Saturday, November 30, 2013

Tea Culture

These are several scenes from Turkey, where contrary to popular belief, the national drink is tea, not coffee. You can buy this strong black tea in a small curvy glass practically everywhere - from restaurants and cafes to road-side boots. And everyone there drinks it. I quite liked its taste and still make it at home now and then.
In the small towns men do not gather at the pub, but rather at the tea house. This is where they discuss politics and the latest football game while playing backgammon.
The Tea House 1, watercolor 38 x 28 cm
The Tea House 2, watercolor 38 x 28 cm
Serving tea, watercolor sketch
Two men, watercolor sketch

13 comments:

Polly Birchall said...

Great studies of people and even their faces have expressions on. Interesting to learn a bit about Turkey too. Have a great Sunday

Judy said...

Beautiful paintings, Blaga! I love how you captured these men, their postures and their expressions! And interesting info about Turkey. Is the tea very sweet?

Sadami said...

Dear Blaga, thank you for the interesting post and the wonderful paintings. In my eyes, your watercolour gets better and better! I'm particularly interested in your dry brush that makes a texture. I'm learning it from YOU!
Keep up wonderful work! Go, go, Blaga!!
Best wishes, Sadami

Blaga said...

Thank you, Polly! I was trying to simplify the faces to a few brushstrokes without much detail - a partially successful attempt. I'm glad you see expressions in them.

Thank you, Judy! Unlike the arab tea, which is boiled with sugar, the turkish tea is steeped and you put as many sugar cubes in the glass as you want. I like the tangy, bitterish taste of strong tea, so I have mine with no sugar.

Thank you, Sadami! I wasn't a big fan of dry brush as I associate watercolor with smooth fluid washes. But it is a valuable technique when trying to suggest something, with no details, or to express movement. It is easier to do it on rougher paper. I may be going a bit overboard with it lately, while I'm trying to get the hang of it.

Catharina Engberg said...

Nice paintings. I had a turkish friend many years back when living in Malmö. They had some beautyful glasses in which they served thea.They wanted it strong and sweet I remember. I want my thea strong but only with milk, no sugar.

Rita Vaselli said...

Going east, the culture of tea, takes precedence over the coffee culture!
And the same, going to Northern Europe.
  The atmosphere of what is happening around the tea,
  you have very well represented in these watercolors and with your words.
Congratulations, dear Blaga!

Jane said...

You did some really great scenes, quite elaborate and complex, but you make it seem so easy !

Mercedes Ares said...

Hola Blaga: Estas escenas de los bares y de las personas, estan magnificas y muy reales. Muy buena la información que desconocía. Una hermosa semana!!!!

Tito said...

Ciao Blaga, complimenti per queste belle scene di vita. Interessanti le pose dei vari personaggi, per niente rigide ma tutte molto naturali. Bravissima!

renate said...

Dear Blaga:) Your paintings do show exact how I remember it from TV. Over here the dutch (older) men don't sit together. As far as I know it is only know in Turkey or for Turkish men. Lovely paintings!xx

Blaga said...

Thank you, Catharina! I noticed the vast selection of beautiful tea glasses in the stores there.

You are right, Rita, about the regional character of tea v.s. coffee drinking. To me it was a surprise, though, as on the Balkans turkish coffee is a big thing, left over from Ottoman times.
Thank you for your comment!

Thank you, Jane!

Grazias, Mercedes!

Thank you, Tito! It took will-power to not let myself get carried away with details, which would have added rigidity.

Thank you, Renate! I think that this custom of getting together to chat is very typical of all Mediterranean countries. I remember it from the Bulgarian villages. I've seen it in Spain, France, Italy, Greece... Just the contents of the glasses is different, from tea or coffee, to ouzo, sambuca, pastis... :)

Floriana Quaini said...

ciao Blaga,
mi piace molto il raduno alla tea house 2 perchè rende benissimo l'atmosfera. Un po' rilasata, un po' annoiata, di un gruppo di persone che si scambiano impressioni ed emozioni in un tranquillo pomeriggio... Bello!
Ciao, abbracci, Floriana
p.s. Ti ringrazio tanto per i tuoi commenti sinceri e sempre molto graditi.

Mari Jose Molina said...

Me encantan todos estos cuadros, me gusta especialmente en los que retratas a varias personas, son geniales!