Plein air drawing of interior of Holy Cross Church at Aghtamar
APOSTLES AT HOLY CROSS
Apostles at Holy Cross Aghtamar - Lake Van -©2016 TriciVenola— Inside the church, the art looks much more recent. Also it's unfinished, and the interior shows signs of fire damage. The pale shape at the centre is a window. To the left is St Peter, to the right is St Paul. Ss Matthew and Mark appear to St Peter’s left, and Ss Luke and John to St Paul’s right. Other apostles flank them. Above the centre window, the artist had outlined the border, but hadn't finished painting it in.
Apostles at Holy Cross Aghtamar - Lake Van -©2016 TriciVenola— Inside the church, the art looks much more recent. Also it's unfinished, and the in...
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Plein air drawing of ancient carving with traditional Turkish woman
ARABIC WRITING & SALIHA

700-year old Arabic writing carved in wall stones at Ulu Camii -Saliha -©2016 TriciVenola Had to draw Saliha this lovely woman on the bus. — I don’t think anyone had ever drawn a picture of her before, and she was happy. The Arabic writing is carved in a stone wall inside the mosque on the side of Kef Kalesi, in Adilcevaz on the Western shores of Lake Van. It and the mosque are about 700 years old.

700-year old Arabic writing carved in wall stones at Ulu Camii -Saliha -©2016 TriciVenola Had to draw Saliha this lovely woman on the bus. — ...
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Plein air drawing of traditional Turkish women with girl
BAHAR & HER MOTHER

Bahar and her mother 24 April- Derya Hanife -©2016 TriciVenola— At the family enclave, a tree-lined grassy enclosure with houses and sheep. Here also is Hanife the first time I saw her, drawn from life with her granddaughter Derya. The whole Buday family knocked themselves out to make me welcome. Bahar’s mother had decked her out in this red dress and shoes. Adorable!

Bahar and her mother 24 April- Derya Hanife -©2016 TriciVenola— At the family enclave, a tree-lined grassy enclosure with houses and sheep. Here...
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Drawing of a shepherd in an Eastern Turkish village
DAPPER SHEPHERD
Dapper Shepherd at Harmantepe  -©2016 TriciVenola — What the well-dressed shepherd shall wear on a rainy day in the mountain village: Biblical shepherd’s crook, copious umbrella, rifle, cigarette and neon green tennis shoes. A friend of Ridvan’s, it was his flock we stopped for at Harmantepe, and I got this drawing. The sheep look like troops behind a general. I love this drawing.
Dapper Shepherd at Harmantepe  -©2016 TriciVenola — What the well-dressed shepherd shall wear on a rainy day in the mountain village: Biblical s...
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Plein air drawing of a shepherd boy holding a sheep
HAPPY SHEPHERD
“Happy to be a shepherd” in Karaseyh Köy -30 April -©2016 TriciVenola He dropped out of school- said he’d rather be a happy shepherd than study. He’s ten. — This was relayed to me by a dismayed Ezra. The kid refused to learn to read, even, and his parents allowed him to leave. But he and the sheep do look happy!
“Happy to be a shepherd” in Karaseyh Köy -30 April -©2016 TriciVenola He dropped out of school- said he’d rather be a happy shepherd than st...
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Plein air drawing of poplar trees in Van
KAVAK TREES IN VAN
Grand Deniz Turizm Restaurant last stop before Akdamar -3 May  ©2016 TriciVenola —Who knew I was allergic to poplar trees? I love them— but sometime since they chopped down every single one in Istanbul, I developed an allergy. Once I went into a pharmacy and described the symptoms, they fixed me right up with a syrup and some pills. These are planted in rows just at the pier for the boats to Aghtamar Island in Lake Van, where I wanted to go.
Grand Deniz Turizm Restaurant last stop before Akdamar -3 May  ©2016 TriciVenola —Who knew I was allergic to poplar trees? I love them— but so...
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KEF KALESI ADILCEVAZ 

Kef Kalesi, Adilcevaz, Van c1500 BCE Ulu Camii c1300 CE-©2016 TriciVenola— This majestic ruin of an ancient city permits an entire mountain rising at the edge of Lake Van. Archeologists have removed ancient artifacts to the museum in Van. Each terrace held houses, and the rooftops of one level were the balconies of the next. At right, you can see fragments of old stonework, traces of huge arches and passages. At centre is Ulu Camii, a 700 year old mosque with a modern glass minaret. Sheep graze below what must have been the fortress an entire village.

