TV ImperialGate 2012 copy 2 - Book 28: HOT CROSSES

02Asia Longshot72 - Book 28: HOT CROSSES

-Drawn from Cihangir Camii ©TriciVenola 7/2012

Kis Kulesi, The Maiden’s Tower, across the Bosporus in Asia, with the boats going up to the Black Sea. I spent many summer twilights under the minarets of Cihangir Camii on the hill, gazing out through the trees.

04Topkapi Glimpse72 e1545403290688 - Book 28: HOT CROSSES

©TriciVenola 7/2012

And just above, the palace on the hill.

TV Chair copy - Book 28: HOT CROSSES

In a loved stone chair at Klaros. Photo by Frances Ergen.
00TitlePg Book28 72 - Book 28: HOT CROSSES

-Hot Crosses 2012-2013 TriciVenola -Vandalized & graffiti crosses in Hagia Sophia.

After years of living on the edge, things had improved. Thanks to a generous patron, I had the means to publish a new book, Drawing On Istanbul 2, and could borrow from it during the lean winter months, while I was re-drawing all the major monuments and then some. The stuff seemed to draw itself. I was giving tours to friends and cousins. The government had made it possible for us Residence Permit holders to buy a museum pass, and I could finally afford to spend hours every day drawing in Hagia Sophia. And blogging about it, which was utter joy. I had a stable rent situation, a big mean advocate, my hero, to keep it that way, and lots of friends in Sultanahmet. Life was great, and I’ve got this sketchbook to mark it.

01Sultanahmet Longshot72 - Book 28: HOT CROSSES

©15 July2012TriciVenola

The fronstpiece for Drawing On Istanbul 2. Sultanahmet and the Mouth of the Bosporus, from Cihangir across the Golden Horn


03Ship Construction Glimpse72 e1545403244533 - Book 28: HOT CROSSES


-Ship gliding by construction site on the Golden Horn ©TriciVenola July 2012

Caught from the docks in Karakoy.

05Full Moon Conversation72 - Book 28: HOT CROSSES

-Two old friends solve the world’s problems over summer coffee in Sariyer—Dr Can ©TriciVenola 8/2/2012

At right is a helluva guy, Dr Can, who fixed my smashed finger for a ridiculously nominal fee. He’s hanging out with his old buddy, and I wish I spoke more Turkish, because their conversation sounded fascinating. So I drew them.

06Medusa One72 - Book 28: HOT CROSSES

©TriciVenola 8/5/2012

Second day: the shadows make it. I’d intended this for the book, but went in another direction.

02TV Cistern summer 2012.Hass copy - Book 28: HOT CROSSES

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.

09Carp in the Cistern72 - Book 28: HOT CROSSES

©TriciVenola 2012

BLOG Sunken Palace

10DownInTheCistern wip72 - Book 28: HOT CROSSES
DOWN IN THE CISTERN work in progress

©TriciVenola 2012

Glad I scanned this before I put in all the blacks. It’s one of the few I prefer to the finished version, shown below. 

10DownInTheCistern72 - Book 28: HOT CROSSES

Drawn in the dark at the Basilica Cistern ©TriciVenola 2012

This is actually what it looks like down there. I was lucky to find enough light to draw. Water dripping all around, dim and cool. The marks halfway up the columns are from the old water level, when this cistern watered the city.

12Medusa on the Side72 - Book 28: HOT CROSSES

©TriciVenola 7/2012

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. 

07Josephine Powell Intrepid72 - Book 28: HOT CROSSES

-Josephine Powel from a 1950s photo [left] & recent video [right] –Intrepid wanderer- photographer- She invented the coffee-table book photographing Anatolia in the 1950s- Wish I’d met her. ©TriciVenola 10/2012

After she died, there was a massive show of all her kilims, along with selected photographs, which she willed to the Republic of Turkey. She spent decades photographing nomadic and village people all over the country. She started as a New York socialite and became this intrepid wanderer, working with National Geographic to photographically preserve vanishing ways of life. And boy, did she love to smoke!

40Frances With a Hat72 - Book 28: HOT CROSSES

©TriciVenola 2012

Textile queen Frances Ergen with a tribal hat.


19Citadel St Johns in Selçuk72 - Book 28: HOT CROSSES

-St John’s ruined basilica & the Citadel, a 6000-year-old site where he is said to have written his Gospel. Selçuk 20 August 2012- Many days of heat- Many days of rain- Crusaders & pilgrims all gone now. ©TriciVenola 8/2012

A long happy time on my birthday in 2012 drawing this longshot of Selçuk, with its great ruined monuments. Just beyond the trees at center is the huge ruin of the Temple of Artemis, broken marble half-sunk in a marsh, storks nesting on the one surviving column.

13MyFaveStJohnsCapital72 - Book 28: HOT CROSSES

-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.

14Guardians at the Gate72 - Book 28: HOT CROSSES

-Security at St John’s- Ismet- Arif- Selçuk ©TriciVenola 2012

My hat is off to the people who guard the treasures in this country. It was the day after Ramazan ended, and these two security guards were in a fine mood. They were happy to pose, and I was happy to draw them.

18Citadel from St Johns72 - Book 28: HOT CROSSES

-St John’s 8/12 ©TriciVenola 2012

The heat was pounding down, a scratchy pulsing chorus of cicidas, so I took refuge at the top of this ruined staircase behind the altar, to draw the Citadel on the hill above. 

DSC00790 copy - Book 28: HOT CROSSES

21Eros On A Dolphin72 e1545583777201 1024x409 - Book 28: HOT CROSSES

-Fairytale glimpse between two houses in Sirince-A beach somewhere in Izmir- Bronze Eros on a Dolphin- Selçuk Muze- Ephesus.2ndC ©TriciVenola 2012

Racketing around Izmir with Frances on a happy day. This bronze is 1800 years old.

20Sweethearts Tomb72 - Book 28: HOT CROSSES

-The Sweethearts’ Tomb- Deniz loves Ozon! Hordes of babbling Spanish, searing sun, giant red ants, & artifacts of romance in St John’s- August 24 2012 ©TriciVenola 8/2012

One fairly-well preserved tomb in the middle of wreckage.

11Ismet Arif Laughing72 - Book 28: HOT CROSSES

-Ismet & Arif- guards at St John’s- from a photo ©TriciVenola 2012

After days of drawing in St John’s these guys seemed like old friends. A fine time drinking tea and laughing in the cicada-buzzing shade,  Ramazan was over, they could drink tea and smoke, it was a party.

15She Was A Pretty Girl72 - Book 28: HOT CROSSES

-Karim Hanim- Selçuk- 20 August 2012- Drawing her made me cry. ©TriciVenola 2012

 Karim Hanim worked as a maid her whole life. She’s now retired, surrounded by grandchildren in this little hill house. We visited her to celebrate the end of Ramazan, and she sat for this portrait.

16Road to Priene72 - Book 28: HOT CROSSES

-Along the road from Selçuk to Priene. ©TriciVenola 2012

23Column in Priene72 - Book 28: HOT CROSSESA COLUMN IN PRIENE

Spirits are sleeping, but they dream of now. ©TriciVenola 2012

Can you spot the difference between these two drawings? Two hours in scorching heat, drawing this column from the Temple of Athena Polias, dedicated in 334 by Alexander the Great in Priene, a city high on a hill over a grassland that once was the harbor. Realized with horror that I’d left out one of the two small sections at the top. It drove me crazy. A friend said, “Trici, nobody in this life will ever notice that,” but-Damn! So I went in digitally and fixed it.

23Column in Priene 2 72 - Book 28: HOT CROSSES

24Chairs at Priene72 - Book 28: HOT CROSSES

-Priene -Wind in the pines- Lion-footed chairs- Thick slick patina enamels the heavy solid marble- so familiar & right- 24 August 2012 ©TriciVenola 2012

The ancient Greek theater at Priene is overgrown with pine trees, which horrifies archeologists. I find it charming. There are five massive marble chairs around the stage at center. They are right at the edge and there is no blood screen. This means that the theater is intact from ancient Greek times, before the Romans and their blood sports. Alexander the Great paid for this theater. Did he sit here? Many tourists have, which is the reason for the thick enamel-like patina, all from the last hundred years.

