The Changing Room

The changing room - 2009

The changing room - 2009

This image came from a little park on the beach nearby. There is a small building with changing rooms for swimmers, and a number of large rocks and boulders that have been painted bright pink, yellow and purple. The half door, the colored boulders and the play of the shadows under the eaves in the early morning light led to this abstraction.

Giant Sucking Sound

Giant Sucking Sound

Giant Sucking Sound

It was Ross Perot who popularized the “giant sucking sound” phrase. Living on a Caribbean island we hear that sound sometimes. But in our case it is the sound of major off-island “investors” (a.k.a., developers) sucking the island dry of its fragile and scarce land resources — leaving behind a ruined landscape and a few low-paying service jobs, while removing the value of the precious land they have consumed.

While this is not true of all developers, the islands are hungry enough for more economic activity that our leadership too seldom dinstinguishes among them.

Buck Island View 2

Thanks to Jane Hunt for giving me the blogger’s lemonade award! Jane paints contemplative heavily-textured acrylic landscapes. Check out her blog!

lemonadeaward

Since I ‘ve just passed on a tag of another award, I will leave this one on countertop for a few days before sending it on to some worthy bloggers helpful to other artists.

Instead, for today, I’ll share a new view of Buck Island, visible from my studio window.

Buck Island View #2

Buck Island View #2

While the island itself plays a role anchoring the top of the frame, the inspiration came from the water and the many colors it takes on from the sand, coral, urchins, depth, sunlight and clouds. It is different every day.

Sea Grape

When they take the form of a tree, sea grapes have a distinctive shape and silhouette, and an interesting texture with their large round flat red-veined leaves. This one had taken up a traditional position along the shore. The early morning light gave even the green leaves a reddish glow. I eliminated some of the distracting detail to focus on the colors, the light and the simple composition of the original scene.

Sea Grape by the Shore - 2009

Sea Grape by the Shore - 2009

Abstracts and Imaginary Landscapes

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.

Breaking Wave (Sandy Point - 2009)

Breaking Wave (Sandy Point - 2009)

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?

Lines in the Sand (Sandy Point - 2009)

Lines in the Sand (Sandy Point - 2009)

Guard Dog at Boiler Bay

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!

Guard Dog at Boiler Bay - 2009

Guard Dog at Boiler Bay - 2009

Sometimes the unexpected can add a smile to the day.

Digital Art Goes Back to the Beach

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.

Sandy Point Peel - 2009

Sandy Point Peel - 2009

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.)

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?

%d bloggers like this: