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. 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.

Blue Seljuk Carpet, Central Anatolia (installation view, left)
58x58 inches, acrylic ink on paper, 2014

Blue Seljuk Carpet, Central Anatolia (detail)
58x58 inches, acrylic ink on paper, 2014

Layered Turkish Carpets
42x30 inches, acrylic ink on paper, 2015

Green Seljuk Carpet with Color Abraj, Central Turkey
42x30 inches, acrylic ink on paper, 2015

Blue Turkish Carpet with Hyacinth Motif
16x12 inches, acrylic ink on paper, 2015

Heriz Serapi Rug, Iran
53x42 inches, acrylic ink on paper, 2011

Grey Prayer Rug, Iraq
61x47 inches, sumi ink on paper, 2011

Green Turkish Carpet with Peacock Motif
16x12 inches, acrylic ink on paper, 2015

Small Kırşehir Rug, Central Turkey
11x5 inches, acrylic ink on paper, 2011

Black & White Milas Carpet, Southwest Turkey
30x22 inches, sumi ink on paper, 2013

Suzani Uzbek Rug
16x12 inches, acrylic ink on paper, 2016

Red Turkish Carpet with Evil Eye Motif
16x12 inches, acrylic ink on paper, 2015

Black & White Composite of Milas and Kerman Afshar Carpets
43.5x52 inches, sumi ink on paper, 2011