Spring is back in Gumusluk. A gorgeous sunny day with a fairly stiff wind greeted me this morning and I decided to ride my bike to Eski Karakaya (Old Black Stone) village. This tiny hamlet is located in the hills above Gumusluk, across the valley from the Academy, and can’t be seen from my balcony because it is on the other side of the hill. Both Nils and Pelin had told me about it, knowing my interest in ruins, and described it as a “dead village”.
I had to ask several people in the village how to get there and found the turn off at a roundabout not too far from the Academy but on the opposite side of the Berggruen Sitesi housing estate next to us. The small road headed straight up and wound its way along the mountain, up and up and up, past several groups of local houses, past what looked to be a strip mine, past the lone ruined light house on that side of the valley, and around the bend to the other side of the mountain. I could see the village on the hillside from the road. About half the stone houses looked to be ruined but the village did not appear to me to be “dead”. I could see several large and very nicely renovated stone houses with terraces and flowers stretching up the hill towards the kara kaya, black stone, that gives the village its name. I rode my bike as far up the hill as I could go, locked it up, and walked along a very tiny path through the grass to look at the houses. There are no streets as such here and no vehicles – cars must park at the entrance to the village where there is a tiny parking lot. I wandered down the hill and past several beautiful stone houses and saw the most enormous korek. So heavy that it tipped over, the plant was as huge as a tree. I plucked two dried korek from the hillside and carried them back with me balanced on the handle bars.
This evening’s still life is a continuation of yesterday’s. The korek have been moved to the floor, still in their tetractys configuration and have been replaced on the table-top by what I think are giant red carnations and tiny soft leafy fronds from the bottom of the korek stalks. I have also added larger leafy korek fronds to the top of the chair backs to enjoy the shadow they cast on the wall. I also like the reflection of the still life tableau in the large plate glass windows of the painting studio against the backdrop of the foliage outside.
See pictures here.