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-MIchael Constantinou – Mesut Pektaş Asst. Secretary General – Venerated seismic engineer Dr Michael Constantinou in the foreground invited me to join him at a conference of architects, professors and statesmen at the epicenter of Istanbul, which was out in the sprawl, halfway to Edirne. The purpose was to discuss retrofitting all of Istanbul for earthquake, including Hagia Sophia. An international panel proposed many solutions, and I got a look at Turkish politics. I was there as a sort of hood ornament, with a framed drawing for the Mayor.

Dr Michael Constantinou, who has a lot of my art on his walls!

 STORKS & GLADIATOR-Storks’ nests & the stone tomb of a gladiator from their cemetery at Ephesus—–My first experience being so close to storks, and they remain my favorite birds. At Selçuk Museum in 2005 there was a German exhibit of Roman gladiator tombs, showing the tombstone, the actual bones, a forensic study of the wound, and a model of the weapon that likely killed him. Not all died in the arena. One tombstone was for a gladiator who lived to be 99.


They fly in from Africa every year. There’s a stork nest on top of every promontory in Selçuk, and are they loved.


-Sitting with “George” in the twilight outside his restaurant. The air smells like flowers – Tasinag Camii Selçuk—–Sad to say, they re-plastered this minaret. Now it looks like a leaning new minaret.


-Caesar Augustus & the Empress Livia – From Ephesus in the museum at Selçuk. Crosses hacked & burned in their foreheads. These colossi are heroic hatchet jobs. Thanks to Robert Graves I can imagine them complaining, “Look what he did to my chin!! Kill him!” she says.

-Livia’s son Tiberius was the Caesar presiding when Christ was crucified. I wonder if the cross-hackers knew that – Her great-grandson was Caligula.


-CE 100 Eternal Mother Goddess: A concentration of purity come down to us as VIRGIN. Artemis/Mary EPHESOS – 2005 from life, reworked & finished 2012—–She’s huge, alien, implacable and utterly pure. Her priests castrated themselves when they joined her order. Every creature on her paneled gown and headdress is in Holy Trinities. Across her chest are phalli penetrating vulvas, life regenerating itself: Immaculate Conception carved in marble. Her great temple is just down the mountain from the supposed last home and tomb of the Virgin Mary. When I realized Who I was drawing, I almost fell on my knees there in the museum. And I’m not even Catholic.


An idyllic Greek village in the mountains above Ephesus. The residents chose to forego development in favor of better tourism.


-Freckles and pale brown eyes as well. I bought a blue cotton tablecloth from her in Sirinci, May 05—–I still have the tablecloth.


-Diana: She was raised by dogs. When she was a kid, her mother was torn apart by dogs before her eyes. There were no other goats, but there was a dog who acted as her mother… now she thinks she’s a dog… she doesn’t butt; she licks. DIANA with gold eyes. 


-Tumbled mosaic under a huge toppled monolith of ancient masonry – St John’s headstone – Mystery hipbone sticking out of a wall of debris shown me by a Gypsy boy – Swear to God “Christ of the Wineglass” fresco on crumbling church alcove in Şirinci – Theodora had been dead for 20 years when Justinian built this great basilica in her name. The headstone is 6th century. St John left no relics, just went into his cave-church and vanished. The Christ in the Wineglass frescos, neglected, are now dust as well.

St John’s Church built over his grave by Justinian & Theodora 6h century from marble & stone scavenged from the Temple of Artemis – Wrecked by an earthquake Rebuilt & sacked by avaroius groups. Some of it was recovered in& used in Hagia Sophia – Malachite stones everywhere used casually in all these walls.


Drawn in the main square in Selçuk, a town I’ve come to love. My new friend Cynthia from Hawaii invited me to join her on a junket down there and my, we had fun. Selçuk is the town built around the ruined Great Temple of Artemis and St John’s Basilica, just a mile or so from Ephesus. These little houses aren’t on the Roman aqueduct anymore, but the storks are.


-Cynthia in Selçuk 24 May – Odalisque with Tigers—–We were both born in the same Year of the Tiger, and she looked like one, with those sloe green eyes. She lived in Hawaii, spoke French, had lived a life of perilous adventure. She had an import business with her young Turkish husband, knew Mohammed and Lewis when I met her, right after I moved to Istanbul. Our trip to Selçuk is immortalized in my Drawing On Istanbul stories: Tigers in Ephesus. She died in 2012. Oh my Tiger Sister, I still light candles for you.


-On a hilltop a ruined stone fortress – Outpost of vanished culture – The still guardians of silent sweeps of cloud, tiny farms & lonely stands of cypress –

Kuzu=Sheep – Mohammed —–A double exposure: This castle broods on a mountaintop near Selçuk. I drew Mohammed when I got back to Istanbul.

Ludwig on the boat

Lewis had arranged a boat trip up the Bosporus on the US Consulate yacht, with Cynthia, Ludwig and me, so she and I dressed the part. The boatman said when he swung over to the pier to pick us up: “Oh, I HOPE it’s THEM.”



That’s Rumeli Hisari and the bridge in the background. Lovely, but like most manicured things, not much fun for me to draw.

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