Sunday, August 31, 2014

Canarian Tomatoes Still Life Painting

"Tomate Canario" is a tiny, tasty beautiful fruit. We consume a lot all year around and keep them on the kitchen counter in a traditional handwoven basket till they get very ripe to eat. I am painting these Canarian tomatoes (the picture below) with oil colors on a canvas sheet. 

 Work in progress

"Canarian Tomatoes", oil on canvas sheet, 7" x 5"

Last week I did several still life sketches for the cookbook project. They are mostly vegetables and fruits and some kitchen utensils. The best light is coming from the kitchen window in the afternoons. Watch the short clip and see the finished drawings below.

Drawing mango and manga fruit

Sketch of Mango (the big one) and Manga

Sketch of Garlic and a dent

Another painting is about to finish. It is our pressure cooker, "The Magic Pot" with Canarian tomatoes reflected on it. I just used it to cook for a delicious leek recipe. I am sharing my recipe below, if you try to make it please leave a comment to let me know how did it come out... 

"Magic Pot", work in progress

Zetinyagli Pirasa (a Turkish recipe; Leeks with olive oil)

3 leeks (cleaned and diced in 2 cm.)
2 carrots (skinned and diced thinly)
half an onion (chopped tiny)
1 table spoon rice
50 ml olive oil (little less than a quater of a glass)
1 piece of concentated vegetable stock
half of dessert spoon of salt
1 dessert spoon sugar
2 table spoon lemon juice
1 glass of cold water

Put all the ingredients in the pressure pot in once. Close the cover and start cooking in high temperature. When the vapor comes out switch it to close position  and lower the heat to minimum. Cook for 5 min. Turn the fire off and keep it on the same spot about half an hour. Than move the pressure pot on the marble counter top for another 10 min. to cool down the temperature and open safely. This dish can be eaten at room temparature with a few drops of lemon juice. Enjoy it!

Have a great week!

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Sunday, August 24, 2014

Gazpacho, a Spanish favourite for hot summer

After taking a reference picture of the mixer with gazpacho (cold tomate soup). I decided to work with oil painting for my upcoming "Kitchen Stories" project. I tried to stick with the reference picture except the backgroung color, instead of using the original color on the picture I chose the blue tone. I thunk it looks more interesting like this.  Enjoy it! Have a great week.

"Gazpacho", Oil on canvas, 8" x 10", 2014, 
Available, click on SHOP

Gazpacho (Spanish cold tomato soup)

4-5 ripe tomatoes
200 gr cucumber
100 gr sweet red bell pepper
A quarter of sweet onion 
2 pieces of garlic
A stem of celery stalk
1 slice of sandwich bread (the first or the last piece of the bag)
50 gr pickled beet with its juice
1 or 2 table spoons of wine vinegar (put 1 spoon at first, mix it and taste it, add more vinegar if necessary) 
A quarter of a glass olive oil 
A quarter of dessert spoon sea salt 
A pinch of sugar
2 ice cubes

Gazpacho is a very typical cold (chilled) soup for summer meals. Keep the vegetables in the fridge for few hours before starting to prepare the dish. Otherwise, chill the mixture for an hour or so for better taste. This soup can be eaten next day as well. Cut the tomatoes in four pieces with their skin, put it in the blender. Add skinned cucumber, garlic, onion in small pieces. Add red bell pepper, celery stalk, pieces of the slice bread and pickled beet with its juice. Add oil olive, pinch of sugar, 2 ice cubes, salt and a spoon of vinegar. Mix it for 5 minutes until it is smooth. Taste it for vinegar or salt if necessary. 

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Friday, August 15, 2014

Art is everywhere you look...

Street Art from La Garita, Telde, Gran Canaria, August 2014

This year, the summer is treating us very good. The average temperature is changing between 26- 29 Celsius degrees during the day time in Gran Canaria Island. Most people take their vacation time in the month of August. So, it is kind of dead month for many businesses. Many art galleries are closed for the month as well. Last week, taking this factor as an advantage, we did a few family and friend meetings, beach time and walked by the promenades in near by coastal towns. This week, I finished the face and started to form the mountain area on the mosaic project. 

