The feral side of Ephesus, Turkey.
Last summer I was fortunate to travel throughout the Mediterranean and spent a memorable day at the Greco-Roman tourist mecca of Ephesus, Turkey. At the port at Kusadasi we were met by our private guide for the 1/2-hour drive to the site. We passed through rolling hills of olive trees and bypassed the out-of-place Aqua Fantasy Aquapark before arriving at the gateway to Ephesus, the farming town of Selçuk.
Scholars, explorers and grad students have been excavating Efes for over 160 years and only a fraction of the area has been unearthed. As is true for most of the region, many religious and political pasts converge here and can be experienced by walking among ancient ruins and active archeological digs. The sheer quantity and scale of structures made me feel humbled. Imagine that every stone shard and fragment has been used to painstakingly piece together immense facades, colonnades, retaining walls, roofless buildings. Nothing is solid, nothing matches, very little is intact, yet so much has been constructed to recreate the different societies that once thrived here.
What will I paint from here? Ferns, vines, flowering plants have nestled in the cracks of masonry adding pretty touches of color that soften the hard edges. Colonies of feral cats enjoy hanging out on the sun-heated rocks. Back in my studio, as I’m waiting for a snowmaggedon of a storm to hit NYC, I recall the intense, energy-sapping heat of the day in Ephesus. The brilliant blue of the sky. The shaggy mix of stone, clay, dust. I love this sweet kitty—the marble and stone are just as interesting—and boy I have a lot of textures to explore.
Arches cold press, 300 lb, 10″ x 10″