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 I kept the promise I had made to my father and brought all the money that I made from the sale of my paintings home to supplement the family's meager earnings. We still lived on very little. I often saw my father arrive in the evening, struggling beneath an enormous case of fruits and vegetables that he has scavenged from the market. The sorting of the contents left us with little more than a couple of meals. One of our most frequent evening meals during these hard times was what we used to call "singesir"; hot water seasoned with salt and garlic. When I was twenty, there was still no electricity in our home. I worked by the light of an oil lamp.
Around midnight every night, an irresistible force drew me to the edge of town where the mountains began, to the lakeshore or to the road that led to the railroad station. There my inspiration lived and my notebook grew. There, I could meditate. I often wondered how my playmates could not have become artists, too. We had done the same things, shared the same experiences. The generosity of nature, the magnificence of the mountains, the starry nights, the mystery and shimmering colors of Van lake could not have escaped anyone. Today, far from my paradise of Tatvan, this question still intrigues me.
   My journeys, my observations, my experiences and the knowledge that I acquired pushed me to give up the now prosaic streets of my town, portraits of my professors and classmates, copies of old masters and to take up a new pathway. I began following people I saw in the streets, the cafés, the railroad stations, to study the expression in the faces of villagers. The blue of the lake became ever present. Blue became a target color...