Turkish Painting: Drawing and painting were never my good talents. I think I’m creative, but I’ve never been able to use a pencil or art brush to create pictures worth hanging on the wall throughout my life. Maybe that’s why, instead, I drifted toward photography, because it seems all the research is being done for you.
However, there has always been the eagerness for artistic innovation, so when I saw a Facebook page advertising Turkish Painting Holidays, I signed up immediately and in June of this year, packed my bags and headed off to the small village of Gokcebel, near Yalikavak on Turkey’s Bodrum peninsula.
Coming to Old Stone Cottage
Turkish Painting: Walking through the old stone cottage’s wooden gate was a surprise as none of these can be seen from the street. Behind the old brick walls, there was a wide garden overflowing with scented flowers and trees, a paved pergola field, a swimming pool conveniently tucked away in the corner and following a paved road, I came to the corner of the artists, overflowing with easels, canvases and acrylic, oil and watercolor paint boxes.
All of this surrounded the quaintest restored 200-year-old stone cottage that has retained as much as possible of the original architecture.
My room was on the upper floor overlooking the courtyard, combined with all the traditional décor and modern facilities such as Wi-Fi and satellite TV.
Turkish Painting: Leaving my luggage in the house, I made my way downstairs as it was a daytime swap so guests left as others arrived last week.
I was glad to meet 3 other guests like me, women who were traveling alone when the last to arrive were an adventurous and easy-going couple who had an fascinating talk point about their alpacas pets.
Linda, the friend, who also had a infectious laugh, painted for a hobby and I came to the conclusion during the week that she could easily produce exceptionally good works of art, but she proceeded to criticize her own work at every stage.
Her husband Roy did not have much interest in drawing, but always participated in all the excursions and always did the coffee run as we all mastered our always-life art or finished off the day before our landscape pictures.
There were six people in our group all together and despite being the only beginner I was confident about the week ahead. Everyone had their own character, level of experience and medium preference, whether it was watercolors, acrylics or oils, but we all slipped into conversation easily and I firmly believe I was right at the right time.
The Painting Holiday Tutors
When I think of the tutors, I smile, because their painting style clearly reflected their character.
Sandra is an expert in aquarelles, a medium requiring gentle contact, soft pastel colors, and a steady hand for detail with a keen eye.
She is always spoken softly, has a gentle personality, but she also picks up subtle detail in ordinary things that people like me will never look at twice. She’s also a professional illustrator for printed books and specializes in wildlife art having studied art at the college.
Eljay is a teacher but also the brainchild of the ancient stone cottage and the Turkish Painting Holidays. She restored the cottage after living in the Bodrum area for several years and then reached into her art education and career experience to carry on doing what she loves.
Without batting an eyelid, she multi-skills and organizes the daily schedule, shops, is the driver and prepares all of the typical Turkish food served for breakfast , lunch and dinner.
She specializes in acrylic and oil painting, which are extremely versatile, just like her, between writing the cookbook for which she was commissioned. If no-one as a tutor requires any help from her, she whips up an easel, pulls out her palette, and like Sandra, without any effort, conjures up a masterpiece.
The Painting Itinerary for the Week
While this was a painting trip with professional tutors on hand, a soothing agenda was put on. People could opt as they wanted to in or out of the activities. In the ancient ruins of Iasos one day was spent drawing and painting. I had figured out at this stage that drawing didn’t come easy for me, so instead I opted to sit down in a restaurant and paint seascapes.
On another day, we headed to a traditional mountain village where we met the crazy muhtar (village head), who had fallen off a roof just the week before and broke his arm after drinking too much Raki. For painting ideas, he walked around the village and took us to traditional homes to see local women making carpets and then cooked us a BBQ on the rooftop!
Alternatively, guests might go on boat trips, go walking around nearby Yalikavak, or go off alone to paint what they liked.
How have I looked at painting?
To be honest, I came as a total novice, so please give me some leeway when I say nothing of good quality has been done.
However, I learned a lot about depth, composition, drawing, different artists and their styles as well as different painting mediums and before I left Bodrum, I went to the art store and bought paintbrushes, canvases and acrylic paints.
Since returning home, I still haven’t created something that I would be able to hang on the wall. I guess I would still be intrigued by the idea of splashing paint onto the canvas in some ad-hoc pattern and it crossed my mind as to if I was simply bad at drawing and painting and would give up.
There’s one simple reason I’m not going to. I get those zen moments that I always think about when drawing and painting. The short glimpses of time when you disconnect from the physiological clock that governs our everyday life. The moment you get so engrossed in what you’re doing is that nothing else matters.
While I was living at the old stone cottage, I was disconnected from the internet for four days and de-hooking was a great relief. Back home, several afternoons whizzed by as I look out from photos on my balcony painting.
Science also confirms my belief, as this article states that art is really good for you, and it should be created by people whether they are talented or not.
It would be cool if I could post a painting on Facebook one day saying “look what I’ve done,” but in the meantime, I’m just grateful to have an enjoyable hobby that makes me drop into the Zen moment.
Know more about Turkish Painting Ferien in Bodrum
There will be 7 and 10 day stays for future years. Their website contains lots of area, course, price and accommodation information. For updates on art, Turkey and the Bodrum Peninsula, you can follow them on Facebook too.
Turkey is a place where you can find a wide range of natural attractions that nobody else in the world can see. It is easy to reconnect with nature in Turkey, with 43 national parks and 300 wetland areas. With Turkey Tour and Turkey Tour packages, come and discover the amazing natural wonders, natural protected areas, and nature parks in our country.
Explore all of Turkey’s natural beauties, such as breathtaking crashing waterfalls, magnificent mountains, idyllic Black Sea plateaus, beautiful canyons, fascinating valleys, breathtaking crater lakes, floodplain forests, majestic trees, lakes and rivers. Cappadocia Tour and Cappadocia Tour 2 days are available to guide you, visit them to explore more about Turkey its neighborhoods and its culture.