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.
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.
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...