Known as an actress by the most, Zerrin Tekindor also signs under successful works as a painter. Expressing that she has been painting since as long as she can remember, the successful actress wanted to study painting but her mother did not like the idea. For every person who passionately falls in love with arts, Zerrin Tekindor’s path eventually intersected with painting professionally. Zerrin Tekindor who exhibits her paintings in Gallery Selvin in İstanbul also represents our country abroad. Tekindor took part in Art Stuttgart in Germany and Aqua Art Miami in America. She made our country proud as the only Turkish artist who participated in the Aqua Art Miami. The artist who graduated from the painting department of Bilkent University by going back to school after long years had worked in the workshops of some famous painters such as Mehmet Güleryüz and Bedri Baykam. We had the opportunity to chat with Zerrin Tekindor at the Gallery Selvin in Arnavutköy.

When did you first begin painting?
I don’t remember. My first memories are all painting related.

You went back to university after long years to receive painting education, how was your experience after all those years as a student?
I had lovely time. Bilkent University had a fun and comfortable environment to offer. Our work spaces were large and we had access to whatever supplies we wanted. It was so nice to become a student once again. Even getting a scolding from the student affairs’ secretary was fun.

Were you a good student?
Drawing pictures on my own and drawing pictures at the school were so different from each other; because, when I did it on my own, I was doing it only as much as I loved and I could. I wanted my paintings to be much better but I didn’t know how to do it. It was so much fun to spend time in the workshop at the school. I used to study hard, yes.

You worked at workshops of Mehmet Güleryüz and Bedri Baykam, what did these workshops contribute to you?
I was at Halil Akdeniz workshop. Mehmet Güleryüz and Bedri Baykam were guest trainers. I had been to all of their workshops. They are all precious teachers. I have learned a lot from them.

How do you feel about making a second career in a different field as an artist?
I used to think that it has to be like this for me because painting and acting have always been together in my life. It is what feels normal to me. I cannot think of them separately.

What does inspire you in painting? Are you the women with big eyes and wavy hair we see in your paintings?
The art of theater is the greatest source of inspiration with never-ending supplies. Let’s call the woman in my paintings the woman that I want to become.

What type of atmosphere do you need when you are painting? Do you have any rituals?
The most important thing is to have my supplies complete. A spacious place and music…

Who are your favorite painters in Turkey and abroad? Could you give us some contemporary artist names?
My favorite painter is Van Gogh. I also like Modigliani, Matisse, Chagall, Edward Hopper, Henri Le Sidaner. John Currin, Lita Cabellut, Mehmet Güleryüz, Ran Ortner, Ray Caesar, Aron Wiesenfeld were the first names that came to my mind when you mentioned contemporary painters.

Do you follow the developments in this field out of Turkey?
I do, of course. I follow art fairs, galleries, and museums. I never miss one.

What did painting contribute to your life?
The painting is the reason of the person I become. It is also not easy for me to give you an answer since I do not have an exact date as the start of my painting life.

Do you purchase paintings?
Yes, I do. There are painters whom I would like to purchase their works. I can reach to some of them; I haven’t had any luck with some, yet. I hope I will someday.

If you were to say a few words on painting and acting, what would they be?
Being in both art fields that add meaning to my life makes me feel so lucky.

You took part in Aqua Art Miami recently, what would you say about that?
I was so excited. Having my paintings exhibited in an international platform is a wonderful feeling.

We had talked about the offers to play noble and gracious woman roles after Matmazel. Is the Leyla character that you animate in ‘Kara Sevda’ such a role?
That is true; Leyla is also a gracious woman. However, she is not like secretive Matmazel who had more strict rules. There were times that I said, ‘come on, doesn’t she ever make jokes?’ but the characteristics of her that they wrote were right, otherwise I could turn Matmazel into Zerrin immediately. I have a side that makes fun of these kinds of things. It is a part of me that I enjoy; however, what is essential in acting is not to make the character look like you but entering the character. Otherwise, turning each role into you with the excuse of ‘appreciating naturalness’ would be wrong. Though, finding some of your own features in the character you play makes you enjoy your role much more. For instance, what made me impressed with Leyla was her ability not to look at the past.

As the years pass, you become even more beautiful, what is your secret?
After ‘Kara Sevda’ there were rumors about me having procedures done on my face in the social media. However, I don’t think it is right to have any procedures done on face. I am 51 years old and I think it should take its natural course. This really made me upset. I do not do anything. I only keep my face clean, I don’t go to bed with makeup on, with a face that has carried the all day’s load, this is the only thing that I believe.

You have done the stage design of ‘Köprüden Görünüş’ that was directed by your son Hira. How did the process develop?
When Hira said, ‘Mom, I want you to design the décor’ I thought ‘what else?’ I did not do such a task before. Also, the play had many stage switches. But then, he said, ‘I want a wall from you.’ So, I made a wall that looked like a wall on which the silhouettes, images, and marks of the people who had lived there had left. It is just like when you move into a house, in which many lives had been lived surrounded by its walls, but you do not know of them… A new life begins after painting those walls. Seçkin Selvi came to watch the play. She is an educator, translator, and critic, in other words, she is a valuable woman of theater, she talks about just the thing that I wanted to do in her article. I was so happy that she had noticed that.