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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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 the Big Boukoleon Arch
Big Boukoleon Arch Framed Print
BIG BOUKOLEON ARCH ©2011 by Trici Venola. This fabulous old arch looks about ready to collapse, which is why we preserved it here. Every brick is accurate, just as they were fitted together in the ninth century when this palace was built. Once rising grandly out of the sea, it now fronts on a highway. Burned by Crusaders in 1204 and truncated by the Sultan in 1871 to make room for the Orient Express Railroad, this grizzled survivor is still beautiful. Up top, weather has desiccated the remains of a window into the shape of a lion, an echo of the ones that used to stand on its vanished balconies. Those are in the nearby Archeological Museum. This one is now more appropriate. Drawn in full searing sunlight with ants crawling on me, cats slumbrous in the afternoons, during 30 hours in July, and well worth it. During the long sessions, the whoosh of cars on the highway behind me took on the sound of the waves. 35 x 70 cm, drafting pens on rag paper, this drawing was commissioned by Donna Perkins of the Boreal Forest in Alberta.
BIG BOUKOLEON ARCH ©2011 by Trici Venola. This fabulous old arch looks about ready to collapse, which is why we preserved it here. Every brick is acc...
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Plein air drawing of portals at the Boukoleon Palace
Boukoleon Portals Framed Print
BOUKOLEON PORTALS © 2011 by Trici Venola. This magnificent 9th-century Byzantine Palace once rose out of the Marmara Sea, part of the city walls of Istanbul when it was Constantinople. It was faced with brilliantly colored marble and embellished with statues. Burned by Crusaders in 1204, the Palace structure was occupied anyway by the local populace, until it was dynamited in 1871 to build the Orient Express Railway. Later, around 1962, the city filled in the harbor and built the highway. This scrim, The Big Arch, a pillar colonnade and some piles of brickwork are all that remain. They still have an awesome presence. This drawing took 40 hours. It’s 35 x 70 cm, done with drafting pens on rag paper, commissioned by Donna Perkins of the Boreal Forest in Alberta, a lady as interested as I am in documenting these vanishing foundations of Western culture.
BOUKOLEON PORTALS © 2011 by Trici Venola. This magnificent 9th-century Byzantine Palace once rose out of the Marmara Sea, part of the city walls of I...
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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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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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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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