Chora Dome

Chora Dome

One of the amazing mosaic domes in the Chora Church

Well I’ve been back from Istanbul for a week now and I’m still trying to adjust to life in Australia. It’s cold for starters and I’ve been enjoying warm weather in the European summer. Luckily my partner and I purchased lovely handwoven, organic cotton bathrobes from Jennifer’s Hammam shop (another post in the making just on this shop how it is keeping Turkish handicrafts alive) in Istanbul and had them sent home. They arrived a few days after we did and we have been living in them at all possible moments as they are so warm and delicious.

Art wise I have been trawling through all of my photos of religious artworks, monuments, mosques, amazing mosaics and exhibitions that I saw on my travels and reliving it all. I also purchased a number of books on the following subjects: Islamic art and tiles, Kilims, The New Acropolis Museum, Interiors of Greek houses, Islamic Geometric tile design and Mosaics. Each of these is at least one blog post so I imagine I well be doing blog postings for some time to come from this amazing trip.

For the moment, I have posted this picture of the Chora Church in Istanbul which has some of the most amazing and well kept Byzantine mosaics. Looking at this photo you would think it was a fresco painting, but in actual fact it is all mosaic. Tiny, tiny pieces of tile amassed and applied meticulously to create this fantastic dome at the top of the church. It’s really high up too, so it would have been a massive job. Just phenomenal. I hope you can get your heads around that! I’m still trying to and I saw it in real life. WOW!!
Love and Art
Sarah-Jane

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Sketching my journey- part 1

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One of the many churches in Mykonos, Greece.

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Mykonos, Greece. Restaurant on the beach at Megali Ammo beach

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View of the church and town hall from my room in Kampos, Ikaria

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View of Armenistis church and buildings from a very tasty Greek sweet shop in Armenistis, Ikaria, Greece

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Cafe in the Hora, Amorgos.

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View from my room in the Hora, Amorgos.

Here are some little gems from my travel sketchbook. These are a selection from Greece of views, buildings and landscapes. Its not really my preferred subject matter but when you are surrounded by such amazing and stunning views everywhere you just can’t help yourself!
These are pencil sketches with watercolours just 10x14cm in a little sketchbook given to me by my friend Kim-perfect for travel. Not sure what I will do with these little sketches but now it’s time to reflect and ponder for a while and digest everything I’ve seen. Any suggestions?
Love and art
Sarah-Jane

Crochet Turkish style

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These crochet necklaces and earrings were made in Turkey and I bought them on my recent travels. The women use a very fine crochet hook. Crochet is traditionally used to make lace edgings for scarves and home wares.
Those shown above were bought in Istanbul but I also saw these being made by an old lady near Pigeon Valley in Capadoccia, central Turkey. I’m kicking myself I didn’t buy more! This woman had lots and was selling them for a mere 5 Turkish lira each, which is the equivalent of about $2.50 Australian or U.S dollars!!!!!
She was selling a lot of touristy wares as well and doing the crochet for some extra money. It was one of the few times in my six weeks away I was on a tour with a group and although it was good I really find tours frustrating. We were so rushed I couldn’t stop and chat to this lady or even think about what I wanted to buy properly. I also felt like it would have meant a lot financially to this woman if I had had the time to think about buying a few more necklaces with what was small change for me….and I loved her work. On the positive side, its always an excuse to go back again and spend more time there next time though.
Love and art
Sarah-Jane