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!
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.
I’m still suffering so here’s another kind of pepper. There seems to be about 20 varieties on Fethiye market in the summer. Let’s hope I can get out and about pretty soon or I might end up painting all of them, God forbid!
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.
We have owned a house and business in the coastal town of Barmouth in Wales for 23 years. Nowadays, it’s a factory outlet store selling the Regatta outdoor clothing range. If you are ever nearby, pop in and say hello to the wonderful Teresa and Louıse. Barmouth is a truly beautiful location, sandwiched between the Irish sea and the mountains of Snowdonia and, although we prefer the climate here, we love it there. Actually, by now I’m looking forward to a bit of rain! Anyway, as Barmouth is a tourist town I must go over to work in the summer. I’m leaving tonight but I’ll be back in a month and meanwhile I’ll try to do some watercolour painting in the hills, but that’s not really relevant to this blog. So sadly, I have to leave you temporarily with this sunset painting of Kaş.
This is not my usual oeuvre but inspiration comes from many sources. My neice married in Australia and, as we missed the occasion, I painted this portrait as a surprise wedding present. The shipping quote from Fethiye to Melbourne was outrageous so I’ve had to wait until it was finally delivered by hand (oversize baggage foc with Etihad, by the way) before I could post this image. I’ve heard from her mum that they like it so I’m happy!
The Fırtına Valley which runs through the heart of Çamlıhemşin is spanned by the Ottoman-era Fırtına River bridges. The valley ıs located near Rize in the far north east of Turkey. Çamlıhemşin is high in the valley, which leads down to the Black Sea coast, and is an important access point to the Kaçkar range whose high mountains poke up into the clouds. Fırtına means Storm and although it rains here all year round, temperatures can fall to minus 7°C in winter and reach 25°C in summer. However the countryside is a gorgeous mix of meadows and valleys and in recent years the district has begun to attract touristsö especıally people on trekking holidays in the Kaçkar. Çamlıhemşin is a low-income district and people live from forestry, beekeeping or herding animals.
To get to the hills where we normally walk our dogs you can climb up through a small cemetery. It is a place of melancholy beauty, family groups sipping çay ın among the olive trees. Wild flowers thrive among the monuments large and small framing the views above Calis and out across the Bay of Fethiye. This is my impression of the view inland as we head home on another scorching day here in Turkey.
This is the larger canvas promised in my post of the 18th April. It came together just as I wanted although I experienced all my usual issues over how much detail to include, still I am very pleased with the end result. I’ve just taken it to the framers and on the way back I decided that I like this view so much I will paint a even larger one!