Embraces of the Bulgarian sun
Daniil Belov, 2014, oil on canvas on hardboard, 39x54 cm
I am, a man from Moscow, quite unaccustomed to the July heat in Bulgaria. And the work in the middle of the day en plein air in the south climate is something special for me. It is just the time when you can not only to see the difference between countries, but also to feel physically the differences in their beings. In Moscow, for example, the whole winter lasting round-the-clock twilights are urging to be in dormancy. And when you come to a place where the sun is not just giving light but heating, you began to boil like a vigorous kettle. It seems for me that it expresses very clear in the differences of the mentalities of south and north countries.
For five days in a small coastal town in Bulgaria I had been taking the easel and the umbrella after the dinner and going to the narrow yard where were an abandoned building with pillars and small wooden houses. In the center of the yard amidst burnt out grass was growing a high cypress. A shadow was falling from it, moving on the ground as on a sundial. In that shadow I found a sanctuary from the sun. To seat just under the umbrella was hard: the sun began to burn.
The wooden houses, which for many years had been grilling in that yard, were looking like a scorching baked log. The black abrupt shadows, erasing each object they could reach, were slipping on their walls. Between the houses the tenants were drying the washing on the taut strand.
The yard was imperceptible for people, surrounded by the hedge from three sides. Only rare observant passersby and tenants came to me. Mostly they didn’t have the slightest doubts if I understand them. However I do not know Bulgarian and hardly could understand anything. Attentively listening to them, I’ve noticed a similarities in languages so some words became understandable.
One tenant, a young Turk, every day came to me to inquire how the work is going. When the work on the study was near completion, he pointed on the image of the green towel and said that it was wrong. Then he pointed on the white towel and said that this was correct: “White means a man and instead of the green should be red, because red is a woman”. After this I’d changed the color.
Calm afternoon work in the yard assembled experienced warm embraces of the evening beach and the morning observations and thoughts, creating not just an image of the piece of visible world, but the image of my whole short bright Bulgarian life.