About Trici Venola



Los Angeles artist Trici Venola comes from a background of hi-profile digital art creation. Words like groundbreaking and cutting edge are used to describe her work from 1984-1999, when she was a premier digital artist, lecturer and MacEvangelist. In the early days of the Macintosh, she authored a series of art software programs that raised the industry standard and attracted the attention of clients such as Disney, Apple, Super Mario and Paramount Pictures. During the changeover to digital art in the entertainment industry, she was asked into the studios to teach their artists how to create art on a computer. She was one of the first digital artists to show her work in galleries, and her digital fine art was featured in magazines (the premier issue of Juxtapoz comes to mind) and exhibitions worldwide. In 1999 Venola left the digital world to travel and draw in Turkey. She still creates art onscreen, and applies her computer art skills to doing her own pre-press work on her analog drawings. Her stories about Turkey have been published in Tales from the Expat Harem (Dogan, 2005), Best Travel Writing 2006 and Encounters with the Middle East (Travelers’ Tales, 2006 and 2008.) She lives in Istanbul.

That’s the official bio.

My name, short for Patrice, is pronounced TREE-see. I’m a writer and artist living in Istanbul. I used to be a digital painter in Los Angeles, my hometown, which colors everything I do now. This blog is about living in Turkey. Been writing and drawing about it all for years, since my first trip here in 1999, and just did not put it in a blog until now. These days I resist anything that means time on a computer. It’s so addictive, and then there’s my past.

From 1984-1999 I sat in one spot in the center of the computer revolution, staring into screens, surfing the technology wave, working twice as hard to dodge and surmount all the obstacles a computer puts in the way of creativity, learning how to embrace its double-edged attributes. I worked so hard to get the stuff into the computer– so many programs, so many hundreds of thousands of hours– and then equally hard to get it out, as video, prints, moving parts of sculpture. Much of this time was before drawing tablets, sophisticated print systems and the Internet. You can see some of the computer art that was considered groundbreaking in the 1980s and 1990s here.

I traded all that for a sketchbook and some drafting pens. This blog will concentrate on these drawings, augmented by occasional digital stuff, documenting the present and the last ten years of my experiences in Turkey.




  1. Doug Russell

    The blog looks great Trici! Looking forward to future posts and drawings.

    1. tricivenola

      Thank you, Doug. Looking forward to meeting you this spring, and Stay Tuned. Lots more coming!

      1. Christa

        Dear Trici,
        thank you for this incredible blog! I most liked the Istanbul episodes! Exspecially your experiences and stories about Sergius and Bacchus-Church . It squire some time ago, but can you tell more about the restorations that have taken place there?
        Best, Christa

        1. tricivenola

          I’ll be happy to do that, Christa, by email. Thanks for reading.

    2. LiLi Townsend

      Hello Beloved Trici .. So happy to have just found your blogspot…
      Can’t wait to explore it .. So many exquisite memories of us in
      Istanbul, Siringe and Afrodesius .. What divine capers with our Divine
      Cynthia.. Now she really is DIVINE.! Her memorial service was so very beautiful, with about 400 friends to celebrate her magnificence.. What a life C created for
      herself .. and us! Loving you, dear One! xoxoxox LiLI

  2. Turkey: Trici Venola’s Istanbul Drawings · Global Voices

    […] Trici Venola's wonderful Istanbul drawings and reflections – at her Drawing On Istanbul blog: “Plein Air drawing in Turkey: blogging about the site and the process.” More drawings by Trici are here. Tweet Trici Venola's wonderful Istanbul drawings and reflections – at her Drawing On Istanbul blog: “Plein Air drawing in Turkey: blogging about the site and the process.” More drawings by Trici are here. […]