22Face of Many Cultures wip72 - Book 28: HOT CROSSES
22Face of Many Cultures72 - Book 28: HOT CROSSESFACE OF MANY CULTURES

-Fatma: a weaver in Priene: How many armies have come through here to make up this face? ©TriciVenola 2012

At the foot of the mountain, under the ruined ancient city of Priene, is a village where the women weave for trade. This lady posed for me, but I didn’t have time to get that animal-print. I came home, scanned the unfinished drawing, bought an animal-print shirt at the bazaar and posed it myself in the mirror.

17Beach Weavers72 - Book 28: HOT CROSSES

-Simay -“Cash rules everything around me” ©TriciVenola 2012

As we visited the weavers at Priene, Little Simay came in with her ice cream, and now I have her forever. After a happy day of ruins and far vistas, we came to the beach, in the fading heat, for an evening swim.

25Aspects of Love72 - Book 28: HOT CROSSES

-Crossed Augustus – Ivory talking stick actual size- Dionysius -Actual size desiccated Apostle-like ivory from wall frieze 2ndCentury Roman -Eros -Selçuk Museum last day. August 2012

-Very famous stone Priapus; actual size from Ephesus, in its own case with a pushbutton light. I had to keep pushing it, and the entire ROOM gathered.  ©TriciVenola 2012

58Earl Ken72 - Book 28: HOT CROSSES

©TriciVenola 2013

Earl and Ken fell in love with Istanbul and opened Denizen Cafe in Sultanahmet. I would draw all day and land there later for coffee and conversation. They decamped back to San Francisco in 2014, and how we miss them!

26Empresses FastTake72 - Book 28: HOT CROSSES

©TriciVenola 2012

 An idea for the cover of the next book, a shot of Hagia Sophia and Hagia Irene. There followed days of drawing on a rooftop, trying to fit the immensity of two huge Byzantine basilicas onto one small book cover, intersperced with restorative coffees at Denizen Cafe.

28Oscar the Moon72 - Book 28: HOT CROSSES

-At Denizen Cafe -Oscar Hector Soria ©TriciVenola 2012

27Empresses False Start72 - Book 28: HOT CROSSES

©TriciVenola 2012

Okay, so we’ll tilt the composition… but made a hash of Ayasofya’s west façade (at left), in a way that couldn’t be fixed. Another session shot. That’s what I get for working directly in ink.

30Mete Christian72 - Book 28: HOT CROSSES

-Christian Lion King -Mete ©TriciVenola 2012

Light and dark: Denizen host Mete, looking like a cross between Joaquin Phoenix and Dionysius, with Christian from Hawaii, who had just cut his long strawberry-blond dreadlocks. I expect they’ve grown back by now, he really missed them. Mete, has since graduated college and has gone global. Last I heard he was in Rome.

29 2Empresses Shadow72 - Book 28: HOT CROSSES

©TriciVenola 2012

Aaugh… so close, but no cigar. This one works except for the shadow of that minaret across the face of Ayasofya. Wrong time of day!

31Ugur of Diyarbakir72 - Book 28: HOT CROSSES

Over & over in my mind while drawing the next page is Mahalia Jackson singing “Way Up.” ©TriciVenola 2012

Another beginning drawing blown, a different cafe, and this face. By the beard, I must have gone back more than once.

32 2Empresses72 - Book 28: HOT CROSSES

©TriciVenola 2012

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.”

DOI2 copy - Book 28: HOT CROSSES

And as you can see, it fits on the cover. I have 3000 copies of this, and it will be in the store when we’ve worked out the logistics.

DSC01025 copy - Book 28: HOT CROSSES

Centuries of graffiti humanizes the inside of Hagia Sophia. These two graffiti crosses were the first I saw. There are hundreds. I drew every one I could find.

36Hot Crosses 2Spot72 - Book 28: HOT CROSSES

©TriciVenola 2012

So: these two graffiti crosses, shown in the previous photo: 3 inches high, deeply carved and filled with lead, at eye level in a marble pillar in the southeast corner of Hagia Sophia. Hot Crosses: I think they’re all from the Fourth Crusade.

36Hot Cross Flare Spot72 - Book 28: HOT CROSSES

©TriciVenola 2012

A Greek cross, carved into the top of the pedestal below a porphyry pillar in the bottom NE corner.

