Fort Christiansvaern, Take 2

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…

Fort Christiansvaern, take 2

Fort Christiansvaern, take 2


An Old Danish Fort

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.

Fort Christiansvaern, Christiansted - 2009

Fort Christiansvaern, Christiansted - 2009

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?

Mystery at the Water’s Edge

There is a story about zen master Shunryu Suzuki-roshi who was asked to summarize Buddhism in a single sentence. His answer was, “everything changes.” Where the sea brushes the shore is a place of constant change, and sometimes mystery – almost a metaphor for life.

Mystery at the Water's Edge - 2009

Mystery at the Water's Edge - 2009

This image was inspired by a spot along Davis Bay on St. Croix where the water had carved the sand into soft curves and mounds. That glowing green object held in the shadowed curve of sand emerged as I worked on this image. It had to be coaxed out into the open.

Haiti-haiti flower (Thespesia populnea)

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. *

Haiti-haiti flower - 2009

Haiti-haiti flower - 2009

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.

Beach Barstool and Pot of Gold

Beach Barstool

Beach Barstool

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?

The Dark Side

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.

Shield - 2009

Shield - 2009

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.

Blog? Why a blog?

It's a what?  -  2009

It's a what? - 2009

Maintaining an art blog requires some work. So why do it?

Two somewhat unexpected benefits I’ve already learned:
• Developing a post forces me to think about my work and articulate those thoughts.
• Posting a new image encourages me to make sure it is the best it can be.

And two that I’ve read about:
• A blog is a way to expand the audience for new work, and helps create a web presence.
• A blog can create opportunities to receive advice, praise and criticism from other artists, and just enjoy the interaction with others who have similar interests.

We’ll see about those…

So just what is that little creature?

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