Istanbul Adventures

July 17, 2013 § Leave a comment

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Yes.

It’s Wednesday.  And this is not a watercolor.

Today I trade my paintbrush for pictures to share with you my most recent escapade in Turkey!

I spent three weeks hopping around the country of Turkish Delight, Turkish Baths and 7 churches from Revelation.  My first week was spent in Istanbul, second in Kayseri and the finale in the surreal land of Cappadocia.

We spent our days helping teach English, meeting new Turkish friends and exploring the historical city.

When a family I know announced they were spending the summer in Istanbul for work, I thought why not join?  The city was unlike any other I had visited last year.

First, the city is huge…some estimates say 14 million, others 18…either way, its huge! People everywhere at all hours.

Second, the city is the only one in the world to straddle two continents.  The Bosphorus Straight runs between the city, dividing the city between the continent of Europe and Asia.  First time in Asia…whoopee!

Third, this place is old!  While living in Europe last year, I became accustomed to visiting cathedrals 600 years old but Turkey is home to monuments and places that pre-date the time of Christ.

And lastly, this was my first experience in a Muslim culture.  In 1493, Constantinople was conquered by Muslims, changing the name to Istanbul and continuing the Muslim rule today.  I quickly became accustomed to daily calls to prayer and minarets poking through the cityscape.

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Exploring the Sultan Ahmed Mosque, aka the Blue Mosque, built in 1616 and still used as a mosque.

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Across the street is the Hagia Sophia, one of the most famous places in the world.  Originally a church built the 6th century, then converted into a mosque in 1493 after the city was conquered by Muslims and has been a museum since the 1930s.

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Hand painted ceramics in the Grand Bazar.  I bargained my way to snag a few of these to bring home.

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Exploring the Grand Bazar and some Turkish handmade goodies.

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Some of the group at Taksim Square, the site of many of the current protests…looking pretty calm right now.

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Enjoying cards with some of our new Turkish friends.

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Snapshots from Kadıköy, the neighborhood on the Asia side where we stayed.  It was a colorful neighborhood full of cozy coffee shops, antique stores and bustling restaurants.

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While there I taught a few watercolor lessons…from the coast of Kadıköy to a Vacation Bible School with Turkish and gypsy kids.  They were all excellent artists!

Check back soon for more posts from Turkey.

watercolor wednesday XXXXVIII

June 12, 2013 § 2 Comments

bullitHello Seattle!

Today we visit the Bullitt Center, a newly opened office building in Capital Hill in Seattle, Washington.  This isn’t just any office building, its the “greenest office building in the world.” Complete with a roof of solar panels, composting toilets and 250 year lifespan, the center is designed to function like a rainforest.

I visited the center during my November trip to Seattle and loved its environmental aspirations and exemplary Pacific Northwest design.  Gone are the days of ‘green’ buildings looking like ugly spaceships.

In August I will be moving north to Seattle to work in an architecture firm.  Looking forward to the upcoming adventures…but before that happens I will be graduating this weekend and traveling in Turkey for three weeks!  Keep you posted on the paintings, projects and adventures.

watercolorWEDNESDAY XXXXVII- Guest Artist Kristina Marie

June 5, 2013 § 3 Comments

Happy Wednesday!

Today I am very excited to share with you a guest artist, the talented and creative Kristina Marie (who so happens to be my roommate)!

Oh yes, and today is Kristina’s 23rd birthday so wish her well.

Like many architecture students, Kristina has a natural talent to paint and draw and painted this whimsical scene of the creek in downtown San Luis Obispo.

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After becoming instant friends one fateful weekend early in freshman year Kristina and I have grown our relationship on this continent and across the pond for the past five years.  Kristina studied in Florence, Italy last year and between visiting one another and one memorable trip to good ole Eirland, Kristina and I got to spend over three weeks traveling together last year.  This past year we have had the pleasure of sharing one very hyggelit (cozy) apartment in downtown San Luis Obispo.  Its been a beautiful year of spontaneous dance parties, tea times and delicious meals.   Here is to one birthday and hopefully many more!

