Drawings by Guliz Multu

I cannot separate drawing from writing. Without drawing swallows, I cannot write spring. I am self-taught in art. I am always a student. I observe, I dream and I draw.

I grew up and live in Ankara, Turkey. I’ve traveled Europe to see works by Botticelli, Rafael, Michelangelo, Donatello in Italy; Dalí, Velázquez, Picasso, Goya in Spain. I took a deep breath in Alta Mira Cave, Spain. I lost myself in the Louvre, and the Hermitage. I stared at Van Gogh, Rembrandt and Vermeer in the Rijks museum. Art is long, life is short.

Cappadocia, Turkey is my escape and inspiration place. The blizzard of pigeons, the lizards, the galloping shadows of the fairy chimneys, the caves, the cliffs, a thousand holes pigeon holes carved in the rocks, the crossing winds, the rough paths, the whispers and hurls, the donkeys adorned with amulets, the talismans on the wish trees and the grape. Cappadocia is timelessness and art.

I take notes, I write poems for my ideas. I imagine. My drawings are mostly hand drawn, I wait for days then I look at the drawing again. I work slowly on the figures and gradually add color. I take a picture of the drawing and I analyze it with my dream picture. I use digital photography contrast and coloring to finish the illustration.

I admire and I translate—writings from John Donne and Oscar Wilde to William Butler Yeats and Alfred Tennyson. I install the drawing on the poet’s photograph; I enjoy looking at the photograph of the poet while reading or translating the work.

Here are some thoughts from my writings in English published by Otata Journal.

The Rock Pigeons, hand drawn illustration, 3,1’ x 2,3′

The myth without its bard! I walk a few steps barefoot into the dim of the dawning. All the stars of iris weigh down and the rock pigeons trill. Sleepless morning and its shadows call me into a daydream.

In Your Room, digital drawing on the photo of Julio Cortázar, 3,1’ x 2,3’

We are behind the wistful memoir of the empyrean. Our fingerprints and the days, as if life catches us in a photograph.

Hello Mom!, hand drawn illustration, 2,3’ x 3,1’

The evening drapes me. Knocking back a snifter the way, mom called, “Life is beautiful,” she muttered and turned me back into a baby.

Four Indians, hand drawn, 3,1’ x 3,1’

“You shall be bright and happy, If you build a nest for the green bird,” four Indians once told me. I was neither green nor the bird, just me climbing the tree.

Pisces, hand drawn, 3,1 ’x 3,1’

In a house for rent, mom’s morning dances after uncle. Verdigris of rain in her eyes, she gazed at the coin I gave to her. “A dance with me, pisces girl?” she asked.

Now is the past, photo on portrait of Edgar Allen Poe, 2,7’ x 3,1’

Make yourself at home! Do not be afraid of the dark! Every night the same, the power cut! I light the candelabra. On the table I have a vase full of dried poppy heads and the other vase is full of rye. The marbling on the wallpaper is soothing my mind. The carpet is from my uncle, an antique. The cigar, its weight is beyond our so heavy ashes, I am keeping it for a guest and the child in the portrait was her.

I see in the mirror, drawing on photograph of Federico Garcia Lorca, 3,1′ x1.9′

My suit never gets wet, since I follow the wren song amid the raindrops and all the stars are drops. Behind the poplars, who knows who I am? A stranger from corpse to cry!

After visiting Oscar Wilde in the Père Lachaise Cemetery, drawing on the photograph of Oscar Wilde, 1,9’ x 3,1’

Bitter chill, murky hallway. . . . A pint of snow down on my neck, I trembled. It was the portrait!

Hate, hand drawn illustration, 2,9’ x 2,9’

Who knows where the camellias are in bloom? Goodbye! I am a young man! When the birds luster on the buds, I measure my footsteps with the sun! So long! My heart smiles through my eyes!

Love, hand drawn, 3,5′ x 3,1′

Mild breeze. . . . Lovers and losers blossom viewing. “A good life.” I think of that old feeling, then put a shine on the sun and I wish you love like a breath of spring.


Guliz Mutlu
Guliz Mutlu, born in Turkey in 1978, is a classicist, Spanish philologist and museum researcher. She earned a Masters degree on Homeric Family and and a PhD on The Peloponnesian War and Euripides from the University of Ankara. Mutlu’s post-doctorate degree was on Spanish Romanticism from Pompeu Fabra University, Spain. As a francophone, she is the author of Les Paroles Saphiques (Les Éditions Apopsix, France, 2011). She has won the Renée Vivien Prize, Grand Prize of Francophone Poetry (The Society of Poets and Artist of France), the Jean Aicard Prize, the Flore Prize and UNESCO’s World Poetry Mention Prize. Her haiku in English has been published by The Mainichi, Modern Haiku, Frogpond Journal, and The Heron’s Nest.

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