Saturday, July 23, 2011

The Bosphorus

View of the Bosphorus, watercolour, 2010
As we board the ferry from Üsküdar to Kabataş, a quick fifteen minute journey across the Bosphorus from Asia to Europe, I always glance at the sky and the horizon wondering what I'll see. The Bosphorous has many moods in the four seasons that Istanbul enjoys and at times the view is breathtaking. Sometimes dolphins (or maybe porpoise) can be seen in the spring as the 'hamsi' (anchovies) come down in their millions from the Black Sea.

How many times do you have to see something before you can paint it? Of course there's the impact a sight can make on one at first viewing, this can trigger inspiration. But I've found that often frequently seeing the same sight in different weather conditions, or at different times of the day can lead to me one day seeing something that suddenly inspires me to paint it.

Zonaro (yes I know I mentioned him before) captured beautifully the purples  of the shadows cast by the setting sun. He would then offset them strikingly with the warm golden sun resting on the Bosphorus. He would portray the late sun striking the buildings with a single dab of colour amidst the smokey mauve of the advancing shadows. 

The city's changed but its colours remain the same.

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