Plein air drawing of ancient carving of Adam and Eve at Aghtamar
Adam and Eve at Aghtamar Framed Print
2016 Adam & Eve at Holy Cross Aghtamar Island Lake Van 915-921 CE -©2016 TriciVenola — This last date refers to when they were carved. Note that Adam and Eve were carved sans genitalia. Despite damage by vandals, both still have curiously benign expressions. Down in the lower right corner is a an eviscerated female figure. The vandals left the snake alone, perhaps for professional courtesy.
2016 Adam & Eve at Holy Cross Aghtamar Island Lake Van 915-921 CE -©2016 TriciVenola — This last date refers to when they were carved. Note tha...
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Adam and Eve at Akdamar
2016 Adam & Eve at Holy Cross Aghtamar Island Lake Van 915-921 CE -©2016 TriciVenola — This last date refers to when they were carved. Note that Adam and Eve were carved sans genitalia. Despite damage by vandals, both still have curiously benign expressions. Down in the lower right corner is a an eviscerated female figure. The vandals left the snake alone, perhaps for professional courtesy.
2016 Adam & Eve at Holy Cross Aghtamar Island Lake Van 915-921 CE -©2016 TriciVenola — This last date refers to when they were carved. Note tha...
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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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Bible Stories in Stone

Bible Stories in Stone ©TriciVenola 2016

Few could read, so these figures proclaimed the Holy Word to all who looked on them. Absolute delight carved in red tufa, these figures are about 3/4 life-size and protrude about 4 inches from the stone blocks from which they are carved. One pictures the cartoons on paper or canvas fixed to the surface of blocks that stick out farther than those above and below. They would have covered the back of the canvas with pigment and traced the drawings from the front. And then up on ladders, hacking and then tapping away, finalizing with passion and skill, patiently creating the vivid images in the tedious medium. Armenian art is all based on circles. Its testimony to the expertise of the artists that these figures carved on stone blocks are all so curvilinear. And those borders!

Bible Stories in Stone ©TriciVenola 2016Few could read, so these figures proclaimed the Holy Word to all who looked on them. Absolute delight carved...
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Plein air drawing of ancient carving of bible stories at Aghtamar
Bible Stories in Stone Framed Print

Bible Stories in Stone ©TriciVenola 2016

Few could read, so these figures proclaimed the Holy Word to all who looked on them. Absolute delight carved in red tufa, these figures are about 3/4 life-size and protrude about 4 inches from the stone blocks from which they are carved. One pictures the cartoons on paper or canvas fixed to the surface of blocks that stick out farther than those above and below. They would have covered the back of the canvas with pigment and traced the drawings from the front. And then up on ladders, hacking and then tapping away, finalizing with passion and skill, patiently creating the vivid images in the tedious medium. Armenian art is all based on circles. Its testimony to the expertise of the artists that these figures carved on stone blocks are all so curvilinear. And those borders!

Bible Stories in Stone ©TriciVenola 2016 Few could read, so these figures proclaimed the Holy Word to all who looked on them. Absolute delight carv...
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Plein air drawing of ancient carving of bunnies griffins and bears at Aghtamar
BUNNIES & GRIFFINS & BEARS OH MY! Framed Print
-©2016 TriciVenola A shot-up saint over a zoological stack of fabulous creatures, with two happy bunnies in the centre. The rabbits are indigenous to Aghtamar Island, and to many other islands nearby. Most of them are black, a hallucinatory hippity-hop among the rocks and seagulls. Torn-up celery and lettuce for the bunnies line the tourist walkways. Centuries of monks must have dined on these rabbits, worn their fur and probably made pets of them as well. They are accompanied by white goats and gulls.
-©2016 TriciVenola A shot-up saint over a zoological stack of fabulous creatures, with two happy bunnies in the centre. The rabbits are indigenous...
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Bunnies & Griffins & Bears Oh My!
-©2016 TriciVenola A shot-up saint over a zoological stack of fabulous creatures, with two happy bunnies in the centre. The rabbits are indigenous to Aghtamar Island, and to many other islands nearby. Most of them are black, a hallucinatory hippity-hop among the rocks and seagulls. Torn-up celery and lettuce for the bunnies line the tourist walkways. Centuries of monks must have dined on these rabbits, worn their fur and probably made pets of them as well. They are accompanied by white goats and gulls.
-©2016 TriciVenola A shot-up saint over a zoological stack of fabulous creatures, with two happy bunnies in the centre. The rabbits are indigenous to...
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David and Goliath
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 hav...
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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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Plein air drawing of a matriarch at Aghtamar
MATRIARCH AT AGHTAMAR
Magnificent matriarch of the Eskitasçioglu Family at Holy Cross on Aghtamar -©2016 TriciVenola — This lady and I had some conversation on the boat coming over. She was unable to navigate the steep path up to the church, so I drew her inside it. Al her children and grandchildren are doctors and dentists. She has a beautiful smile!
Magnificent matriarch of the Eskitasçioglu Family at Holy Cross on Aghtamar -©2016 TriciVenola — This lady and I had some conversation on the b...
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The Monks of Holy Cross
Bunnies among the tombstones on Aghtamar Island, Lake Van -©2016 TriciVenola— Oh it is remote. Dead silent, miles of pale water between you and the shore, no electricity, freezing in winter, much discipline, much work. What the monks lacked in creature comforts was replaced by the absolute luxury of their art and craftsmanship. There was a library here, and perhaps manuscript illumination, as well as the carved bas-reliefs, the paintings, the stonework. These gravestones are from many centuries and surround the church. Some have been knocked down, others broken or eroded, but each intricately decorated tombstone, created with patience and care, celebrates an entire life dedicated to faith.
Bunnies among the tombstones on Aghtamar Island, Lake Van -©2016 TriciVenola— Oh it is remote. Dead silent, miles of pale water between you and the...
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Plein air drawing of tombstones in Aghtamar
The Monks of the Holy Cross Framed Print
Bunnies among the tombstones on Aghtamar Island, Lake Van -©2016 TriciVenola— Oh it is remote. Dead silent, miles of pale water between you and the shore, no electricity, freezing in winter, much discipline, much work. What the monks lacked in creature comforts was replaced by the absolute luxury of their art and craftsmanship. There was a library here, and perhaps manuscript illumination, as well as the carved bas-reliefs, the paintings, the stonework. These gravestones are from many centuries and surround the church. Some have been knocked down, others broken or eroded, but each intricately decorated tombstone, created with patience and care, celebrates an entire life dedicated to faith.
Bunnies among the tombstones on Aghtamar Island, Lake Van -©2016 TriciVenola— Oh it is remote. Dead silent, miles of pale water between you and the...
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