Carbon Seam and Palm Lights

Carbon Seam - 2009

Carbon Seam - 2009

The dead trunk of a palm plant washed up on the shore. At one end was the tangle of roots joined to the base of the trunk. At the other, the spiraled remains of where the living palm fronds had been attached subtly tailed off into fibrous strands. These two semi-abstracts are interpretations of each end of this single object that had washed ashore.

Palm Lights  - 2009

Palm Lights - 2009

Bromeliad Beauty

Bromeliad Beauty -- 2009

Bromeliad Beauty -- 2009

This bromeliad was growing in a friend’s garden. It’s not a perfect specimen, but the colors, the bit of water still held in the center, and the curve of the leaves all drew my attention as an illustration of the imperfect beauty available at our feet every day, if we only take time to look.

Outfall

Outfall - 2009

Outfall - 2009

This image started as an abstract, but somehow also became a reflection on our culture and economy. It is interesting how the colors, the grid-like overlays, and the shapes contribute to an ambiguity of meaning that the imagery of the pipe and wall alone could not carry.

Upheaval at the shore

Upheaval at the shore - 2009

Upheaval at the shore - 2009

While walking along the beach, the blue waves of the Caribbean Sea were in sharp contrast to the sunlit golden sand, coral stone and little black sea urchins at my feet. Suddenly, the warm tones of the sand and stone just under the water’s edge burst out, threatening to tear the very fabric of the sea… I wonder if that happens every day.

A Flower in the Magic Forest

Cannonball tree flower -2009

Cannonball tree flower -2009

The cannonball tree is named for its heavy round fruit that grows on gnarled stems attached to the tree’s trunk (see photo below). The flowers are beautifully complex and colorful, with hues of red, orange, yellow and white – almost a world unto themselves. You can see a second interpretation of this flower on my web site.

This tree is a specimen at the St. George Village Botanical Garden on St. Croix, home to many strange and wonderful tropical plants. And no, the fruits are not edible. In fact they stink when they fall and crack open.

Cannonball tree fruit

Cannonball tree fruit

Rooted in the Magic Forest

Rooted in the Magic Forest

Rooted in the Magic Forest

Buttress roots form at the base of many old shade trees in the thin tropical soils. These roots curve around and reach out to support the massive trees above. This was an old silk cotton, or kapok, tree whose buttress roots seemed to be actively searching for what they needed from the earth.

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

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.)

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