  3. تركيا: رسومات تري سي فينولا عن إسطنبول · Global Voices الأصوات العالمية

    […] رسومات تري سي فينولا الرائعة عن إسطنبول – على مدونتها الرسم عن إسطنبول: رسومات في الهواء الطلق عن إسطنبول: التدوين عن الموقع وعن عملية الرسم.” تجدون هنا المزيد من الرسومات في مدونة تري سي. Tweet رسومات تري سي فينولا الرائعة عن إسطنبول – على مدونتها الرسم عن إسطنبول: رسومات في الهواء الطلق عن إسطنبول: التدوين عن الموقع وعن عملية الرسم.” تجدون هنا المزيد من الرسومات في مدونة تري سي. […]

    1. tricivenola

      I’m approving this comment even though I can’t read it. I hope it isn’t derogatory, but if it is, well, that’s what makes a horse race. If anybody out there can translate this into English, please do! And thanks to you for your comment– whatever it is.

      1. Peter Wright

        It’s a translation into Arabic of the line above it. I stopped by because I love Istanbul and enjoyed looking at your site.

  4. John O'Neall

    I love your drawings, but even more your way of bringing Istanbul’s past alive without getting mushy and overly romantic. Keep up the good work.

    Maybe I’ll stumble across you one day the next time I’m in Istanbul. In the meantime, thanks for this great blog.

    1. tricivenola

      Thank you, John. By all means let me know when you’re coming next.

  5. Andrew F

    Hi Trici,
    I am Andrew, the Jamaican, you met the hagia sophia this past Saturday. I went and read your blog and regret very much not buying the book you offered me. I will try to find it on Amazon as you said or if we could arrange to get a signed copy.
    I hope to hear from you soon, Please confirm receiving this message.

  6. suta

    Love your drawings, so glad to find a fellow artist among all the Istanbul blogs, I’ve been there once for four days few years ago and have been thinking about going back ever since . Is there an artists community in Istanbul? I would love to meet up with you guys someday. right now teaching duties are holding me down here, desperately trying to escape from it.
    Cheers, keep it up!

  7. A.J.

    Trici, I am an acquaintance of ken/earl from San Francisco. We will be in Istanbul for 3 days starting on aug. 30 and were wondering if you would have availability to do a tour. There will be four people in our group. Please let me know. Thanks,

  8. Karen Payst

    Making plans to return to Istanbul with Barb and Dave at the end of June for 10 days. We are planning to stay at the Kybele, of course, and also visit Cappadoccia for a couple of days and stay in the cave hotel we stayed at two years ago. Hope you are enjoying yourself and look forward to seeing you then.
    Have a great holiday (Thanksgiving and Christmas) Love, Karen and Pat Payst

  9. Dieter Albert

    Trici, we had a brief chat on October 12th. I saw you experiemnting to draw the convention hall and the tower behind it. Having seen your impressive work here in the blog, i am really impressed. All the best and keep up the good work!
    Greeting from Germany – Dieter

  10. Freddy

    I met You briefly in AyaSophia lastweek .You kinly explained thCrusader graffito, and I mentioned the preIslamic church in Saudi Arabll its still there! Seems the Christian symbols were removed, according to Lonely Planet guide, which describes it as aNestorian site.

    Hope this is of interest
    RegardsTo You Freddy HUtchings

  11. Peter Sommer

    Hi Trici, I was delighted to stumble across your blog and website and your aim to document so much that is interesting in Turkey at a time when things are changing so much. Wonderful to come across your work. Best wishes, Peter

  12. Coda

    Hello Trici,
    Your work seems amazing to be honest 🙂 I was looking for a drawing course (charcoal) in Istanbul for expats (not for myself but for an English friend of mine) and came across your blog. So, I wanted to ask if you have some time to spare to answer if you know any Art Courses in İstanbul that you can refer us to? Or are you also teaching how to draw? Thanks in advance.

