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Papazoglu Han, near Rustem Pasa


Osman Abali in Papazoglu Han near Rustem Pasa in the Spice Bazaar
-Paris the Dog- TriciVenola April 2011

An all-time favorite. Drawing the Byzantine brickwork behind the 20th century Turkish ad hoc electrical wiring took two sessions of about 3 hours each. Then I went upstairs and there was Osman in his old plaid coat, collecting money for the WC. His head just fit at the apex of the two arches. He seemed to draw himself. All this glory of wiring and brick is plastered over now, for this is a working han. Osman has gone to his reward. I’m so glad I drew it all when I could.


-Drawing this the day they got Bin Laden.-Papazoglu Han-The foundation is Byzantine but it’s Ottoman up top.-TriciVenola ©2011


Mr Mehmet was watching me draw the Byzantine brickwork in “Papazoglu Han,” so I caught him and finished with the arches later. I have prints of both on my wall, hung so that this one is above and to the left of Papazoglu Han.

Denizens of the Han told me it’s on Byzantine foundations, as there was a castle here almost two thousand years ago.

Nobody here believed or cared that the US government had finally captured and killed Bin Laden. Nobody but some Peace Corps volunteers I ran into. We sang “Ding! Dong! The Witch is Dead!” all over the Spice Bazaar.


One of many drawings of Pastor Ian Sherwood of Christchurch, the Crimean Memorial Church. Tommy Cat is playing In and Out the Windows on the marble pulpit, all during the sermon. The 150+year-old pulpit is made from marble from all of the seven churches of St Paul, all in Turkey. Pastor Ian has a fine Irish baritone, and Tommy Cat, now resting in the Parsonage churchyard, had a fine life.


-SEKS EN DÖRT-This drawing elicits gasps from young Turks perusing my sketchbook- Boy is, he famous and man, is she beautiful, and wow, are they crazy about each other. A happy session in Cihangir.-Seksen dort-
TriciVenola ©2011

Back in 2000, I’d given my card to a beautiful 16-year-old Hungarian girl my boyfriend was trying to use to make me jealous. She was interested in becoming an artist. I’d long since broken up with him when she contacted me via email, asking advice on life questions. I answered her  and forgot about it. In 2011 she found me on Facebook, said the correspondence had helped her, and that she’d been doing volunteer work in Turkey and  was married to this Turkish rock star. We met in Cihangir, and what a fine time we had. Bread on the water.


Rhonda looked so cute sitting on the porch I just HAD to draw her.-Summer-TriciVenola ©2011

Cute and exhausted. The Modern Sultan Hotel experience wrung both Jeannie and Rhonda out. She was staying up to all hours to make the nightly report to the state, grabbing a few hours sleep on the dayroom couch, and rolling out before dawn to book the first guests and make room for breakfast. A couple months after I drew this, they sold the hotel, resulting in the big smile in the photo below. Happy for them, but oh! I miss them!!


The waiters at Seven Hills Istanbul who let me draw Ayasofya 5 days from 1-5 at the corner table-
TriciVenola 28 June 2011
THEY ARE-Fatih -Abbas -Nazmi -Zeki-Ugur -Baris -Ubeyt -Rahmi -Sedat
FROM-Nemrut- Diyarbakir- Istanbul -Siirt -Ardahan -Siirt -Siirt -Siirt- Diyarbakir

-TriciVenola ©2011 Every single one of these nice guys posed for this group picture, and I gave prints to everyone. They were mostly from towns in Eastern Turkey, with one from Istanbul. I hope they all sent them home to their mothers!

A very happy drawing experience. A good friend commissioned this 50 x 70 cm plein air drawing of Hagia Sophia. He’s Greek-Cypriot-American, a no-nonsense structural engineer with a great love for Istanbul, and he said, “Draw it straight. No slants, no seagulls, no closeups.” OK! Simply the grande old dame herself, wearing her minarets like two pairs of fabulous earrings. I spent a week drawing this from the corner table of Seven Hills Restaurant, and I drew the waiters as well, as they had been most generous with me, sitting there every day for hours.


-TriciVenola ©2011

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