In 1999, Sabine had liked my work, taken me all around Kapadokya, introduced me to Laura and Nurettin. Now she was dying. I went there to say goodbye, but she was too ill to see me. So I drew the wonderful places she’d shown me so many years before, and dedicate them all to her. This chapel is part of an medieval cave monastery in Ortahisar. I’m glad that Sabine’s last look at the land she so loved was in the flowering spring.
FIELD OF SUNFLOWERS
The view from the Guest Cave at Laura and Nurettin’s palatial cave home in Ortahisar. I got up at 5 AM to draw this, reclining in a hammock on the cool front porch area. The farmer was in his field all the while.
THE LONE ANGEL
-The only carved angel in all of Kapadokya. They call it a devil.—–In a huge pale cave church with a smashed-in roof from earthquake. Kapadokya hasn’t been Christian in centuries; they don’t recognize this as an angel.
THE HOSPITAL MONASTERY
Nurettin took me there on his motorcycle and left me for several blissful hours, drawing this cave monastery which locals say was a hospital in Medieval times.
NURETTIN & HIS WALL
-Nurettin in front of a wall he built on land his family lived on 900 years ago.-—-The best cave restorer in Kapadokya, Nuri built the Palace from 52 caves. I asked him if my swanky cave suite and the ruined one behind it were once part of the same house. He told me, “900 years ago two brothers came from Uzbekistan. They married and raised their children in all of these caves, two huge families. They were my ancestors.” The lion drainpipe at top is Hittite.
–Lone monument to old worship. Erosion has melted away all of this church save one doorway – Very hot with breezes – Flies like to drive me crazy.-—-This is just at the turn of the great passage that sweeps through the rocks to the edge of the canyon before Ortahisar, an ancient road once lined with chapels and churches. All this land was monastery, and before that, pagan temples.
THE PEACOCK PIGEON ROOST
-The Peacock-painted pigeon roost. Pouring sweat & my hands full of nettles; why am I so happy?-—-Ortahisar: Arabs succeeded the Christian monks in this area, taking over the caves for pigeon coops. One Arab decorated his pigeon cave with a peacock feather painting.