Of a wall, keeping my word and the questions of the “now what?”

March 14, 2014

Oh how tired I am… I just spent the last three days working on finishing room 12 at Chillout. I had promised I was going to finish it, but I got more to do than I what I had originally signed up for. Normally I would just paint the artwork and the rest of the room would be painted by someone else, but that someone else isn’t here anymore… so I had to do it…. I so thankfully had help from Pelin with the sanding. We had to sand those oil painted walls so that the water based paint would stick to the wall.

These walls have given me quite the education on the state of paint availability and usage in Turkey. It seems straightforward enough. Get water based paint, get the colors you need. Paint. Be done. It aint so.

First of all there are distinctions with the water based stuff, distinctions I am still not clear about to this day. But the result is very clear if you use one or the other: Shitty or great. We had gone to buy paint when Kimberly was here, we were uneducated and we got, well… shitty stuff.

Then the colors, I thought of something like going to my local hardware store and say: “can you make this blue?” or stare at endless shelves of paint colors and types… it ain’t so. You go down to the paint vendors area of Karakoy and realize that there are 4 colors available: black, white, Yellow and red. Blue: Yok. If you want blue, you have to get it made, and that is 35 lira for a small jar. Too much for hostel means.

OK then we’ll mix… we bought pigments… they look gorgeous in the bins. In the paint, well, it can get thick and it takes a lot…

and finally for the “paint and be done” segment… I really got to taste it… Paint and start over..

the original room with red lighting

the original room with red lighting

In practical terms that meant that I could not quite realize the “wash” I wanted to do with multiple layers of paint. I had a base wall that was bright orange with black stripes. It had it’s charms… anyways, next I sanded that, next I went for a sky blue base layer which I hoped would keep some of the hues, just for the sake of life… Then I was going to do a LIGHT wash of black to make it night… it has worked before.. but then… it just did not.

The black stuff was like charcoal and it embedded itself into the blue turning into a brownish hue complete with application strikes… I was … in a panic. So when I saw this… I freaked and decided to cover it all in black… with bad black paint.

The image I was to do had a black background with shiny high glow colors. At this point I had already spent three days on this disaster. I tried to paint some color over the black… well that black background acted as a sponge, sucking every pigment of color deep into its black depths… I was …. In a panic. It looked like absolute… shit.

the original idea chosen by Bartin

the original idea chosen by Bartin

That point was when everything went bonkers at Chillout, and exhausted I had taken time off, leaving this black hole of a painting in the room. I felt that this could be the time when the wall would defeat me.

Fast forward two weeks later. Sandpaper. I sanded the whole thing. It kind of worked. I now had texture from the orange, blue and double black layers. Same issue with the bad paint though. There is no way I could get the colors I wanted out of the paint.

the thing with hostel art work is that you work with very minimal means… what is there is what you use and if you can avoid buying, then don’t… I was working with a number of left overs, from different eras of painting being done. I still am not sure what kind of paint most of it is. I went on to paint the tree… I was still not convinced but proceeded. Then the leaves… then more sand paper… I guess once a sculptor always a sculptor, sand paper is second nature to me… so I sanded the tree, leaves, … and it worked. It came to life.

So these last 3 days, I spent most of my time laboring on the wall. As I said, I did not expect to have to paint high ceiling walls all round and now my shoulder is a painful mess… but I am just about done. A few more touchups. Some more leaves, a layer of varnish to cover and protect these various types of unpredictable paints and I will be done. My word kept. That was really important to me.

the room now

the room now

the room now

the room now

my little guy

my little guy

the muse

the muse


I wrote all this and realized that this whole week went by and I did not write anything about it and there was some really great moments… the most noteworthy thing besides the wall was an absolutely brilliant show with Eren at Karakedi on Monday night. I have a video of the new song… wrote a new song a few days before… but I cannot find an internet connection good enough to upload it to Youtube yet… it will come…

Yeah we had a great show that was topped with 2 encores, they would not let us off the stage. It made things really special. There is only one more show at Karakedi on March 30th then I go to Crete and I have no idea what will happen after. I have a feeling that trying to organize anything will be a waste of time and energy. My friend Mona from California is in Switzerland for a month, I could actually see her… but I am down on my last money… so If I start traveling around, my financial situation (that is actually funny to call it that…) will totally unravel… and maybe that is what I should do… What is a girl to do?

So I wait. I should be hunting for shows, money, jobs, I should be on some sort of high alert or something but I am not. I have to go to the embassy and get my passport renewed, been saying I’d go “this week” for 3 weeks now. I did not go to my baglama lesson because I was painting and because I don’t have the money. My friend Sam talked about the possibility of coaching English conversation for decent money and I cannot feel motivated to even try and since I leave in two and a half weeks anyways for I don’t know how long… nothing really makes any sort of sense. I should go see the doctor about a number of things, but I don’t. I feel I need to rest and relax and I can’t.

It is an in-betweeness.

It’s OK, no worries to be had. I think seeing the sun and feeling the sun will do me a world of good. Getting out of Beyoglu will do me another world of good. I remember in September, I was about to implode, then went to Konya and then Cappadoccia and when I came back I was so incredible excited, happy, full of joy because I was “back home”. Maybe I have to go so to come back.

In some ways it is as if major changes could be coming… or not. What will I choose… or not? I think of leaving this place sometimes and it feels utterly impossible.

I read something: “Your edge is where you stop short of where you compromise your fullest gift and instead cater to your fears.” it went on talking about one’s gifts, and how as a human, you have to honor the gift… After Monday’s show, where I made so many people happy, I wondered if I was staying on a safe edge with the music. Should I push? But I have tried… and it was really not my thing… this commerce, this glorification of the self… So wrong gift maybe.

In a book about Rumi, there were writings where he talked about his discomfort about being called a poet. He said he was “a lover of God” not a poet, as the poet writes to be recognized and Rumi writes to try to reach God, express God, the divine…

What is a girl to do?


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