and the Kurdish issue. But apart from the rarely seen refugees and the drop in tourist numbers, life here in Fethiye remains much the same. Building development proceeds at breakneck speed, the traffic is more insane and cars ever more luxurious, businesses open and close with bewildering speed and prices are rising exponentially.
I’m not really one for making resolutions at New Year as I tend to make them all year round. You know, must paint more, aim to lose a couple of kilos, see more of Turkey and so on. This way even if I break them I’m guilt free. All I need to do is set updated ones and aim at fresh targets. A New Year doesn’t have the exclusive right to host self criticism, life just isn’t like that. I don’t say “I must spend more time in the studio” on the 1st January…..I say it every bloody day!
You are all invited with friends and family to a lovely day out this coming Saturday to an art exhibition also attended by potters, carpenters etc in the glorious and historical Sarnic Restaurant in Kaya. You will be given a free glass of hot mulled wine and chestnuts. Hopefully the weather will be kind, if not, it will be held indoors with the open fire!
For directions: From Ovacik, follow the winding hill down into Kaya. You will find the water fountain on the left hand side. It is a small, white 3 pillared building. Turn down the little lane by the side and Sarnic is on the right.
Hope to see you there!
It’s been a hectic week topped off with the arrival of 2 Yorkshire Terrier puppies today. Gina has been searching for another small dog for a while and then we finally heard of a litter in Yaniklar, only just down the road. Gina couldn’t pick between the two little girls and decided to have both! Then, I was asked to show my paintings at an exhibition of English artists at the Sarnic Gallery in Kayakoy starting this Sunday. It’s also the eve of the Calis Xmas Fair and I am hoping for a successful day tomorrow, at least the weather forecast is looking great for the Festival. Meanwhile, I had some cards printed in the UK for our mothers and this was the painting I used.
Last weekend we went to Patara wıth some frıends to see the results of the latest work and the restored Lycian Assembly building alone is worth the visit. Afterwards we popped into Kalkan for lunch and found it mostly closed up for the winter apart from some very expensive restaurants down on the quayside. Then, further up, we found Hünkar Ocakbaşı and can recommend it for it’s hearty, delicious and inexpensive regional specialities. Ocakbaşı means fireside or chimney corner and that’s basically where you sit in this cozy little place. Anyway, the ambiance got me thinking of Christmas so I’ve started a series of Xmas tree pictures with the vague idea of using one or two as artwork for xmas cards. I’m finding them perfect subjects to continue exploring this style.
The style I found myself exploring lies between the two late 19thC movements of Impressionism and Neo-Impressionism and the borders between the impulsive nature of the former and the more scientific approach of the latter. I’m aiming for a pointillist technique without the discipline of Divisionism and Chromatics. Using acrylic paint encourages this looser approach because of it’s tendency to bleed and I plan to avoid the use of line altogether. I can see the dangers lurking ahead but we will see how we go.
I posted about this market on the 12th. When I was there I made some sketches and took some photos from which I have painted this contemporary view in the studio. I had a lot of fun creating the people going about their Sunday morning business.
As I painted this still life, the song Panama Hat by Eric Bibb was buzzing around my head. And that got me thinking of songs with artists names in the title. There are probably dozens about art in general ( like Art School by The Jam) but I wanted to create a YouTube playlist of just those that name checked an artist. I came up with these off the top of my head but I would have liked to have found a few more. I’m sure they must be out there. Please tell me if you have any favourites I’ve missed.
When I Dream of Michelangelo, Counting Crows
Pablo Picasso, The Modern Lovers
Painting by Chagall, The Weepies
Andy Warhol, David Bowie
Vincent, Don McClain
The Mark Rothko Song, Dar Williams
Salvador Dali’s Garden Party, TV Personalities
Although I enjoy our regular art group meetings in Fethiye, I decided to join the daily painting movement as a way to discipline myself to paint regularly and improve my technique. I’m not lazy but I’m easily distracted so I needed to find a way to develop my own style and keep pushing myself. That’s when I read about the Daily Painting movement. It’s so simple, all I had to do was sit down and produce a small painting every day. Well no, because a small painting might take an hour but it could take me days or even weeks to finish.
In addition, Turkey is not Provence and as I’d like to develop an impressionist landscape ouvre, I have the problem of finding new subjects every day without resorting to Still Life. And I didn’t want to copy other artist’s paintings. Imitate their style, yes! Develop their ideas, certainly! Learn from their progress, definitely!
I found myself fretting over this dilemma until I came to a workable solution. I now think of “daily painting” as an activity, not a product. It’s the daily painting, not the painting a day that counts.
Kaş is a small fishing, diving, yachting and tourist town, with its narrow streets scented with jasmine flowers, and a district of Antalya Province of Turkey. As a tourist town it is still relatively unspoilt. There are plenty of little guest houses, quiet cafes serving home cooking, or small bars to relax in. It has an annual arts festival, jazz concerts in the Hellenistic theatre and occasional underwater ceramics exhibitions. In the early 1990s tourism started booming in Kaş, with visitors mainly from the UK and Germany. This growth of tourism brought an explosion in apartment building and often unlicenced development, which is seriously threatening the landscape and the environment. Particularly affected is the beautiful Çukurbağ Peninsula, west of the town, where many luxury hotels have been built.