Saturday, November 26, 2011, where was i?

...and I'm back! Apologies for the absence, but things just got way too busy here in Istanbul, and the cherry on top was a nasty flu. I flew back from Vienna into a maelstrom of work, and somehow, as usual, made it through to the other side. So this week, my friends, we shall travel back in time to Vienna, as I have some lovely photos and sketches to share with you. Right now I have to do some much-needed errand running (it always seems when you are sick, that the world moves double-speed past you while you are in bed, and you have to run twice as fast to catch up to it). Off to the post office, the market, and a coffeeshop!

Monday, November 21, 2011


My friends, I promise I will soon return— life has suddenly gotten very, very busy.
I have so much to share.
Until then...

Thursday, November 10, 2011

and the winner is...

Congratulations, Susan McCurry! You have won an original sketch from my trip to Vienna— which I will post as soon as I can get it scanned... I just wanted to let you know that your name was selected from the fancy hat.
Stay tuned!

And you were all right, Austria is bordered by eight countries, not seven— Liechtenstein! 
Gets me every time.

the mumok

Often what I define as art does not coincide with what is hung on the walls of galleries and museums.
That being said, there were some pieces I enjoyed at Vienna's modern art museum, the MUMOK.
I found myself more drawn to the stark contrast of the gallery attendants' black against the whiteness of the space. Little drops of ink...

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

the pretty type

Beautiful typography can be found wherever you turn your head in Vienna. Among the twisted statues of bare-breasted nymphs and muscled heroes, lie the most delightful serifs and swashes. The pretty ornaments in the last sign caused such a distraction, that I actually fell off a step, contorting my ankle beyond its limit, which resulted in a terrible insult to an old injury. A previously torn ligament (nearly two years ago) screamed at me, making for a very painful limp around old Vienna. Ah, typography!

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

guten abend!

I've just returned from exploring the lovely, pristine streets of Vienna! Many of you have correctly guessed my mystery destination for the Win a Sketch competition, which means there will be a lot of names to toss into my fancy hat to draw from. I'll be selecting the winner Thursday evening, so stay tuned! Naturally, there will be plenty of photos, stories and sketches to follow— oh! and a surprise destination...

Friday, November 4, 2011

sketches with sketchers

Now that the Italian Sketchers have returned home, life in Istanbul has returned to its October grey. I was delighted to be around fellow sketchers again, as it can be quite isolating and demotivating in Istanbul, having failed at finding other sketchers who will actually show up when you invite them to draw with you. We visited my favourite tea garden, the Firuzağa Çaybahçesi, we wandered around the colourful, crumbling streets of Balat, and we sketched the B. Arda, much to the bafflement of the boat's owner, Bülent, who was working intensely on something metallic aboard the boat. We gathered a crowd of curious fishermen and passerbys, who praised us with many a "Vaaayyy!" and "Çok güzel!" and "Harika," some trying to snap pictures of us with their phones. After some time, Bülent came ashore to offer us grapes, on a small porcelain platter.

Sketching the B. Arda.

I think I need to look into airfare to Rome!

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

art and laughter

Wandering around Istanbul with nine Italian sketchers for a weekend results in abdomens sore from laughter, tired feet, icicle fingers which struggle to hold pens and brushes, and one big, happiness. There is so much to say, so much I want to share about the last few days, but I am struggling to find the words. We feasted, we clinked glasses, we explored, we invented jokes, and we drew.

I am eternally grateful to Urban Sketchers for connecting me with so many wonderful people over the past three years. Grazie, Italian Sketchers— I'll see you in Rome one day!

Art and laughter.
You couldn't ask for much more.

Stay tuned for the sketches!