Wednesday, 17 January 2018

KEEPING AWAY THE COBWEBS. (Weekly Art Project; Istanbul #3.)

 The Blue Mosque is so named because of the number of blue Iznik tiles that grace the walls of it's interior.  My distinct memory, is of being somewhat disappointed that there weren't MORE blue tiles!!  I did think that the Mosque was exquisite, but when led to believe one thing, only to find that the reality isn't QUITE what was imagined...that can be a bit of a let down!

So, in this Mosque, it isn't the tiles that I have remembered, it's the Ostrich egg!  A few of Istanbul's Mosques include ostrich eggs amidst their light fixtures as they are believed to deter spiders & consequently...cobwebs!  It must have worked, because I didn't see any evidence of spidery activity whilst I was there!

The other part of the Mosque that I distinctly remember, is the courtyard, with it's simple plastered domes. it's stripey bricks & the elegant pattern work painted in a single colour.  The medallions & lace-like patterns managed to be both intricate and simple & I thought they were beautiful.

 Looking at my photographs, I've also been disappointed to discover that the few taken of the tiles, that are actually in focus, are rather dark.  Nevertheless,  I use these to make some simple linear sketch 'notes' in my work book. 

Whilst doing this, I'm still thinking about the ostrich egg & the courtyard motifs.
How can I bring all of these components together to create something unique & new?

Whilst I am trying to create a design, there are other things going on in my household.  I have interruptions & frustrations & feel utterly discombobbled!  I do wonder whether I should just leave the WAP for the day & do it again when I can focus more.  My disciplinary self admonishes me with a reminder that I've made this commitment & MONDAY is the day I set aside to complete it, so it HAS to be done then!!  I sigh & plod on until I reach the point where I've got the bones of an idea, but not the fine points.

As you can see from the multiple line changes above...I just couldn't make up my mind!  It was time to just  start & hopefully something would click & it would all fall neatly into place once I got going!

I chose my fabrics, which thankfully required a minimal number!!.

 First of all I wanted to prepare my background.  This cute fabric has been in my stash for at least 20 years.  I have no idea what it was originally purchased for, but it is perfect for this project.  With a white background & repeated intertwining flowers & vines, it is reminiscent of the wall tiles of the Mosque's interior.  I divided the space with lines of machine sewn stitch to represent the wires from which the chandeliers hang.  Perhaps it would be better to sew more lines, but I stick with the initial 4.
 After layering up & cutting back, this was my result.

I had wanted to showcase the egg & my plan had been to decorate it with my variation of a tile flower design & some of the decorative patterning.

Whilst this isn't a COMPLETE disaster, it doesn't really say 'Turkish Mosque'.  Instead it looks like an easter egg decorated with a Scottish thistle in the style of a logo for a country club! 
Not quite what I had hoped for. 
I did like the effectiveness of the plain blue & the brilliant gold though, so that was one positive!

 I slept on it & awoke the next morning with less distractions & went down to my work room to start work on other art works.

However, the Easter Egg just kept staring at me & I knew that I couldn't leave my weekly project there.  Even if it did mean that I was about to break one of my self imposed rules.  At the end of the day, I want these projects to represent my memories & experiences, & what I had achieved the day before wasn't doing that for me.

I started asking myself the question...what if I turned it around?  Out came the paints & pen & I quickly whipped up a new interpretation from the preliminary drawings the day before.  This looked more promising.  I had just enough of that background fabric, so I set to work again.

My final result is this.

And ...yes...the first thing my daughter asked was whether it was a football!
But I know it's an egg & I'm relieved that the flower is no longer Scottish looking!!  Whilst it is still not a perfect outcome, it is much improved on the initial attempt.  These projects aren't about perfection, they are about exploring possibilities & stretching my concept & design skills!

In hindsight, I might have been better to have stopped on Monday, when I was finding it so hard to focus.  I respect my 'disciplinary' self, & I recognise that the reason I was being so strict, is that if I didn't give myself time boundaries  I'd be chipping away at it all week, when I have other commitments that need that time. 
Having said that...perhaps I could allow myself to be a wee bit more flexible! ;-)

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