Ebru: Finding the Right Balance of Art and Life

Posted on: November 28th, 2017 by sabbadi

Our Arabic program at Loyola University Chicago was honored to welcome well-known Chicago-resident Turkish artist, Sevim Surucu to a special Ebru art workshop with our Arabic students on November 8, 2017.


Sevim is an Ebru (Turkish Paper Marbling) artist with Bachelor of Art degree in Landscape Architecture from Istanbul University. In her marbling designs, she utilizes traditional flower forms, contemporary designs, and her own unique creations. Sevim convened multiple demonstrations in Chicago, IL; St. Louis, MO; Los Angeles, CA; Irvine, CA; Salt Lake City, UT; Phoenix, AZ; Atlanta, GA; Urbana, IL; Raleigh, NC; Carbondale, IL; and Springfield, IL. Aside from paper marbling, she started her studying of the Art of Illumination (Tezhip) as part of her passion to introduce the various traditional Turkish art forms in the United States, such as Calligraphy, Earthenware (Cini), and Miniature Painting (Minyatur).

Please enjoy sample photos and excerpts of our Arabic students’ reflections on this unique therapeutic art as part of their Culture Portfolio assignments.


  • “My favorite part of the Ebru art was pulling the paint and seeing the two dots transform into a beautiful flower. The experience was therapeutic.” Hirrah, Arabic 101
  • “I never knew you could paint on water! It’s so cool to see the process that goes into making Ebru art!” Ayesha, Arabic 101
  • “Ebru art is mesmerizing and relaxing. I’m grateful I got to experience this wonderful form of art.” Madison, Arabic 101
  • “The way she colored and captured the delicate curves of the water was simply beautiful!” Bahaa, Arabic 101
  • “The unique technique used to create the paintings truly intrigued me and peaked my interest.” Komal, Arabic 101
  • “Ebru art’s beauty represents the balance needed in a fulfilled life, while its unexpected outcome teaches us not to presume things to work out as planned.” Arwa, Arabic 101
  • “I very much enjoyed the Ebru art workshop, getting to experience a new type of art form I had never seen.” Sabrina, Arabic 101
  • “This was an amazing opportunity that showed another culture in ways I had never seen before.” Grace, Arabic 101
  • “Ebru art was amazing; the marbling, texture of the paint, and the detailed method. I wish I could see it again. Ebru art is an undeniably beautiful art form.” Danah, Arabic 101

  • “I enjoyed the Ebru art event because I learned a lot about how people paint those beautiful shapes. I had a lot of fun painting my own picture, and coming up with a design that is unique. I ‘ll definitely try to paint at home and teach my family about Ebru art!” Diana, Arabic 101
  • “Ebru art is basically creating a work of art by brushing and sprinkling pigments of color in oily based water. Loved it!” Lisa, Arabic 101
  • “The Ebru art activity was extremely fun and I got to experience a beautiful calming art form that I otherwise would not be able to witness. I originally didn’t intend on creating an art piece, but I became inspired and jumped at the opportunity.” Sydney, Arabic 101
  • “Learning about and being able to do the beautiful ancient art form of Ebru was a wonderful experience because besides making a beautiful art, it made me feel more connected to my Turkish background.” Alyssa, Arabic 101.
  • “I loved seeing how something as fluid as water could be painted on and captured in a photo that can be kept forever.” Shelby, Arabic 101
  • “Before entering the event, I had no idea what Ebru art was. Little did I know how fascinating it would be.” Xhenete, Arabic 101

