I have a sketchbook that I take with me everywhere.  I really pride myself on having a daily practice, but I gotta say I have not made a single drawing since I have been here.  I have been so completely overwhelmed visually that I can't even conceive of how to make a image right now.  I think I am intimidated by the glory all around me.  My friend Linda tells me that I have to let the experience sink in - that I should not be too hard on myself.  For a workaholic painter like myself, that is easier said than done.

What I have been doing diligently is making notes in my sketchbook.  Writing things down as they occur to me or so I do not forget them.  It has been a useful practice for me.  
I stress that I do have to start trying to draw while I am here.  I have taken a lot of photos (so many that I had to buy a portable hard drive to keep from crashing my Mac), but they are no substitute for the drawn experience.  The ability to translate what I am seeing to a painterly realm is only available through my eyes, not through a lens.  The lens is democratic - it includes everything - the eye does not. 
  • The "Splendid Door" at Hagia Sophia is a character in its own right. I want to make a painting called "Boys at the Splendid Door."
  • I understand the effect the bleached marbles of Turkey (Ephesus, Afrodisias, Pergamon) had on LeCorbusier (Chromophobia, chapter 2), but the fact that he found an absence of color is truly astounding. 
  • The grid can be divided endlessly.
  • Pattern works because you see the pattern before you see the individual elements that make it up.  This leads to hidden meaning in patterns that become clear through longer term investigations.
  • Simple tessellation results in complex patterns.
  • Reconsider blue (Aegean, Iznik, sea, sky, ocean, salt, heavy, hard, electric, air, invisible, protein, mavi, denim, headscarf, endless).
  • Intersecting patterns look more complicated than they are.
  • Iznik tile is impossible to replicate but I have to try.
  • If a pattern has an effect on the viewer, does the viewer change because of the pattern?
  • The amount of ornament is secondary to its absence.  (Palace vs. Mosque)
  • Is ornament a sign of overindulgence?  Amazing design show at Istanbul Modern about this very issue.  Adolf Loos Ornament and Crime is noted and I haven't read that in years.  I don't even think I can remember reading it.  Did I read it?  Well, now I have to read it.
  • If the grid can hold anything, what does it hold?  
  • Can the grid hold anything? Does it have to hold anything?
  • I want to paint the light from the chamber of relics at Topkapi.
  • "The Arm of the Baptist" is a great title for a painting.
  • I want to remember that a photograph is just an index.  I have no responsibility to the photograph.  I am responsible to a painting.
  • The grid is the situation.
  • Small things in a big space can be as awesome as the space itself.
  • I want to make paintings of tourists looking at nothing.
  • I want to make paintings.