33Hot Cross Floor72 - Book 28: HOT CROSSES

©TriciVenola 2012

This one is in the marble floor in front of the altar, near the Ottoman marble prayer stall. Somebody probably camped here in 1204; the marble is really old and patched, and after 1453, it was covered with carpet. I was down on the floor drawing this when the little boy in the next drawing appeared with his father.

38Emirhans Sunnet Day72 - Book 28: HOT CROSSES

-In Ayasofya 10/18/2012 -Emirhan Sunnet

Emirhan’s father had taken him, all dressed up as a little Sultan, into Hagia Sophia on his Sunnet Day.

37Hot Crosses Group72 - Book 28: HOT CROSSES

-More Hot Crosses -Top of 4 at pillar SE corner next to wall- Bromance -Giant pillar S side of nave- Upstairs next to Emperor’s Loge -Giant pillar on South side of nave ©TriciVenola 2012

Most of these are covered up now with scaffolding and plywood. God knows if these centuries-old artifacts are being sandblasted out of existence in the name of restoration. 

34Hot Cross Bromance72 - Book 28: HOT CROSSES

-1 hour October 25 Ayasofya 2012 ©TriciVenola 2012

A study of the four hidden Hot Cross Bromance crosses in the succeeding drawings. I particularly love the way the top one is just coming into  being… for how many centuries!

37Hot Crosses Group72 - Book 28: HOT CROSSES

-More Hot Crosses -Top of 4 at pillar SE corner next to wall- Bromance -Giant pillar S side of nave- Upstairs next to Emperor’s Loge -Giant pillar on South side of nave ©TriciVenola 2012

Most of these are covered up now with scaffolding and plywood. God knows if these centuries-old artifacts are being sandblasted out of existence in the name of restoration. 

stolen gold cross e1545401512542 768x1024 - Book 28: HOT CROSSES

Here’s where a gold cross, bought by some devout Byzantine, was set into the marble and later ripped off by some marauder. The scar has been filled with cement.

39Crosses in the Dark wip1 72 - Book 28: HOT CROSSES
CROSSES IN THE DARK work in progress 1

The beginning of the Hot Cross Bromance drawing. I had told a tourist in Hagia Sophia about the two crosses at eye level on a pillar in the NE corner. Later I bumped into her and she said, “At first I found the ones across the way.” WHAT? I ran over there, and sure enough, down in the dark next to the wall, only visible with phone light, were two crosses, outlined in white, picked out and linked with lead.

39Crosses in the Dark wip2 72 - Book 28: HOT CROSSES
CROSSES IN THE DARK work in progress 2

-Drawing in the dark ©TriciVenola 2012

 “Twenty-seven years I am doing this,” said a guide, looking  and marveling, “And I never found these. You are so lucky.”

39Crosses in the Dark72 - Book 28: HOT CROSSES

-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. 

41Graffiti 1805 Ayasofya72 - Book 28: HOT CROSSES

-1805 2nd pillar in front of Deesus mosaic ©TriciVenola 2012

Isn’t it strange that, in Hagia Sophia, I can easily picture the sixth and eleventh centuries, but two gents in top hats and frock coats standing here 215 years ago is astonishing. These signatures- one in copperplate- are really hard to see, but worth the effort. When they were carved, Hagia Sophia was a mosque, and the mosaics were covered up. But most of the graffiti was already there.

42Guards at Ayasofya72 - Book 28: HOT CROSSES

-Muhammed -Engin -Gulay ©TriciVenola 2012

These three made my drawing experience in Hagia Sophia so pleasant that I presented each with a print of their portrait.

43Obama Kedi Friends72 - Book 28: HOT CROSSES

-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.

44Date wAn Angel wip1 72 - Book 28: HOT CROSSESA DATE WITH AN ANGEL work in progress 1

©TriciVenola 2012

I set up shop between two pillars under the Emperor’s Loge, in the North gallery.

First day. For this piece I did use a little pencil. Now you know. 

44Date wAn Angel wip 2 72 - Book 28: HOT CROSSES
A DATE WITH AN ANGEL work in progress 2

©TriciVenola 2012

I hate using pencil and hardly ever do it, but this drawing was so darn dense, with all those vertical wires plunging through. The workmen were Japanese, doing some structural work under the dome. 

44Date wAn Angel72 - Book 28: HOT CROSSES

©TriciVenola 2012

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.

