Monday, February 6, 2012

Awaiting Rebirth




The traditional houses of the people of Istanbul were made of wood. The vast majority of buildings you'd see in the city now are reinforced concrete apartments. I'm told that forty years ago in the place of most of the apartment blocks you see now there would have stood wooden houses.

Apparently due to the costs of insuring these dwellings because of their susceptibility to fire most of them were torn down. Now many of those remaining have preservation orders on them which means in most cases that they molder away. The lucky ones are beautifully restored and often have a grace and beauty that puts the modern ubiquitous apartment blocks to shame. I'm also told that they are a lot better in an earth quake!

This is a watercolour painting of a detail of one these old buildings, 'Awaiting rebirth'. In the past I've favoured free flowing watercolour techniques, 'allow the water to do the painting' has been a principle of mine. In my most recent phase I have allowed the subject to dictate what is going on which which leads to far more controlled, almost photographic result. Realism has never been a aim of mine but it works for this kind of subject.

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