This is my third short, true story based on the portrait of a Turkish woman I painted in 2007 and how we communicated through the power of art.
‘In 2007, I was staying with a group of painters in a small compound in the town of Akyaka, which is in the Ula District of Mugla Province in south western Turkey.
On this particular day, the group had gone off to explore a bigger town, however I decided to stay behind to enjoy a quiet days painting.
Run by a close knit family, the accommodation was set around a central pool and cabana. Surrounding the compound were orange and lemon groves, beautiful wetlands, and just minutes away the sparkling Gulf of Gokova.
There was not a soul around, other than the Mother of the daughter who ran the compound. She was sitting quietly beneath the cabana enjoying the early morning sun.
I approached her and using a sort of sign language and displaying my paints and paper, asked if I could paint her. She nodded, yes.
For the next hour, we locked eyes and observed one another. The only sounds were birdsong, and the gentle flow of water from a small fountain. Time stood still….we were completely in the moment, and although not a word was spoken, there was a deep mutual understanding.
I painted two watercolours, one for her and one for me.
After I finished, the daughter appeared, and said that her Mother thanked me.
A Magical Hummingbird moment.