This has been a weekend of Istanbul Art for me. I love travelling and these days, new places are quite often also a source of new visual inspiration. This was absolutely the case with Istanbul.
This is a city with so many facets. To start with, it spans two continents. We are staying in Eastern Europe, and last night, popped across the river to have supper – in Asia. I love the idea that this city has one half in Europe and the other in Asia. And the two sections couldn’t be more different in feel. The European side houses the old city and features the historic buildings we all know about. The Asian side is buzzy and modern and features rows of contemporary pavement restaurants and English language schools. Both side are fun – in a very different way.
My Istanbul Art
We’ve had so many places to see in only a few days so my own art has consisted of a few sketches. There will be more when I get home though. My head is filled with image and ideas.
The Grand Bazaar is worth a visit – but expect to be constantly asked to come and look at goods. Every shop seems to employ someone to stand at the door and entice customers in – and they can be quite persistent. Its not so surprising when you realise that there are around 5000 (Yes, five thousand. That’s not a typo) shops in the bazaar and many of them sell the same sort of goods. The shops are sometimes no more than stalls, but every one is crammed with wares. This covered market dates back to 1461 and the vaulted ceilings are all painted with complex ancient patterns in yellow, green, blue and red.
The Blue Mosque and the Ayasofia are both on everyone’s ‘must see when visiting Istanbul’ lists. And now that I’ve seen them, I can understand why. We saw both on one day and my preferred one of the two was the Ayasofia, simply because it has such a fascinating and complex history which shows in the building. In a busy day, I sat on the steps for 10 minutes after visiting these two impressive buildings, and tried to capture the imposing feel of the Blue Mosque in my sketchbook.
More about Istanbul art in a future post.
Wash a Week Challenge – Back to the Quinacridones
This is Week 5 of the Wash a Week Challenge and I’m exploring Quinacridone Purple and along with a different type of sponge for painting.