I was 16 when I discovered the healing side of art. I spent the whole summer coughing that year. Nothing cured this cough of unknown cause. Now I understand it’s an allergic cough. Because back then, it was not known that allergies could make people sick like this. Again one night, that stubborn cough towards morning took hold and did not keep me awake. I sat on the bed helplessly, my eyes wide open at what I saw the moment I opened my eyes. The sky was on fire. The bedroom window faced northwest. Temenyeri was visible on the right, and the garden of the house was visible on the opposite side. In the garden, there was a cherry tree in front, a judas tree behind it, and a neighbor’s magnolia behind it. The first rays of the sun painted the sky a red color. Excited, I got out of bed and walked to the window. The branches of the redbud reaching to the sky stood in front of this crimson in a black silhouette. The red and angry rays of the sun came towards me like an arrow through the leaves of the purple and hit my heart. I was mesmerized by the sight and the coughing had stopped. It was like I was fading colors. So, motionless, I watched the sun rise. The sun was high now, its golden light illuminating the green leaves of the cherry and the pink flowers of the redbud. I went to the kitchen and warmed myself milk, took the glass of hot milk and sat back on the bed. I was still thinking about the sunrise.
Schools were opened, the art teacher asked us to paint for the school-wide competition. Feeling the excitement of that moment in a fresh way, I painted the dawn painting and this painting won the first place in the competition.
I had a friend that year, who had black waist-length hair, a slender body, and black eyes that smiled through thick eyelashes. His mother fell ill and died. The fear, pain and sadness in his eyes affected me a lot. I made an oil portrait of him at home. I tried to reflect that sad look in his eyes in this portrait.
It was good for me to make both pictures. Dawn relieved the depression left in me by being ill for a whole summer, and the portrait relieved a pain I shared.
Years passed, difficult times began in my life. At that time, I started the painting course of my dear teacher Emin İlter in Bursa. In that workshop, I could find the free working environment and technical knowledge I needed. I made pictures of all the emotions I experienced, one by one. I felt a little stronger after each painting. With each painting, my experiences became easier and I was experiencing the healing side of art in its strongest form again.
Now what happened to those pictures? I carried and preserved the dawn painting for years, but in the end it was flooded and destroyed, I don’t know what happened to the portrait. Both are now gone. But even if the pictures disappeared, I made them once, that’s not gone, the kindness they gave me and the feelings that I still remember will never go away.
Others? They now continue to do good to people around the world, thanks to logotherapists, in a book that I have also explained the meaning of.
Thanks to these foundations, I tried to touch many people through painting in the workshop I opened in 1995 and to make those people touch their own depths. Working with these very special people both gave me pleasure and taught me a lot. Now we have lasting friendships with many of them, the children have grown into adults. Seeing them happy is an important experience that shows me the meaning of life.
stay with art