This is the second installment of a three-part series exploring color and pattern. I research and paint Middle Eastern carpets from an array of countries and time periods in an attempt to understand the cultural weight of this artform that modestly lies beneath our feet. My painting technique mimics the minute detail and time-consuming nature of weaving by employing tiny interlocking shapes to fill large fields of color. I find color to be the most seductive quality of carpets, so occasionally I render them in black and white to focus on design and symbols. My paintings incorporate traditional symbols and designs, but they are not copies of existing carpets.
In 2013 I traveled to Turkey with a Fulbright Fellowship to research and paint Anatolian carpets for one year. I initially focused on 14th century Seljuk carpets, but later turned my studies towards village weaving practices. I am especially interested in how a weaver incorporates her vision, vocabulary, and personal history into designs through use of color and symbols. To aid my research, I learned how to weave flat-weave kilim rugs and knotted pile carpets from master weavers in Istanbul and Cappadocia in the spring and summer of 2014. It is important to me that the artists who inspire my paintings are acknowledged and compensated for their contribution. Currently, 15% of artwork sales from this series are donated to women weavers in Turkey.