Crosses in the Dark
-Drawing in the dark -Constellations in the marble -26October 2012 ©TriciVenola 2012 An exhausting drawing experience. There’s so much detail in Hagia Sophia that it almost subsumed the subject matter. But I had to do one drawing of these fabulous graffiti crosses in context. My back was literally against the wall, and I was scrunched down almost to the floor, for three days, to get this drawing. 
-Drawing in the dark -Constellations in the marble -26October 2012 ©TriciVenola 2012 An exhausting drawing experience. There’s so much detail in...
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Date with an Angel
There it is: a Seraph holding up one corner under the dome, in Hagia Sophia’s stunning architectural innovation: a square under a dome. This was the first temple in this shape, and it has carried the day for centuries.
There it is: a Seraph holding up one corner under the dome, in Hagia Sophia’s stunning architectural innovation: a square under a dome. This was the...
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Plein air drawing of ancient carving of David and Goliath at Aghtamar
David and Goliath for Phoebe Framed Print
From a photo: drawn while grieving over the loss of Phoebe. I'm not good for much else. Taken from right next to the wall. I always wished I could have taken my friend there. She would have loved the irony of such humour and light carved in stone. And God knows she wielded her slingshot all her life with grace and skill, slaying many giants.
From a photo: drawn while grieving over the loss of Phoebe. I'm not good for much else. Taken from right next to the wall. I always wished I could ...
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Empress Framed Print
At last!! Both Hagia Sophia and Hagia Eirene in one shot, as they actually appear. 2nd Century Hagia Eirene, at left, was rebuilt after the Nika Riots of 532, and served as a munitions dump under the Ottomans. Hagia Sophia, built by Justinian and Theodora, was consecrated in 537, the greatest church in Christendom for 1000 years. After 1453, it was a mosque, renovated in the 16th century by great architect Mimar Sinan, for Suleyman the Magnificent. Sinan buttressed the huge and fragile dome, anchoring the buttresses with minarets, which set off the grand old dame like a fabulous pair of earrings. No other building so completely illustrates the duality of Istanbul’s history. I still look at this and hear Mahalia Jackson singing “Way Up.”
At last!! Both Hagia Sophia and Hagia Eirene in one shot, as they actually appear. 2nd Century Hagia Eirene, at left, was rebuilt after the Nika Riots...
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Galata Tower 2012 Framed Print
-4 days drawing Galata Tower -I met everyone on the street! ©TriciVenola 2012 Ta-da! No book would be complete without a drawing of this landmark, the icon of Beyoglu. The pointed lead hat replaced the original terraced topknot of this tower, which the Genoese built in the 13thCentury on Byzantine foundations. There are ruins of other towers and connecting walls, which enclosed the  Genoese settlement.
-4 days drawing Galata Tower -I met everyone on the street! ©TriciVenola 2012 Ta-da! No book would be complete without a drawing of this landmark,...
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Plein air drawing of Hagia Sophia
Hagia Sophia Agape Framed Print
HAGIA SOPHIA AGAPE ©2011 by Trici Venola. Drawn during 25 hours in June from the terrace at Seven Hills Restaurant, Sultanahmet. This shows the East Face of this grand old Empress, weathered by 1500 years of storm, siege, fire, sunglare, the Crusades, and the Conquest of Constantinople. 500 years ago Mimar Sinan, the great Renaissance architect, fortified the dome with stone buttresses, anchored with minarets. The domes at lower left cover Ottoman tombs. We forget how huge this building is but are reminded by a glance at the tour buses and crowds at lower right. Commissioned by the Michael Constantinou Family. “Just draw it straight,,” he said, “no arty seagulls, no slanted composition.” It’s now hanging on a wall in Greece.
HAGIA SOPHIA AGAPE ©2011 by Trici Venola. Drawn during 25 hours in June from the terrace at Seven Hills Restaurant, Sultanahmet. This shows the East ...
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Plein air drawing of a remote village in Eastern Turkey
Harmantepe Framed Print
Harmantepe- very wet cold day -1May -©2016 TriciVenola — Another cousin of Celal’s, Ridvan, showed up at the hotel to take me at last to the village I’d come to draw, up in the mountains above Adilcevaz. We drove through misty rain under lowering clouds, with these four mountains brooding in front of us all the way: dark and implacable. On the way, we stopped for a flock of sheep, and I got out and took a photograph of this village. I was able to get this drawing later. It took hours, and the rain would have made it impossible in any case.
Harmantepe- very wet cold day -1May -©2016 TriciVenola — Another cousin of Celal’s, Ridvan, showed up at the hotel to take me at last t...
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Medusa on the Side Framed Print
Everybody photographs the other Medusa, the one standing on its head. This one has things the other one doesn’t- nostrils and irises. These heads were probably from some abandoned project, used to prop up short columns in the very darkest back corner of an underground cistern.
Everybody photographs the other Medusa, the one standing on its head. This one has things the other one doesn’t- nostrils and irises. These heads we...
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Medusa One Framed Print
Second day: the shadows make it. I’d intended this for the book, but went in another direction. God, it was hot. I spent as much time as possible drawing down in the Cistern. Water dripping in the dim echoes, antique columns, few alike, marching off into the shadows.
Second day: the shadows make it. I’d intended this for the book, but went in another direction. God, it was hot. I spent as much time a...
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My Favorite St. John’s Capital Framed Print
-Possibly this gladiator converted & was buried in St John’s- My favorite marble relic at St John’s- Searing heat did me in- So finished from a photo- 22 August 2012 ©TriciVenola 2012 All these 6thCentury capitals are lined up in rows on a grassy knoll in front of the ruin of St John’s in Selçuk. There was a Gladiator’s cemetery somewhere around here. Their tombstones are all around.
-Possibly this gladiator converted & was buried in St John’s- My favorite marble relic at St John’s- Searing heat did me in- So finished from ...
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Obama Kedi and Friends Framed Print
-Marble-cut graffiti and Guli Obama, who the President petted on TV. ©TriciVenola 2012 Guli Obama Kedi still lives in Hagia Sophia, where she hangs out near the altar, surrounded by fatuous tourists and clicking cameras. The stunning whirligigs at center are original Byzantine inlaid stonework, pre-dating that in the Taj Mahal by a thousand years. Gleaming pearly and black stone, it was cleaned just before this drawing. The graffiti is from one of the many balustrades and constitutes a texture of its own. Sadly I’ve lost the name of the young guard, but he too got his portrait.
-Marble-cut graffiti and Guli Obama, who the President petted on TV. ©TriciVenola 2012 Guli Obama Kedi still lives in Hagia Sophia, where she hang...
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Plein air drawing of old Turkish mosque
Old Mosque on the Water Framed Print
AdilcevazBitlis – Lake Van Ertugrul Bey Camii- 42 years today -April 22 -©2016 TriciVenola — I don’t know how old this mosque is, but it pre-dates the highway by a couple of centuries, judging by the depth of its entrance. In the background is Lake Van, ringed by snow-whitened mountains. Abdullah and I sneaked back after the crowd left, and I got this drawing in a couple of hours. The date is a private anniversary.
Adilcevaz – Bitlis – Lake Van Ertugrul Bey Camii- 42 years today -April 22 -©2016 TriciVenola — I don’t know how old this mosque is, ...
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