Plein air drawing of a village near A Suphan
A Süphan on Lake Van Framed Print
A Suphan for Celal -©2016 TriciVenola— Project patron Celal Ögmen grew up in this village a few decades ago. He came to Istanbul as a teenager. He stood outside a prosperous fish restaurant in Kumkapi: Kalamar, saying in to the tourists in all their languages, “Come here and eat fish.” Now he owns the restaurant and the one next door, educates his daughter in New York, is a cornerstone of local industry and a patron of the arts. One brother is a judge, the other a barrister in New York. You can do anything with brains and moxie.
A Suphan for Celal -©2016 TriciVenola— Project patron Celal Ögmen grew up in this village a few decades ago. He came to Istanbul as a teenager. He...
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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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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 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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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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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 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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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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Plein air drawing of Eastern Turkish landscape with teahouse
Teahouse at Ulu Camii Framed Print
The teahouse at Ulu Camii. Kef Kales, Adilcevaz, Lake Van. Terraces cut 3500 years ago roll up from the lake. Everyone in town knows this spot: a happy tranquil place. And you can drink the water.  -©2016 TriciVenola— I spent a few hours drawing this, with a couple of interested gents from the mosque checking in now and then to see how it progressed. As I drew, groups of people drove up and sat chatting in the teahouse. This is the same view the denizens of the ancient city had, from every single house, rising in tiers up from the lake.
The teahouse at Ulu Camii. Kef Kales, Adilcevaz, Lake Van. Terraces cut 3500 years ago roll up from the lake. Everyone in town knows this spot: a happ...
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Plein air drawing of aqueduct at Suphan
The Aqueduct at Süphan Framed Print
A shepherd: the Aqueduct at Asagi Süphan -©2016 TriciVenola  — He leaped up on the very edge of the ancient aqueduct and harangued the sheep, while all around him was glory. He did it just as I had gotten to that place in the drawing, as though it had been planned. We are in A Suphan, where project patron Celal Ögmen grew up, and he particularly asked me to draw the aqueduct. This took about an hour and a half to draw, sitting on the old stones while chickens strutted nearby. That’s Lake Van out there, and this aqueduct originally ran all the way down to it, about 4000 years ago.
A shepherd: the Aqueduct at Asagi Süphan -©2016 TriciVenola  — He leaped up on the very edge of the ancient aqueduct and harangued the sheep,...
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