This has been an interesting month. From April Fools to Taxes to my mother's birthday. This is a recap of the drawings I have done over the last 30 days. One drawing a day. I have found that coming up with ideas is still challenging.
I've discovered styles I like and styles I am not so fond of. I try to learn something new every day, practice something every day and produce something every day. So far it's working and I am happy with the results.
It's time to move on to the next month. Continue to learn, practice and produce.
Here are all of the drawings I have done over the last month. Enjoy.
Today is the 30th of April. In 1933 on this day my mother came into this world. Though she did not have an easy life, it was often plagued with illness, she had a good run on this earth.
She brought up two cantankerous sons and made her own way on the land. She always reminded us of the importance of education and being kind to others. She has five grandchildren who remember her well, love her and miss her since she's gone.
We had our differences at times but I loved her very much. I wish we would have had just a little bit more time together. Then, perhaps, I would be completely insane by now. Today I choose to remember the good times.
Today, I remember her with this daffodil. She loved the spring and the flowers it would bring. Flowers bring a little bit of happiness into your life.
Rest in peace momma. Someday we'll meet again and have a great party!
Y'all have a nice day.
Today, we are off to Carnival. We've gone to Carnival all but one year since we have been living in St Thomas. The Carnival schedule started this year on the 1st of April and runs through today the 29th of April. If you want to see the St Thomas Carnival Schedule you can go to the website.
There are all kinds of events which culminate tonight with a fireworks display. When I say we have gone to Carnival I mean to say that we go to the Adult Parade which meanders through the streets of Charlotte Amalie. The parade is a interesting event. People drinking on the side of the road watching people drinking and walking down the middle of the road.
There are hundreds if not thousands of people who actually take part in a parade that lasts most of the day. Many of the costumes are ornate and beautiful. Some well not so much. It is an interesting, home spun celebration of V.I.-ness. Caribbean music, dancers, and my personal favorite the Steel Drum band. I always look forward to that float. There must be about 75-100 kids/young adults on three floats of two levels. They play their hearts out. It's wonderful. I look forward to it every year.
On Thursday this week, as part of Carnival, there was a horse race. I think I had mentioned that the race horses exercise by swimming in Vessup Bay. I was thinking of the horserace and thought I would try this new style on a drawing of a horse.
We're going off to watch the parade - you have a nice day.
I know, I know - this is a drawing of a butterfly. But this drawing set the way-back machine in my head going.
Somehow I guess the color red reminded me of the song Little Red Corvette (Prince). I used to think that my life would be so much better when I got a red Corvette. I fell in love with the car when I was visiting my cousins Debbie and Darlene in Vancouver, BC. I think I might have been 16 years old at the time.
Debbie's boyfriend, at the time, pulled up to her house in a glistening bumble bee yellow Corvette. I think I fell in love right then and there. That was the car for me. The lines, the engine, the look of it all was a bit too much for a 16 year old to handle.
I lived with this obsession for years. I'd stare longingly at Corvettes whizzing road and wished I was in every one I saw. It was really was pathetic.
Finally, after years of ogling and mulling over what it would be like to own my very own, I took the plunge. I looked all over the place to find just the right one. Then, at long last, I found one that was in my price range. It was in pristine condition. It was a Red Corvette! When they asked if I wanted to take a test drive and I said "Oh! Yes! Please!". I think there may have even been some drool sneaking out the corner of my mouth. It was like the first time I drove a car all over again - a mixture of apprehension and childish anticipation.
When I was snugged into the driver's seat and my seat belt was clipped low and tight around my waist - as they say on the airlines, I was Rocket Man, I was Mario Andretti, I was in the car of my dreams!
Pulling on to the road, I could hear the rumble and feel the power under the hood. I could feel my back pressing into the seat. I drove around for about 1/2 hour. I went up this street and down another. I went on the freeway and I practiced parking. I did left turns, right turns and u-turns. I went fast and I went slow. I felt fast even when I wasn't moving.
The funny thing is, in the end, that little test drive satisfied my curiosity. I now knew what it was like to drive a Corvette and although it lived up to my dreams in many many ways, I realized it just wasn't the car for me. The way the seat is situated, I felt like I was sitting on the road. The way I was leaned back I felt I was actually driving in a coffin. I heard of somebody who loved his Corvette so much he was buried in it. Now that's fanaticism.
"On this day in 1994, the ashes of 71-year-old George Swanson are buried (according to Swanson’s request) in the driver’s seat of his 1984 white Corvette in Hempfield County, Pennsylvania.", This Day in History, May 25, 1994
For me, though, I sill like looking at Corvettes. To me they're really attractive. I even went to the Corvette Museum in Bowling Green Kentucky a couple of summers ago. I saw where the big sink hole was. I saw all the Corvette Models. I even registered to try to win a free one. (I wouldn't turn it down). But I'm over my obsession.
It's funny, sometimes how you think something is going to make you happy. You think it might be the answer to all your problems. It will make you feel good about your self finally. I've kinda discovered it's best to feel good about yourself first, then all the other things will come.
Oh, by the way, The butterfly above was really fun to draw. I might do some more in that style in my quest to create esthetically pleasing images.
I wish you well.
There are lots of boats out on Vessup Bay. I know there are lots of people living on those boats too. Living on a boat is a little dream of mine but living on a boat comes with its own unique challenges.
I fantasize about living on a boat free from the encumbrances of daily life. I'd get a solar panel, a wind generator and even a gas powered generator as a back up. Television is certainly not necessary cause you can actually get pretty good internet on a boat wirelessly. Mmmmm my own self sustained little cocoon. "No phone, no lights, no motor car, not a single luxury, like Robinson Crusoe, it's primitive as can be."
