Posted on March 3, 2009
The carambola, better known as “starfruit” in the continental US (and sometimes called “five-fingers” in Trinidad and other southern Caribbbean islands), is tart and juicy, and ranges in color from a greenish yellow to bright orange. You can pick them fresh from the tree here in St. Croix, and we have a beach resort and a golf course named for the carambola.
The color, distinctive shapes and shiny, almost leathery texture of three ripe orange fruits sitting on a dark marble slab caught my eye.
Posted on February 26, 2009
There is always a distinct tension for me between accessible realism, and the more abstract. By moving too far toward the abstract, there is a danger that the connection points for viewers get lost. The images in this post are part of a series of abstractions inspired by the brilliant color fields of Sandy Point and illustrate this tension.
I have read that there is a trend toward realism right now. Perhaps that is a response to economic factors, and what sells. Or perhaps it is something deeper, reflecting shorter attention spans, less time for reflection and contemplation, or a need for the familiar in a changing world — and a corresponding desire for art that is comfortable and accessible. If communication is the goal, perhaps a trend toward realism is a good thing. Any thoughts?
Posted on February 23, 2009
I was working on a beach scene, when this little doggie popped into view. Well, I just couldn’t shoo him away, so I let him be the star!
Sometimes the unexpected can add a smile to the day.
Posted on February 17, 2009
Sandy Point National Wildlife Refuge is located at the southwest corner of St. Croix. It is a spectacular sweep of sand beach and Caribbean-blue water, and an important nesting site for the ancient-looking and endnagered leatherback turtle.
The leatherbacks come ashore well after dark to lay their eggs, and the baby turtles emerge from the sand just after dusk about 60 days later. Whether in the brilliant mid-day light, at dusk or on a moonlit night, the stark shapes and brilliant color fields of Sandy point are stunning.
(Contact the St. Croix Environmental Association for information on guided turtle-watch tours.)
Posted on February 14, 2009
Here’s a slightly different perspective on our old fort, all planes, shapes and colors. Just the picture for today. That’s all. Time to get back to the shoreline…
Posted on February 12, 2009
Fort Christiansvaern in Christiansted, St. Croix, is a relic of the long Caribbean history of plantations, sugar and slavery. One version of a part of that history is told in Buddhoe by Patricia Gill.
With its many planes, curves and layers, the fort is a photogenic landmark that lends itself to multiple interpretations. This is one of several new images that I am adding to my series on the old fort. See the earlier interpretations on my portfolio website. I’ll be adding this and other new images there soon.
In this view the American flag flies high and prominently over the reminder of the past. Perhaps we are proud of the fort’s history, or perhaps proud that we have risen above it. Or perhaps the flag just marks the fort as a symbol and claim of our nation’s “ownership” of the island. What do you think?
Posted on February 5, 2009
This is the beautiful flower of a common beachside bush (Thespesia populnea) called the haiti-haiti tree here on St. Croix, also known as seaside mahoe, portia tree, and often mistakenly called beach hibiscus. *
Despite the common name sometimes used, the beach hibiscus is actually a different plant (Hibiscus tiliaceus). Still, the flower does look hibiscus-like. I was attracted by the filmy, creamy translucence of the off-white petals when the flower is fully opened.
While the short-lived flowers are beautiful, the tree itself is scrubby with multiple woody stems. Invasive and salt-tolerant, it can quickly dominate a shoreline. The fruits or seedpods are a favorite of the local bright red love bugs, one of which is featured in my gravatar. More on those guys later!
*Thanks to Carol Cramer-Burke at the St. Croix Environmental Association for pointing me in the right direction on the facts here.
Posted on February 3, 2009
This rusty barstool has been down at the beach the last few months. It was joined a few days ago by a white plastic garbage bag.
The salt has eaten away at the chair’s metal frame, almost the same way termites eat away at deadwood, returning it to the soil. This scene of decay told of good times past, evidence of someone passing through this way.
There was a hint of a rainbow in the eastern sky. I wonder now, was that white bag the pot of gold?
Posted on January 30, 2009
Despite the best clean-up efforts of groups like the St. Croix Environmental Association, the shorelines here on St. Croix are sometimes littered with debris – mostly plastic. Some is left behind by careless beachgoers, but far more is deposited from the ocean itself.
That beautiful blue Caribbean Sea, an apparently limitless resource, is in fact full of garbage that drifts ashore. I think that sad fact was on my mind as I began this image.
This rocky shore had interest, but needed a spark to bring it to life. After some work, the rusty metal parts in another photo became the green shield tucked under the most interesting of the rocks.
As the image developed, it became darker and almost macabre — not something I had intended in the beginning. In fact, looking at it now, the feelings evoked are almost a surprise. Strange.