We departed from Istanbul a few days ago and are now sailing to Morocco where we look forward to visiting an orphanage, having dinner with a Moroccan family, and exploring on our own. Our time in Turkey was incredible. We started in the old part of the city where we saw the Hagia Sophia, Grand Bazaar, Spice Market, and beautiful Mosques around every corner. The call to prayer is broadcast over loudspeakers throughout the day and sounds both striking and melodic.
Our visit took place during Ramadan, so many people were fasting during the day. One night, quite by chance, we were in an area near the Blue Mosque when people began to gather, thousands of people. At first, we were unsure what the occasion was but at sundown there was an announcement and everyone began eating together for the first time all day. It was an amazing moment to experience and throughout our time I was impressed by how frequently I would see something beautiful and unexpected.
Our last day was spent outside of Istanbul, hiking with a guide near the village of Hacili. The countryside was beautiful and it was nice to get out of the city for a while. Along the way, we hiked through a rocky riverbed, along steep drop-offs, and even saw a small waterfall. The country was rugged, healthy and reminded me quite a lot of the forests back in New York. The hike itself was pretty strenuous and I think most of the people in our group had a feeling of accomplishment when we finally reached the end.
Thoughts of Istanbul have given me plenty of material for painting. Certain forms, like paths that cross, are recurring in my work and I enjoy seeing how they change and lead me to other discoveries. In addition to painting I’ve been reading a lot while aboard the ship and I feel like this has been one of the most productive times I’ve ever had as an artist. I’m going to continue painting now and hope you enjoy a few of my recent works.