TVStefan Joksik 2012 n copy - Book 28: HOT CROSSES

Here I am drawing the angel. Visitor Stephan Joksik took this photo. Behind me is plywood covering the re-gilding of the Ottoman Sultan’s prayer library.

46Çetinkaya Father Son72 - Book 28: HOT CROSSES

Mehmet- Said Çetinkaya ©TriciVenola 2012

Premier carpet restorer and merchant Mehmet Çetinkaya and his son Said flanking one of their favorite pieces. Mehmet Bey has restored the carpets in the carpet museum behind Hagia Sophia, some of them hundreds of years old.

47Alexander Rides to Midas72 - Book 28: HOT CROSSES

-Bes, protector against evil-Roman copy from Cyprus -Hittite Lion 6C BCE -ALEXANDER -Midas tomb bracelets -pitcher -Phrygia 740 BCE -Alexander rides from Hittite lions across the ancient gods & griffins to Midas gold at the Archeological Museum ©TriciVenola 2012

45Solid Bronze Baubles72 - Book 28: HOT CROSSES

-Bronze cart ornaments -Nicomedia (Ismit) 3rdC AD -Terracotta bull’s head 3rd C BC -Empress Galla Placida, Early 5thC AD -Good Shepherd marble 6thC AD -Ceramic plate Byzantine -Istanbul Arkeolocikal Muse -More running around the museum. ©TriciVenola 2012

Just love drawing this stuff.

48Big Faces Agape72 - Book 28: HOT CROSSES

-Vize Tumulus -Bronze -Roman Period -Kirklareli 1st C BC -Tykhe Goddess of Destiny -2ndC AD -Bronze bust of Aelia Eudocia: early 5thC AD -Marble satyr mask 2ndC AD Bithynia -Terracotta 1-2C AD -Bronze bulls 1C AD Thrace -Male Bronze stand Claudiopolis (Bolu) 1C AD -Big Faces Agape at the Archeological Museum

A favorite drawing. The bust of Empress Eudocia at center is a weight for measuring goods. She was the much-loved Empress of Theodosius II.

49Substantial Mugs72 - Book 28: HOT CROSSES

-Medeni Çinar from Siirt -Sea God Niomedia 2C AD ©TriciVenola 2012

Two great big mugs~ One in a cafe and one at the entrance to the Byzantine Museum.

52Nizam72 - Book 28: HOT CROSSES

-A good session drawing Nizam from a photo taken 9 years ago in 2004. Balkan rollick and BB King, it’s snowing outside. 8 January 2013. ©TriciVenola 2013

Another mug:  probably my last drawing of this guy, but what a subject: the model for “Kazim” in my short story “A Fine Kettle of Fish,” in Tales From the Expat Harem and Best Travel Writing 2006.

50Typical Topkapi Tourist72 - Book 28: HOT CROSSES

©TriciVenola 2012

His wife and daughter were undoubtedly inside, lost in raptures at being completely surrounded by ormolu. After a couple of days drawing all this French Ottoman froufrou, I was just finishing up when this guy stomped out of the palace and flopped down on the bench. I couldn’t resist!

The tree and the palace decor are likely the same vintage: 18thC. The Ottomans built this palace after 1453. One Sultan’s mother was French, and it shows.

TV Topkapi FAVICOM copy e1545842063348 - Book 28: HOT CROSSES

Topkapi Palace in progress. Sorry, lovely couple who took this picture, I’ve lost your name!

53Galata Tower wip1 72 - Book 28: HOT CROSSES
GALATA TOWER 2012 work in progress 1

©TriciVenola 2012

The first session of four days of drawing on this charming street.

53Galata Tower wip2 72 - Book 28: HOT CROSSES
GALATA TOWER 2012 work in progress 2

©TriciVenola 2012

No pencil this time. Look Ma, no hands!

53Galata Tower wip3 72 - Book 28: HOT CROSSES

GALATA TOWER 2012 work in progress 3

©TriciVenola 2012

Broke up the session by visiting a mural being painted nearby, also another art studio.

53Galata Tower 2012 72 - Book 28: HOT CROSSES

-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.

54The Tissue Seller study e1545843162874 708x1024 - Book 28: HOT CROSSES

A first attempt to capture the magnificent woman in the next drawing. It was just too crowded to stand and draw, so I went back and took photos.