  13. Bev McAloon

    I am staying at Kybele and have really enjoyed looking through your sketches. So glad they are here
    Warm Regards- Bev McAloon

  14. Teoman Kozan

    Hello Trici,
    It is interesting that no comment from any turkish people for your blog. It is very respectful work. Thanks a lot for drawing and commentating Turkiye. I am trying to follow your journey. Have a nice trip. I hope you found what you are searhcing for. BR

    1. tricivenola

      Thank you Teoman! I hope you keep reading the blog. The specs show that many people in Turkey read it, and I have Turkish friends that do, but true, they almost never comment. It means so much when Turkish people like my work. Thanks for saying so.

  15. Rebecca

    Cant wait to see you in 8 days!! Your blog is a great way to “wet” my appetite for this adventure!

  16. Daniel Smith

    Hi Trici,
    You met my mother Gill Smith, an english lady in Istanbul about 10 years ago and did a lovely portrait of her.
    Do you remember?
    Would you have a copy somewhere?
    Mum has sadly passed away & it would be lovely to have a copy
    Daniel Smith

  17. Joe Williams

    Trici, this is a blast from the past, i met you 20 plus years ago at the LAMG with Scott Stulburg and the crew. I live in Toronto now and recently found an old business card you gave me. Great work and stay in touch

  18. Joe Williams

    Just found a business card you gave me decades ago in Los Angeles so i googled and here you are. Stay in touch

  19. kris reeder

    Hello. It’s Kris Reeder for Christ Church Istanbul. Great book! My contact details:

    P: 0044 (0) 7773 670615
    E: krisreeder10@gmail.com

    FB: facebook.com/krisreederofficial

    1. Robert Spoden

      Thanks, Kris!

  20. Sunil

    Trici, I’m an artist in Istanbul (from LA as well!) and was actually looking for other artists and “art-stuff” in Istanbul. Would love to meet you while I’m here.

  21. yeverett

    We has such a lovely day with Trici exploring Sultanahmet, exploring both well known places and off the beaten track (or should that be under the beaten track?). Also enjoyed the unique and high quality handcraft and textile shops she showed us, look forward to revisiting Jennifer on our return to Istanbul on our way home. Thanks so much for your kindness and insights Trici.

  22. Robyn

    Hi Trici,
    I did’t met you on my recent visit to Instanbul, but you left me a gift with my brother Greg. Thank you so much for the memories that I will treasure for ever. Your drawings are amazing & capture life so well. I have just started reading your blog & am now recalling so many memories of my visit.I plan to return to Turkey again so maybe we will meet next time.Your book has had many comments from family & friends here.
    Thanks again & cheers

  23. Joyce

    Dear Trici,

    My name is Joyce and I work for ExpatFinder.com.
    ExpatFinder.com is a free one stop website for people preparing to move or working and living overseas. We provide a myriad of services for expatriates and we have over 2,000 articles to help and support the people moving around the world and we are now creating an interview section to help the expats with real life experiences!
    We quite enjoy your blog about living in Turkey, it is very interesting and informative. Would it be possible to interview you to further share some of your tips and feature some of your first hand experience as an Expat and your interview will be published on our Expat Interview section as a guide for our expat readers. The questions are mainly about the day to day lifestyle of an expat. If it would be possible, could you also send some photographs that we can use?
    Of course, if you accept, we can add a link to your blog or some of your website.
    The questions are enclosed, feel free to respond freely. You can return the doc with your answers if you accept this invitation.
    Thanks in advance and do let me know if you prefer other means to conduct this interview and we would be happy to accommodate your terms.

    Best regards,

  24. Joyce


    My name is Joyce, I am a marketing executive at expatfinder.com which is a leading expat information and services website.

    I saw on your blog that you are and expat. I wish to interview you to further share some of your tips. The questions are mainly about the housing, the daily life etc.

    It just takes 5 minutes (or more depending if you have lots to say 🙂

    Of course, if you accept we can add a link to your blog or some of your website.

    If you are interested to participate at this project, please send me an email at interview@expatfinder.com.

  25. Rick Imlay

    Do you have any other artwork that has to do with the Apostle John?

    1. tricivenola

      Yes, more recent drawings of the basilica.

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