Tuesday, October 6, 2009

There's always time for Tea in Istanbul

It always amazes me how modern life weaves itself around history in Istanbul- how a little corner store can move itself into a five hundred year old monument, how old men drink tea next to an Ottoman fountain, or how I could be living above an ancient Roman cistern and not even know it.

"There is always time for Tea in Istanbul" in a playful take of that dichotomy, Generations of sultans having a chat in a local coffee shop setting. I imagine throughout the ages of the empires fought and won here, there was always time to stop for tea at some point, drinking it the way Turks like to drink it, in thin tulip shaped glasses which somehow, by the shape of the glass guarantees the liquid inside will be sweeter. Discerning eyes may notice there are only two spoons on the table. If you'd like to know where the third spoon is, you can find the story here.

Painted with fine details in the costumes after a recent trip to the Topkapi Palace to admire the robes of the actual sultans, I decided to paint the backdrop to imitate Ottoman miniature paintings that were originally copied for illuminated manuscripts. Ahhhh Tea. Sultans. History. Istanbul. Enjoy!


  1. lovely! btw about those upward pointed moustaches in your paintings, is that the turkish way?


  2. How can you bear to leave? So much to see and experience...

    Interestingly, Paul was wearing Sultan shoes at his wedding, which was about the time you were painting this I assume. The curly toes were teleported. ;0)

    Would love to listen in on this conversation.

  3. Your usual awsomeness! I like the detail. This one particularly appeals to me. I truly enjoy your posts