  • “This fascinating experience taught me about the special Turkish marbling and its intricate techniques.” Sheema, Arabic 101
  • “The Ebru art demonstration was an exciting view into an aspect of culture which I was not previously aware of. The way the paint flows within the water is truly breathtaking.” Carter, Arabic 101
  • “The experience itself was very relaxing. The artist said that like many things in life, we need to find balance, and water marbling is no exception.” Zainab, Arabic 101
  • “I found the artist’s talent very interesting and unique.” Qussi, Arabic 101
  • “Attending the Ebru art opened my eyes to how simplistic and easily tangible artistic beauty is.” Abu Baker, Arabic 101
  • “Ebru art is a unique and beautiful masterpiece that I’d never heard of, but I can’t wait to see more!” Kiara, Arabic 101
  • “The Ebru art was a beautiful cultural experience that I was glad to share with my classmates. I loved being able to make my very own piece of art with the help of the two Ebru artists, who were incredibly kind and educational.” Amy, Arabic 101
  • “What I enjoyed the most about the art was how creative it was …I really enjoyed making a rose and my roommates were very curious about how I did it.” Jen, Arabic 101
  • “Just like in life, Ebru art requires the right balance- Quoting artist Sevim.” Ninos, Arabic 101
  • “Having an admiration of art, I was exposed to this new form of art for the first time. Its beauty and originality has sparked an interest in me, wanting to explore more about it and participate in making more of this art.” Veronika, Arabic 101

  • “The Ebru art workshop was both an interesting and educational experience. Not only was the art breathtaking, but truly unique in its creation and history. The strong cultural presence in the art work made it much more captivating.” Lynn, Arabic 101
  • “I’m so glad I got to learn about the archaic art form and actually apply what I learnt.” Alyssar, Arabic 101
  • “I really enjoyed the Ebru workshop because the artist was very passionate about her work and I could sense that during her demo, when she explained the water marbling, and while she assisted us in our own paintings.” Ilse, Arabic 101
  • “It was really cool to see how creative the artist could be when creating their painting by using the different tools to move the paint around.” Julia, Arabic 101
  • “The paintings made are beautiful and unlike anything I’d ever seen before.” Michael, Arabic 101
  • “Before you begin, you have to have a plan, otherwise it may not work. It’s kind of like life.” Emilia, Arabic 101

  • “I greatly enjoyed the session where I was able to express my artistic side. Since I don’t draw or anything, it is rare for me to explore that side and the opportunity to combine both history and art was amazing.” Isaiah, Arabic 101
  • “I believe the best ways to experience a different culture are through the sharing of languages and art. I enjoyed participating in the Ebru art workshop because I was able to learn a new means by which different cultures of the world express beauty.” Elena, Arabic 103
  • “The Ebru art experience was another way to show the beauty found in both art and life. The artist described the paint and the water as like a “balance in life”. Caitlin, Arabic 103
  • “انت تريدين سلام في مركزك او الحياة لا تعمل[You need peace in your center or life does not work]” Katie, Arabic 103\

  • “كان وقت ممتاز مع استاذة سوسن و فن الابرو. الان انا اعرف كيف اعمل الابرو و عندي اثنين اعمال[ It was a good time with ustaadha Sawsan and Ebru art. Now I know how to do Ebru art and I have made two art works]” Hamid, Arabic 103
  • “قبل الصورة كانت على ورقتي, عملت صورة زهرة في الماء و الزيت بالقلم الصغير [ Before having the final photo on my paper, I drew a picture of a flower on the water and oil with the small pen]” Melissa, Arabic 103
  • “ طوال المشاهدة كانت الالوان الجميلة ترقص على الماء بسلام[All throughout the observation, the beautiful colors were dancing in water in peace]” Larenz, Arabic 103

  • “ الان اعرف كيف افعل فن الابرو و احب الفن بسبب الالوان و الورد على الورقة . الفن جميل جدا و الاستاذة ممتازة[ Now I know how to make Ebru art and I love the art because of the colors and the flowers on the paper. The art is beautiful and the artist was excellent]” Kyle, Arabic 103
  • “ انا احبت الابرو كثيرا لانه جميل والان ورقتي في غرفتي. تعلم الابرو شئ جديد و اريد ان اعمل مرة ثانية [I loved Ebru art a lot because it is beautiful and now my art work is in my room. Learning Ebru was a new thing and I’d like to do it again]” Maria, Arabic 103
  • “احببت العلم بالثقافة التركية و التاريخ [ I loved learning about Turkish culture and history]” Sarah Javid, Arabic 103
  • “ الاسبوع الماضي كان صعب جدا لاني كنت تعبانة من نفس الدراسة و عمل الابرو كان جميل و كنت سعيدة [ last week was very hard and I was tired of studying the same things. Ebru art was beautiful and I felt happy]” Aida, Arabic 103


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