Etel Adnan


When Etel Adnan doesn’t know how to start a new painting, she first of all paints a little red square somewhere. She says:

“Red is the most powerful color of all. It needs to be tamed by other colors.”

After this she adds different colored shapes, one after the other, around the red square. Slowly the shapes form a complete picture. Most of her paintings resemble landscapes and the red square can be seen in many of her pictures.

Etel is not only a painter but also writes poems, stories and theater plays. She speaks several languages and has lived in very different countries: for example in Lebanon, France, Greece and the USA. Quite a lot you might think? The artist herself says:

“I figured out that there are many personalities in each of us.”

So what’s within you? Would you like to try the trick with the little red square? You could use watercolors, but also crayons, felt or wax markers – it doesn’t matter!

DIY idea and photo by Friederike Fankhänel, more: “Das Geheimnis des roten Vierecks” Video-Interview on