Kef Kalesi, Adilcevaz, Van c1500 BCE Ulu Camii c1300 CE-©2016 TriciVenola— This majestic ruin of an ancient city permits an entire mountain rising ...
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KEF KALESI DOORS

Doors Kef Kales - Adilcevaz -A c3000-year-old doorway. Fascinated by the way this rock ages. It looks like the ancient Urartians scored the living rock and created a castle out of the very mountain. There is a legend of treasure hidden here, but no one knows where. I think we’re looking at it.  -©2016 TriciVenola — These doors lead to tunnels going throughout the mountain. In addition to the usual rumours of treasure, Abdullah told me that they are well-explored by archeologists. Things found there are in the Archeological Museum in Van.

Doors Kef Kales - Adilcevaz -A c3000-year-old doorway. Fascinated by the way this rock ages. It looks like the ancient Urartians scored the living roc...
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Plein air drawing of traditional Turkish family
KELEŞ FAMILY

Keles Family Adilcevaz Derya Turan Bey Nürgül Karen Abdullah Omer -The best meatballs I ever ate. -©2016 TriciVenola — Abdullah is a cousin of my patron, Celal. He and his family picked me up at the airport bus in Van and took me home to dinner. His mother, smiling here right of centre, made from a secret family recipe: meatballs like malt balls, with liquid soft centers. Highly addictive! Abdullah’s wife Derya is in the university at Van. HIs brother Omer is principal at a village school that serves three towns.

Keles Family Adilcevaz Derya Turan Bey Nürgül Karen Abdullah Omer -The best meatballs I ever ate. -©2016 TriciVenola — Abdullah is a cousin of...
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Plein air drawing of Lake Van
LAKE VAN

The ancients gazed at these mountains from this forever sacred place 22 April 2016 Lake Van in front of Ulu Camii- Adilcevaz  -©2016 TriciVenola — Mere pen and ink does not begin to do justice to the symphony of white mountains floating above the pale lake. But the attempt — if you’re lucky— is art.

The ancients gazed at these mountains from this forever sacred place 22 April 2016 Lake Van in front of Ulu Camii- Adilcevaz  -©2016 TriciVenola...
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Plein air drawing of old Armenian tombstone with little girls
LITTLE GIRLS WITH TOMBSTONE
A Süphan , Adilcevaz, Van. These little girls are out in their front yard, and so is this Armenian tombstone. -©2016 TriciVenola — “For centuries we lived in peace ... — a Turkish acquaintance in Van.  The Urartians left artifacts all over Van province, mute testimony to a vanished culture.  I met many people who said, “Oh my grandmother was Armenian...” etc. The little girls were standing in their own front yard over an exquisitely carved tombstone that was obviously half-buried, probably under their cinderblock house in the sheep pasture.
A Süphan , Adilcevaz, Van. These little girls are out in their front yard, and so is this Armenian tombstone. -©2016 TriciVenola — “For cent...
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Plein air of portrait well dressed Turkish man
MAN OF SUBSTANCE
A man of substance! 1 May -©2016 TriciVenola— Semsattin owns a hat import business and occupies the house opposite the hotel, which looks out at Kef Kalesi and the lake. He’s a friend of the hotel owner, and showed up well dressed and asked for a portrait. Normally I field such requests, but one look at that moustache, hat and demeanor made me change my mind. He gave me a hat!
A man of substance! 1 May -©2016 TriciVenola— Semsattin owns a hat import business and occupies the house opposite the hotel, which looks out at ...
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