"Over the clouds" mosaic, work on progress

In the mean time I was working on my "Early Works" e-book project. Even though it has been ready to share in PDF format for a while, I am holding it for a good reason. The pdf document of the e-book came out perfectly but there is a problem when I share it through any web browser on the web. The links of the pdf e-book are not opening on the new browser window. That means, once you click on any link to go to that linked webpage you are using the same window on your browser and by clicking on "back" button you are going all the way at beginning of the e-book again. I know, It shouldn't be that way but Adobe Indesign has no option to fix this huge problem. Many people had the same problem and some of them found out the solution for buying an extension plug in to fix it (which costs more than $100). Of course, there is no question about if I could do the same thing, simply, I cannot afford it... But on the other hand you can enjoy the e-book, if you open it with Adobe acrobat reader, downloading to your device first, instead of viewing it on your web browser.

"Early Works" e-book is coming soon on PDF format
updated blog post click to read the e-book at

Yesterday I sketched the first painting of the cookbook project on the canvas sheet. The composition is our pressure pot with a few tomatoes reflecting their images on it. We love this pot, because, we save lots of time and energy with this pot. Definitely, it makes our lives much easier. As a child, I used to watch how my mother using hers in the kitchen. When the vapour came out from the pot with the whistle, my mother used to give me the task of putting the vent weight piece on the lid. And it was really magical! Now we have the modern version of it which comes with the safe switch button. This pot was a gift from my brother to us when we moved to our new apartment a few years ago. But it is not the first one we had. We used to have another one in New York for many years...  

"Magical Pot", sketched on canvas for oil painting, work in progress.

If you enjoyed reading this blog post, please contribute something... For example, you can leave a comment what you are thinking about my artwork. 

Life is beautiful for me, What about for you?

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Monday, August 4, 2014

Catch a Falling Star and Put It In Your Pocket, Save It For a Rainy Day...

Last week, I finished the recycled computer screen and oil painting project. It is looking very cool, isn't it?  

"Immortal Wallpaper", by Birsen Ozbilge, oil painting on canvas, mounted on flat computer screen, 2014

I worked on the face of the figure on the mosaic artwork. It is very hard to deal with limited colors of vitreous tiles when it comes to flesh colors but I do my best as always.

"Over the clouds" mosaic artwork piece work on progress

This week, I am going to start on a clunary painting project called "Kitchen Stories". I love cooking in a relaxed atmosphere for friends and family. My mother gave me my first cook book (see pic below) when I was taking cooking classes at age 12. From that time till today I have learned and created new recipes and collected cook books (see pic below) in English, Spanish and Turkish languages. 

My first cook book, in the Turkish language

Kitchen Library, 2014

Cooking duck breast with fois gras and chips, Buenavista, 2006

The inspiration of this project is coming from a cook book called “Painters & Food Renaissance Recipes"(written by Gillian Riley, Pomegranate Art books, 1993, ISBN 1-56640-577-7) which was a gift of a good  friend from New York in 1997. In this book there are food related paintings of Renaissance painters and the ancient recipes, it's a total gem. I will share more than 30 years of cooking experience with my artwork, I hope you'll enjoy it...  

Alright, here is the music part, I prepared for you now. During the week, I listened almost every day one of the best guitar players of our times, Mr. "Tommy Emmanuel". I started to practice acoustic guitar again a few months ago after watching his full live concert in YouTube. He was telling to the audience “Bring your guitar down from on top of that closet and start to practice…”. How did he know I had one up there?  Well, now I am watching his video tutorials along with other guitar masters to learn finger style guitar playing. Well, I can tell you thumb picking is pretty difficult, it's gonna take a long time to learn, if I ever make it.. The song called "Mona Lisa" Tommy Emmanuel performs,  (live) the original by Nat King Cole. Enjoy it! Have a good week.

(All copyrights acknowledged and respected and support the music artists by buying their music.)

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