In 1999 I came to Istanbul for the first time after fifteen years in Los Angeles building computer art and fell in love. My love affair with Istanbul involved a divorce, a catastrophic illness, a broken heart and financial ruin. I moved here anyway and started over again at ground zero at the age of fifty and learned how to draw old stone and the people who were watching me do it. I learned about the Byzantines, the Ottomans and the Turks, as well as ancient Anatolian civilizations. Initially, I celebrated this place and eventually wound up documenting it before it changes forever. All my thousands of drawings of the people, architecture, history and culture in Turkey are one giant multifaceted portrait of this place over the past 20 years.
In 2017, after 18 years drawing this place, I was limping on a stick, stonewalled by my insurance company after trashing both knees in the snow two years earlier. In desperation, I asked a patron to talk to the insurance company. They wouldn’t budge for him either. But then he performed a miracle. He sent me to the best hospital I’ve ever seen. They fixed my knees and treated me like the Valide Sultan, and now I can walk. I am so grateful to this angel, his country and the hospital that I’ve spent the past two years getting all this art from Turkey into shape, reworking the posts, and putting as much as I can up on this site. It’s all I’ve got.
My name, short for Patrice, is pronounced TREE-see. I am indeed 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 site is about living in Turkey. For years, I resisted anything that meant 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.
Eventually it all paid off. A Beach house in Venice, many friends, a good marriage and great Christmas parties. I traded all that for a sketchbook and some drafting pens. I don’t have a day job because I survive on my art. I’m not affiliated with any organization or university, and I don’t speak Turkish. It’s like functioning with a large burlap bag over your head. But I draw this irreplaceable place, and the people here know that and love it, so I get along. For years I’ve been doing this project alone–I almost said Alone in the Dark, boo hoo– with the help of a few generous patrons. Angels all. Every single one has contributed mightily to this project. Thank you.