Monday, August 25, 2014

Rooftop Sketching

One of my favorite places to sketch in Istanbul, is from the top of an old han, tucked away between the Grande Bazaar and Eminönü.   The view is unparalleled, and no matter how many times I visit, I always seem to find a new composition or point of interest.  The building is also full of fantastic workshops, where men are constantly at work creating metal springs, shaping hats into place or dying buttons gold.  

I have been drawing in this building for 3 years, and have started to feel completely at home when I find myself on its archaic rooftop, gasping at the 360 degree view of this beautiful city.

"Rooftop Sketch" Mixed Media on Paper, 2013



Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Aktopraklık archaeopark



I spent a couple of days last week in and around Bursa with my wife and son.  We visited a friend of ours from Istanbul University: Dr. Necmi Karul who has been excavating a neolithic/calcholitic site at Akçalar, Bursa.  Dr. Karul is also creating a wonderful Archaeopark in the region not only to tell youngsters how prehistoric man lived 8.000 years ago but also to give impressions of rural ethnographical life.  This aquarelle depicts a "çatma ev" built by Yoruks of the region 150 to 200 years ago.






























Monday, August 4, 2014

Between Gerede and Kizilcahamam

Today when going from Istanbul to Ankara, instead of the motorway, I took the old road which is also very good and not crowded. Especially the forests between Gerede and Kizilcahamam are very nice and invites for making sketches. It was so relaxing; different type of trees with all the varieties of green, a Thermos of tea and the sound of the brook and birds.

Friday, June 13, 2014

Yeni Cami

Last week I tried out some new watercolor pencils in the courtyard of Yeni Cami.  I love the softness that comes with this material, especially on a humid summer day.  Though the softness was working, I felt as though the drawing was lacking intensity, and needed something to pull it all together.  In the end I used a black brush pen to push the darks in the foreground pillars, and a light blue wash for the sky.  

When I am at a loss of where to draw, I know I can always be satisfied in Yeni Cami.  Perhaps it is the female influence, the multi domed structure, or the stunning calligraphy tiles lining the courtyard....it is peace amidst the immense chaos of Eminonu.


"Yeni Cami" Gabrielle Reeves 2014

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Harem Hotel

I go every Monday morning very early (05:30) to Ankara from Istanbul departing usually from the Harem Bus Station. As the duration of the days prolonged at this time of the year, the view of the Harem Hotel and the view behind became much more visible and pleasant with the early light of the day. Behind the hotel there is one of the towers of the Selimiye Barrack and minaret of the Defterdar Efendi Mosque.


Sunday, June 1, 2014

Rytons are animal shaped antique wine cups.  This particular ox-shaped ryton was found in Enez/Ainos excavations conducted by Istanbul University during the summer of 2009.
This sketch of Narmanli Yurdu is 5 years old already.  I have found it today as I was browsing through my drawing notebooks.  I remember myself climbing the stairs of what used to be the Four Seasons Restaurant of my college years, sitting at the balcony and drawing this sketch...  The studios of many turkish artists, novelists and poets such as Bedri Rahmi Eyuboglu, Ahmet Hamdi Tanpinar and Aliye Berger used to be within this building.