Stairs 3 e1545843789693 826x1024 - Book 28: HOT CROSSES

Stairs 1 e1545843817970 880x1024 - Book 28: HOT CROSSES Lady of the Stairs1 copy 1 - Book 28: HOT CROSSES

This photo makes her look pitiful. She wasn’t.

54Our Lady of the Stairs72 - Book 28: HOT CROSSES

-Chin up & a spit-in-your-eye glint. She ain’t begging. The tissue seller. -From a photo. ©TriciVenola 2012

Freezing rain, and she was prepared, with her heavy skirt, her cardboard, her water bottle and her wares. She was in the stairway leading up to the tram from the pedestrian underpass at Eminonu. She was there for years, until they closed the underpass for renovation. I hope she’s comfortably inside now. She was happy to have her picture taken.

55ZeynepSultan Kiosk wip1 72 - Book 28: HOT CROSSES
ZEYNIP SULTAN KIOSK work in progress 1

©TriciVenola 2012

55ZeynepSultan Kiosk wip2 72 - Book 28: HOT CROSSES
ZEYNIP SULTAN KIOSK work in progress 2

©TriciVenola 2012

55ZeynepSultan Kiosk72 - Book 28: HOT CROSSES

©TriciVenola 2012

On the tramline between the entrance to Gulhane Park and Hagia Sophia: This is a water storage fountain from 1769, marble shapes in diminishing echoes, hard as hell to draw, contrasted with coke bottles and shiny bags of chips, as it’s now a fast food kiosk. My first attempt to draw it, and it just wouldn’t fit on the page, I had to extend it. I was drawing this all day and binge-watching Breaking Bad at night.

51A Good Cook72 - Book 28: HOT CROSSES

-And oh, boy, can he cook. A German expat out in “Wup-Wup Land,” [past Zeytinburnu] in Istanbul. ©TriciVenola 2012

60Ranit of SriLanka72 - Book 28: HOT CROSSES

-Drawing Ranit in a blackout 22 March 2013 -What a face! ©TriciVenola 2013

Ranit fled Sri Lanka for Istanbul back in the day, and lived for years at the St George Hostel at the Crimean Church. A native English speaker, he can fix anything. He was fixing my sink when the power went out in my building due to an electrical fire. We heard my landlady yelling ATESH!! ATESH!!— Ranit ran down the three flights to see and back up to hang out until he knew it was safe, and we got this drawing by candlelight. In 2015, he walked to Paris, and made it, and is doing well.

08Kemal in Cihangir72 - Book 28: HOT CROSSES

-My buddy Kemal in Cihangir ©TriciVenola

Rain or shine, he’s sitting out in the square. 

56Goodbye Kybele72 - Book 28: HOT CROSSES

-Last Day of Ramadan August 2013. Thought I would die of sadness doing this drawing; Kybele is sold & the action is next door at Mike’s while I try to accept new experience by drawing the much-loved lobby, at once so full and so empty. ©TriciVenola 2013

Kybele is heavily featured in all my work. The new owners retained the original staff, and I still get my mail there.

59Iklim wFLutes Bells72 - Book 28: HOT CROSSES

-Iklim -A face that makes me hear flutes and bells. ©TriciVenola 2013

Iklim beat out thousands to get into the best state high school in Istanbul: Istanbul Erkek. Two years before I drew this, she’d heard me lecture there on art, and arranged lessons with two schoolmates. We share a birthday, and the honor is mine. Behind her is Hagia Sophia’s much-repaired South facade, with Ottoman windows punched in across what was originally an airy Byzantine series of columns and arches.

57Ship Graffiti Ayasofya72 - Book 28: HOT CROSSES

-Graffiti on a column upstairs in Ayasofya- Hope they survive “restoration.”

Hagia Sophia’s structural work is done by the Japanese, who fortified the dome over ten years and have strengthened the entire structure in an invisible manner. The cosmetic restorations are done by Turkey. Half of Hagia Sophia’s magnificent interior is covered with scaffolding and plywood. There’s no telling what’s being done behind it all. We hope it’s just cleaning, not sandblasting and polishing as has been done elsewhere. I’m very grateful that I had the opportunity to draw  and photograph these charming artifacts in 2012, while the basilica was scaffold-free. Happily, the whole of Hagia Sophia is likely to remain.