Come August I have plans to move to Seattle with hopes of Kristina joining me!  Keep you updated on the adventure.156575_3753140788317_680224990_n

watercolorWEDNESDAY XXXXVI

May 29, 2013 § 4 Comments

I am back!

For the past eight months I have been working away to complete my thesis for my undergraduate architecture degree.  Late nights in studio, demanding deadlines and more list items than hours in a day have kept me from painting (for pleasure that is) and blogging.

BUT as of this weekend I am (almost) officially done.  One publication and a few small group projects stand infront of me and that diploma but these petty things still give me time to continue to paint, paint, paint…ahh how I have missed those brushes!

Although intense, my thesis still allowed me to break out the paintbrushes and do a bit of mixed media presentation work.

I thought I would share with you what has kept me alway for so long!

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My thesis explored the connection (well, lack there of) of children and nature.  Through the research of early children’s education, children’s environmental psychology and a strong emphasis on passive design strategies, I designed a child development center in San Luis Obispo, California.  The Center is home to a preschool for 70+ children, family art center, teaching kitchen and family counseling center.  The program is broken up into five separate buildings to create small campus in the South Hills site of San Luis Obispo and promote outdoor circulation within the center.Classroom-1-SECTION

Classroom Cluster Section.  Two classrooms are joined together with a shared service and ‘flow’ space.  The flow space is to give children the option of playing indoors while meant to feel like the outdoors.

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Teaching Kitchen.  The kitchen is meant to teach children about food production and preparation.  By allowing children to grow their own produce there is hope they will make smarter food decisions in the future.

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Site Plan.  By site plan it looks like a game of Candy Land, however the site is broken up into classroom specific areas, shared areas and public areas.  Diversity within the plan is to allow children to explore, together or individually, the natural outdoors.

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Site Section, Classroom View.  Here the three classroom ‘clusters’ are shown.  Each cluster contains two classrooms and a shared service flow area.  The buildings are clad in recycled wood siding and eco-friendly fiber-cement board. The materials are meant to blend into the existing site.
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Just some snippets from a years worth of hard work!

Watercolor Wednesday XXXXV

January 16, 2013 § 10 Comments

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Welcome to my 100th post!

Watercolor Wednesday started 18 months ago as Kirsten in Copenhagen, a travel blog from a year studying abroad.  Throughout the year I shared my experiences in Copenhagen and Europe.  Now I share paintings from experiences back in the States.   Thank you to those that have been here from the start and I hope you have enjoyed the past 100 posts.

Today I present the first (of hopefully many!) painting commissions of personal homes.  With such a lush garden and golden colors, this home was a joy to paint!

watercolorWEDNESDAY XXXXIV

January 9, 2013 § 1 Comment

Open Air Museum

 

Velkommen til Frilandsmuseet!

Today we flashback to my year in Copenhagen, Denmark to the Open Air Museum (Frilandsmuseet).  The Museum is one of the oldest outdoor museums in Europe and is home to over 100 buildings dating from 1650-1950.  The buildings have been reconstructed, brick by brick, to Lyngby, a suburb outside Copenhagen for the public to experience Scandinavia’s rich building history.  The home above is a traditional Danish farmhouse, complete with a thatched roof and white wash exterior.

watercolorWEDNESDAY XXXXV

December 12, 2012 § Leave a comment

Happy Wednesday!

The brush is back in action!  The end of my last fall quarter kept me away from painting.  But fear not, with a month-long break my paintbrush and I have been reunited!  Check back next week for some new watercolor delights.

Today I share a recent commission for a real estate firm in San Francisco.  The firm asked me to paint several of their past and current properties for greeting cards.  It was a fun and local project!

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Have a good Wednesday!

watercolorWEDNESDAY stationery and prints are available at my Etsy Shop.

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