Papermaking and Intaglio Printing

The Creative Arts topic this quarter was Place. It was my turn to present and given my interest in the concept of 'Place' as it relates to art making, I wanted to inspire my students with a topic that I find inspiring.  

We are fortunate that our school is located on a beautifully wooded campus in the center of Istanbul.  We so frequently think of our school as a place of impressive buildings and intelligent students, and sometimes forget that one of the things that makes our school special is the environment that we are in.  We focused this project on the flora and fauna of our campus, making our own paper and printing it with observational drawings of the plant and insect life that thrive in this green space in the middle of the city.

Tea Topography

My work has always been heavily grounded in a sense of Place. When I live within view of the mountains and pine trees, I incorporate motifs of mountains and trees in my work. Since New Years, I've been increasingly interested in creating abstract representations of Robert College, Istanbul, and Turkey.  

Tea and Turkish culture are synonymous. With this piece I was interested in creating a topographical landscape or map utilizing the ubiquitous beverage as the media.

Tea Topography,  50x70cm, Tea and ink on paper

Tea Topography, 50x70cm, Tea and ink on paper

Neutral Landscapes in the Studio

Today I challenged myself to create a series of neutral landscapes from the primaries. Living in a metropolis of over 15,000,000 people, my landscapes now tend more toward the urban than the 'land'.  Creating this print of the hill across the Bosphorus from me was fun as I mixed different values of neutral tones on this overcast March day.  

When I was finished with these neutral colors I experimented with printing on leftover pieces of tea-stained paper and used other templates from an earlier series.

View of Camlica Hill , 30x40cm, monoprint

View of Camlica Hill, 30x40cm, monoprint

Lino Cutting and ExLibris in the Studio

With the end of the quarter, we have been busy finishing up projects and preparing to share the work!

In Creative Arts, we focused on the theme of "Ritual" and discussed the difference between rituals and habits. For many of the students, reading is part of a daily or regular ritual. We learned about the history and importance of books and reading throughout history and how books were considered precious items. These precious items were identified to their owners with bookplates or "Ex Libris". 

The students create Ex Libris pieces in linoleum, reflecting things that are important to them and their ritual.  We printed them using a rainbow of colors on our printing press.

Explorations of my environment

Recently, I've been drawn more to alternative techniques of image making, rather than exclusively printing or photography.  I've been creating drawings and paintings based on my specific environment.  Some are focused on the one-hundred year old building I work in. A majestic school building, complete with columns and arched windows and old marble floors. In places, these floors are cracked from the pressure of thousands of students and teachers footsteps as they hurry to class, the library, the science labs.  These cracks create a history and a mark on this huge stone building, and a sort of a topographical landscape when viewed from above.

Impressions of Students, Robert College 1,  50x70cm, graphite on paper

Impressions of Students, Robert College 1, 50x70cm, graphite on paper

Sadness for Istanbul

Waking up on New Years to the news of yet another horrific terror attack in my city. This time, right down the road from where I live, at a nightclub I've passed hundreds of times.  After a December of bombings and insecurity, I am filled with sadness and uncertainty for the future. Will we stay or go?

Immersing myself in the topography of the city, meditating on the colors of my palate as the water flowed on the page creating land masses, highways, and, of course the Bosphorus Strait, was calming and healing on this first day of 2017.

Istanbul,  50x70cm, Watercolor on paper

Istanbul, 50x70cm, Watercolor on paper