Castanea sativa

Castanea sativa

Castanea sativa, sweet chestnut, is a species of flowering plant in the family Fagaceae.

One of the main trees of these magical forests here in my hometown, Fırtına Valley, Çamlıhemşin. An amazing tree is not only beautiful with its delightful leaves and magnificent fruits, but also it is culturally very important for its uses. A tree that we couldn’t get benefit more.

When spring arrives to these mountains, it is a festive season for bees. Flowers of this tree are the main ingredient of a very special honey; Chestnut honey. Dark in colour, bitter in taste. In this region it is believed that this honey is the cure of everything, but everything. When autumn arrives, all the forest turns into golden colors: yellows, oranges, reds everywhere, and if it is a lucky year, we are abandon with delicious fruits of chestnut trees. In five minutes walk, you can fill your pockets! Villagers are quite happy to collect, and bears are in a food party! If one day, you would have a chance to visit here, Çamlıhemşin, you will see beautiful old houses, placed in harmony with the forests around. All these dark colored wooden houses were made of chestnut wood. Incredibly strong wood, lasts for centuries and it is a hard work to process the wood; it is necessary to wait at least twenty years for the wood to dry completely. A sustainable approach by our ancestors. I am not sure what happened on the way, and we couldn't follow their path anymore. In these days, instead of this beautiful houses, they are building concrete ugly houses. What a shame!

So, here it is, my version of Chestnut tree! I am very happy to have this chance to paint such piece.

Thanks to my friends helped me to collect some fresh fruits, they were only left on the upper branches of the tree. So it was impossible task for me to do alone. We did a nice walk in the forest, with a little fear of the bears, but I got my sample safe and sound and was very excited to start! After a long time, this was one of the largest painting I did; the paper size 70x100 cm. Not the size of the paper makes this piece a long hours of working, but the details! What a plant with intricate details! Time to time, I lost myself within those details…

I have started at the end of October 2019, and only managed to complete in the middle of March 2020. I was traveling for some workshops and other projects in between these dates, so it is not a full time work. But I think it took about two months to complete. And just after I completed this painting, Corona madness arrived Turkey. All the traveling plans were cancelled, and I did found this little time to write this blog.

As the life stops in this surreal times, I couldn’t have any chance to scan this properly yet, but I couldn’t wait to upload it to my web neither. Here is the link, a low quality photo of the painting.

I hope you enjoyed reading this and seeing this piece of painting my dear friends!

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