Sunday, June 17, 2012

Istanbul, watercolor and HomeSense...

I tried painting this view a few times, and the less detail I put in the more I liked it. I may try it again later.

Sunset on the Bosphorus, Arches 40 x 30 cm
Here's a story from last weekend. While doing one of our favorite city walks, we stumbled upon an Arts-and-crafts show at Toronto's Kew gardens. I was immediately attracted by a display of magnificent watercolors. Expressive portraits of people of different walks of life and beautiful city scenes in an exciting fusion of primary colors. Some figures and views reminded us strongly of our recent trip. I started chatting with the artists and it turned out that they are Asuman and Atanur Dogan - a couple of Turkish-Canadian watercolorists and sculptors. Both highly educated and very accomplished have held exhibits throughout the world. Asuman paints mostly landscapes and city scenes in her very own style of loose washes and contrasting colors. Her husband, Atanur, paints mostly figures and portraits. One of them, an old fisherman, completely captivated me.

While we were enjoying the paintings, talking with my husband about the unjust advantage that snobby attitudes give to oil in comparison to watercolor, two ladies approached.
"I like these very much!" said the first, pointing to the paintings.
"Yes, they are beautiful. But these things are not in style now. You should go to HomeSense to see the current style!" replied the second. (For those who don't know, HomeSense sells wall decorations along with its off-price home furnishing and kitchen ware.)
And I was worrying about the fate of watercolor vs. oil!

This little event made me realize how hard it must be to make a living with art, even if you are really good. And it made me admire these two people even more, and the others like them. They are apparently very skillful and versatile and could work in any medium, but they have chosen to stick to the one they are passionate about. They not only create, but also actively work towards popularizing watercolor and bringing together all watercolor artists through societies and events. I am so glad that I met them and so proud that two of the big names in watercolors live in "my neck of the woods."

10 comments:

EVELIN said...

very nice!
Ciao from Italy

Sadami said...

Dear Blaga,
The work is so lovely, especially colours are very eye pleasant. The post is true and very touchy. Thank you for sharing the wonderful post.
Kind regards, Sadami

Judy said...

You have met two extraordinary people, I think. I had a look at their site: wonderful!
Your painting is beautiful! Lovely colours and great atmosphere! You were right to leave out details!

Tito said...

Hi blaga, I knew the works of Atanur Dogan, he's a great artist indeed.
Congratulations for your beautiful view of Istambul, I like it. Ciao!

Jane said...

What a fortunate encounter ! Yes, I think it is very hard to live from your art, I know a few..but they are certainly not swimming in gold even though they manage to get by.
Love the skyline of Istanbul, a city I have still to see . xx

renate said...

Hello Blaga:) Beautiful skyline! Love all the water in the front. You made an exellent painting:)

Rita Vaselli said...

Dear Blaga, your post is very
interesting! It 'nice to know the stories of artists, art is often difficult to live! And very successful artists do a poor job and vice versa, people of great value are not rewarded by the market.

Your landscape of Istanbul is very well done!Brava Blaga,
warmly,Rita.

Nora MacPhail said...

Gorgeous Blaga. Wonderful darks. Very serene.

Blaga said...

Thank you, Evelin!

Thank you for your feedback, Sadami! I'm glad you liked the post.

Thank you, Judy and Tito! And yes, the Dogans are great artists and I too very glad i got acquainted with them and their art.

That's true, Jane, it was a very interesting encounter for me. Thank you, for the comment and, yes, Istanbul is worth seeing!

Thank you, Renate! I had hard time with the water. initially I painted it ruffled as it's on the photo and it seemed boring and ugly. This is more made-up but looks much better.

Rita, I think that in almost every field, the market does not reward the true value. But that's even more so in art. Thank you for your comment!

Thank you so much, Nora!

JANE MINTER said...

wonderful painting blaga ... both are very talented artist .