"Everyone wants to understand painting. Why is there no attempt to understand the song of the birds?"
NIGHT BIRDS OVER AYA SOFYA 25.5 x 15
This was a little sketch I did months ago of birds flying over Aya Sofya (Hagia Sophia). I wasn't really that pleased with the painting, but many people love the energy of this one. I may try to repaint this one before the show if I am inspired enough to do so! this week I've picked up the paint brush and gotten back into birds.
This week, the Webbs parted for Greece. It was sad to see them go. Parents of a high school friend of mine from my hometown, having them around Istanbul was like having family visit. I gave Jan a copy of the Blue Mosque print. Ralph, looking at a few other pantings, observed, "You sure like to paint birds."
I hadn't really thought about it before. In fact, I am quite scared of painting birds. If you get them wrong, they look really really, tragically wrong.
But lately, watching birds come and go from the roof next door, I have been observing seagulls, pigeons and crows, and a few sparrow like birds as well. I never really noticed that pigeons have red eyes, or that seagulls fly with their legs flopping down, not like the little airborn torpedos sparrows can be.
So here are two paintings this week, both including birds. Thanks for the inspiration, Ralph!
NIGHT BIRDS OVER THE BLUE MOSQUE
At night, the mosques are illuminated all around Istanbul with big spot lights aimed upwards along the walls. It apparently confuses the seagulls however, who, suffering from light pollution don't understand that it's time to sleep. When the call to prayer comes, there is usually a giant burst of seagulls fleeing the roof, where they may have found a dark corner to rest.
THE BIRD FEEDERS OF SULTANAHMET
Next to the Blue Mosque in the Hippodrome, there are a group head-scarved ladies that sell bird feed in little dishes to tourists who in turn feed the numerous fat pigeons who gather there. These women can be found all over Istanbul in front of mosques and squares, wherever pigeons gather. I have never seen seagulls gather along with the pigeons to peck at the bird seed on the ground, so there is a little artistic license included here! this painting gave me a lot of trouble, but Rene's artistic guidance and critical eye helped me save it. But like children, the ones who give you the most trouble often end up your favourite.