DANCING WITH THE DERVISHES
-Dancing with the Dervishes at Ümmü Sinan tekke in Eyup 2/12—–Lewis came to visit and brought the usual excitement and joy. Alper the Dancer (upper right) took us out to this famous old tekke in Eyup. Back in the day, a tekke was a school, a place where, if you wanted to pursue scholarly or creative disciplines, the Dervishes would feed and house you. These are Bektashi Dervishes, Shiites, a different sect from the Sufis usually seen by us tourists. The gent in the hat at center is Galip Dede, the fellow in the hat at left is his disciple, the shock of black hair beside him belongs to his disciple, and so it goes. All that Sunday we spent in the huge wooden gabled old house under the crystal chandeliers, singing, dancing, eating fried chicken, spinning our woes into joy.
FOUNTAIN UP TOP
-Galip Ulusöy -Fountain up top -Take One—–A long exhilarating hike up from the Spice Bazaar to Suleymaniye, a steep passage with stairs, and at the top, this white marble fountain on the gabled woods house. I never made it to Suleymaniye that day.
SELIN & FRIEND
-Selin & John the Dog in my coffee cup—–Selin is the star of her fabulous cooking school, Turkish Flavours. Here we are in her home with coffee, and crystals, and John the Dog.
MUSIC AT HODJAPASHA
Drawn on the fly as the Dervishes danced.
PETER HRISTOFF PASHA
-Daisy -June -Peter Hristoff strikes a pose during one of his famous art lessons in the Grand Bazaar. June 2012—–Aziz’s shop, Grand Bazaar: Peter is in a tribal robe so we could demonstrate to his adoring New York students how to draw plein air portraits in ink. Lovely kids , they went all over Turkey and had the time of their lives.
TV BY SUNG EUN MOON
One of Peter’s students left me this drawing she did of me from memory. A keeper!
HAGIA EIRENE LONGSHOT (unfinished)
FAST TAKE AQUEDUCT
-Too hot to draw the Aqueduct—–Emperor Valens built this aqueduct in the 2ndCentury. It runs right through the Old City, and now several lanes of traffic travel through its arches. Someday I’ll do a proper drawing.
BLOCK PRINT MASTER
-Tahsin Istengel – in the garden at Huseyin Aga Medrese—–Its lush garden scattered with cats, ducks and Byzantine marble, The Medrese at Küçük Ayasofya is restricted to registered Turkish Master Craftsmen. Tahsin is in the corner shop, next to Ahmet Sezen. His traditional block printed fabrics are a delight.
THE MASTER & HIS CAT
-Ahmet Sezen & Arife at SEDEFKAR- Master craftsman at Huseyin Aga Medrese at Küçük Ayasofya—–Ahmet is a registered Turkish Master at shell inlay and his work is known all over the world. I sat in his shop on several icy February days drawing this, huddled with the space heater and Arife the cat. She sneaked up onto my lap and into the drawing. Ahmet is my former neighbor in the old ‘hood in Kadirga. When we lived in the same building across from Küçük Ayasofa, somebody stuck me with a two-day-old kitten. Arife had just kittened two weeks before. She accepted the starving foundling, who thrived and grew up into my little Esmeralda.