By Katie Muller
On Wednesday, April 16, during common hour, the Student Art League featured a free Turkish Water Marble demonstration by Merve Karaca in front of the Student Art Gallery in Hillwood Commons.
Karaca is an ESL student at Suffolk Community College. She received a bachelor’s degree in Chemistry in Turkey, and desires to pursue a master’s degree in Chemistry after she improves her English. She started water marbling in Turkey, but began practicing the art more intensely when she moved to America about two years ago.
“Marbling is the art of creating colorful patterns by sprinkling and brushing color pigments on a pan of oily water and then transforming this pattern to paper,” said a poster displayed behind Karaca at the event. Karaca explained how all the tools, including the paints used, are organic and made of “all-natural” materials.
“The paint is taken from the soil… the earth,” Karaca said, and added that the brushes are made from “natural horsehair and rosewood” and the water is “prepared from purified water.” The painting process is natural to the environment, and the environment also affects how the paintings form on the surface of the water. Karaca explained that if people feel “negative” towards the painting, the painting would not be beautiful. “If the environment is good, the art will be nice. The art is sensitive to people and the environment,” she said.
Karaca demonstrated water marbling in front of a small audience of students and other observers. She transferred the final painting onto paper by simply laying the paper over the still water and removing it, dazzling her viewers, before continuing on to another painting.
Burcu Altintas, a Psychology major and member of the Turkish-American Student Association, attended the event. “This is my culture,” Altintas said. “It’s such an overlooked form of art. Many people don’t know about this stuff,” Altintas added. The event also aimed to help attract students to join the organization, since there aren’t many Turkish students on campus.
After the event, Karaca handed out small goody bags to the viewers, which contained Turkish Delight candies, an informative flyer about Turkey, as well as a bookmark.