Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Turkish Delight

Turkish Delight © Niall O'Neill
I was tempted to call this "Hadji Bey". Corkonians will remember the Turkish Delight manufactured by Harutun Batmazian, an Armenian immigrant who left the perils of the Ottoman Empire behind him and arrived in Cork, Ireland, around the time of the International Exhibition of 1902-3 to set up his famous sweet shop on MacCurtain Street in Cork, which was emblazoned 'Hadji Bey et Cie'. The business eventually declined following the retirement of Harutun's son Eddie in the 1970's and the Hadji Bey brand became but a faint memory. Until revived by L.C. Confectionery in Newbridge, Co. Kildare.

The design was sketched out on light tan Pastelmat, 15.5 x 12 ins, and the underpainting developed in its basic tonality.

Once the brass charger was developed in shades of blue and green, the spire of the rosewater sprinkler was delimited by the dark blue that would become the background.

The underpainting, done in hard pastels and pencils, was now developed further with a selection of Sennelier and Jackson soft pastels, with ochres and yellows glazing the blue and green undertones.

Further infill of the background allows me to estimate the relative values of the piece overall. I have worked from left to right, and top to bottom. The sweets were underpainted with yellow and pinks, and very pale tints of these colours were glazed on top. Some almost-white pastel was scraped and drifted over the sweets to create a sugary effect. Some loose pieces of "sugar" fell onto the plate. The background dark was intensified.  Only the reflections of the plates remain to finish. Meanwhile the sugar/oil in Turkish Delight has been absorbed by the paper bag and unfortunately has become inedible!