-Security at Istanbul Sehir Restaurant——The restaurant was in a long bare stretch of highway, near the ruins. Cemal here really, really wanted his picture drawn. Since the restaurant was the nearest rest room to my week-long drawing site, I obliged.
THE GUARD FINISHED
He happily put it on his phone.
KUMKAPI WITH GABRIELLE AND HUSEYIN
-24 September 2011 – She’s dead, they’re not human – Kumkapi with Gabrielle & Huseyin 24 September 2011—–We were celebrating a big carpet boodle by Huseyin. The comment above is about a working girl with two thugs at another table. Kumkapi is a row of fish restaurants catering to anyone looking for a good time and good fish, raucous on summer nights.
BOUKOLEON PORTALS/ StandAlone Drawing
Donna wanted more Boukoleon and so did I. So we decided on the great Portals that face the Marmara Sea, now across the busy Shore Road but once just below these fabulous marble entryways into history. This would be another Stand Alone drawing: 35 X 70 Centimeters, bigger than the sketchbook drawings. I set up at the Arch work site, swiveled to the right, and there were the Portals. This time I did progress scans.
I started right away with the square portal at left, spent a whole day and got the proportions wrong. Damn!
Came back and got it right this time. Used a tiny bit of pencil in the beginning, but then worked directly in ink.
PORTAL to RIGHT 1
Working from Portal Zero to the right.
EVERYBODY LOVES POTATO CHIPS
-‘Whaddya Whaddya’ The ghost in the corner – My best recollection of this shy fellow – Bobcat eating potato chips – Everybody loves potato chips —– In a far corner of the Palace was a figure so slight and silent I thought him a ghost. But his name is Hasan, and he had cats.
PORTAL to RIGHT 2
Just drawing every day…
PORTAL to RIGHT 3
The method I used to draw this requires one thing to be pretty much finished before moving on to another, since everything is measured against stuff that’s already drawn.
PORTAL to RIGHT 4
Case in point…
O those golden afternoons. Once the light was literally a shower of gold. It was so beautiful I had to just quit drawing and walk with friends in the light, all the way up to a fish dinner in Kumkapi.
HULUSI WAS HERE & SO WAS I
-While drawing the Boukoleon Palace – Ahmet the Sunday he was drunk – Graffiti was once high above the beach – Lovers necking in the ruined Palace – Hulusi is the Turkish version of Ulysses. He must have climbed up onto a shack that used to be on the beach to paint this, back in 1945. It’s now at ground level.
PORTAL TO RIGHT 5
PORTAL TO RIGHT 6
-Denizen of the Lighthouse, my friend while I drew the Boukoleon Portals – Ahmet in the park—–While I was drawing, he was my guardian. Ahmet lived in the thousand-year-old Lighthouse next to the Boukoleon Colonnade until a lot of the rock collapsed there. He saw the drawing Hulusi Was Here… and felt so bad about being drunk in it that I had to draw him again, sober, like he usually was.
NOW TO THE LEFT
PORTAL LEFT 2
PORTAL LEFT 3
HASAN IN THE CORNER
He posed for this one. Actually Hasan picked up trash all along the Boukoleon Parkway and sold it. He hung out in this cavelike space under the Big Arch.
BOUKOLEON PORTALS OVER THE SEA- StandAlone Drawing
Visible history: 11thCentury: The beautiful Empress Zoe, beloved by the populace, stood here looking out to sea, greeting the ships. 969: The hated aescetic Emperor Nicophorus Phocas was murdered here, his ugly dripping head held up on a pike in front of the windows of the Imperial Bedroom. 1204: Crusaders with crosses on their shields made an inferno of this Christian palace, strode through the flames under the marble cross of the center portal. And in 1453 Mehmet the Conqueror roamed these blackened passages and quoted the Persian poet Firdusi: “The spider spins its web in the palace of the Caesars.”
Ruins like these are rare. We can see each brick exactly as it was placed over 1200 years ago, in the original Roman mortar. Once this was covered with a facade in a kaleidoscope of brilliant natural marble, evidenced by bits lying in the grass below. Now age and weathering have made whorls and curlicues of a different sort. Restoration may destroy all this. Am I glad I documented what I could.
I was drawing from 2:00 to 8:00 PM every day, and then over to smoke nargile or to Jeannie and Rhonda’s hotel for coffee and decompression. I was learning to blog, and doing it every night. I can’t believe how hard I was working, and how happy I was.