The problem is I've seen some of these folks and let me tell you it ain't always pretty. The loner life does something to you. I've seen people transform. I don't know if it's that they lose a sense of community or lack interaction or have just plain given up. Sailboats dingy's and beaches don't make for a very interactive social life.
I don't know how I did it when I was younger. As I said on an earlier post, I used to crew on a sailboat out of Sausalito and we used to race sailboats on the weekends. I absolutely loved it. Today I have real problems with sea sickness. I don't know what happened to me over the years but I now have to tank up with Dramamine if I even want to look at a boat.
I'm still keeping it in the back of my mind. I might still have it in me but I look at that lifestyle now and have some questions. Me and a dog living on a sailboat, painting pictures, and writing little blog posts. The loner in me is screaming Yes! Yes! Yes!. The practical me is cringing with the daily challenges.
I see this guy coming in with his dog to go for a walk when I go for a beach walk in the morning. Lovely little dog - though it bit me once. It was more of a love nip than a bite. Since he has satisfied himself that I don't taste really good he hasn't nipped at me any more. He still comes up to say hi and get a little pat on the head though.
Information Professionals are my people. I've been working in the information industry since 1990 when I joined LexisNexis. I have been a member of the Association of Independent Information Professionals (AIIP) since 2010 and have learned an lot taking advantage of contacts, training and support. It's a small association and it's members are so helpful.
Information industry professionals are a diverse set of characters from a long list of industries and practice specialties from DAM (digital asset management) to MAD (marketing asset deployment) and lots of places in between. Some of us are just plain DAM MAD.
The association exists to support entrepreneurial minded individuals who run information oriented businesses. Some are hard charging information industry entrepreneurs who have a full time business and some have a part time business trying to make it full time. We all support each other with advice, training, and camaraderie. We share issues, advice and support each other. It's like having a group coach you can always go to to ask questions and get good solid, no nonsense answers.
This May we are gathering in New Orleans to share stories, learn new things, and get ideas that can help us be more productive. It will make us better equipped to face the challenges beyond the conference. I hope to gain insights from members attending and learn from people who have been there before.
I am looking forward to meeting with my people in New Orleans and maybe experience some of the sights and sounds there as well.
I look forward to the experience.
Here's a little video of the drawing above with a bit more information about the conference.
You can always go to http://www.aiip.org/conference for more information too.
When the skies get gloomy the wind kicks up and the surf gets a touch rougher. Not Hawaiian 100 ft surfing waves but more the wind driven white cap kind. It's at times when the wind gets-a-howlin' you'll find the adventurers come out to play.
I don't know where they hide when the sun's out and the seas are calm but get a little cloud in the sky and kick up a little breeze and you will find them out in droves. Some of them come to Great Bay to take advantage of the prevailing winds coming off the Atlantic.
Great Bay has two distinctions. The first is probably more well known than the second but I'll give you both.
First - Great Bay is where the Ritz Carlton Beach Club, with its manicured lawns, meticulously trimmed trees and lovely turquoise waters, is located. To say it's a well maintained property probably does it an injustice.
Second - On days that end with a "Y", I'll probably spend at least a little bit of my time wandering paths on the property and enjoying a walk on Great Bay Beach (Ritz Beach).
Beaches on St Thomas are required to be public. It doesn't mean I can pull up a Ritz chair and sun myself or use their floatation rings and towels, but it does mean that I can enjoy the beach and enjoy the atmosphere. And so I do.
Most of the time there are lots of people out sunning themselves and taking advantage of the multiple bars on the beach. On days when the winds kick up I love to watch the strong athletic types cut through the surf on their kiteboards. It's mesmerizing. The other day I saw one guy get at least 10 feet out of the water (maybe more). He was literally flying. It looked like so much fun. When I watch those adventurers I wish I was 20 years younger. But I'm not - quel dommage.
I wish you well.
I try to get out for a walk most days. As it happens, if you walk any distance at all on this island you run into water. Small islands are like that. Since we are in a chain of islands, when you get to the water, you usually see another island. For the most part one island kinda gets to look like another.
When you get to the end of Cabrita Point you can see St John. There are a bunch of other islands/cays in sight but the closest is St John.
St John is a bit more laid back than St Thomas. A bartender told us one time that St John is sometimes referred to as St Yawn and St Thomas, in comparison, is referred to as St Trauma. I'm not sure I agree. I would say that St John does have a different atmosphere. A more relaxed and beachy kind of feel to it.
Part of the reason for that St John remoteness is the Virgin Islands National Park takes up about 60% of the island. The National Park has probably kept real estate development somewhat under control I suspect. From all the homes, hotels and apartments that litter the part of the island that is not national park you wouldn't think so. The most built up area by far is Cruz Bay.
Cruz Bay is where the ferry comes in from St Thomas. Vacationers coming to St John get deposited at the dock at regular intervals. If you can make it past the bars and the shops, there are some fabulous beaches on the island. Most of the beaches are a taxi ride away but I think they're well worth it.
There's not much to do on St John but dive, snorkel, shop, eat, drink and go to the beautiful beaches. Not necessarily in that order. Of course, what else would you really want to do on an island in the Caribbean.
I love to sit at the end of Cabrita Point and take in the view. This little drawing is of the south eastern end of St John from Cabrita Point.
You can get your very own copy of St John From Cabrita @ RedBubble.com
Some people like boats with motors and some people like boats with sails. I prefer boats with sails. Don't get me wrong - power boats are cool too but for different reasons. When you're on a sail boat you feel more like you're part of the sea rather than being set against the sea. Power boats slam into the water. It feels like you're beating your way through. Sails boats allow the wind to draw you forward. It beckons you to continue your journey.
Seeing sailboats disappearing into the distance you can feel yourself drift away with them but not in an alternative universe or new age strange way. It's the perspective and repetitive shapes that kind of draw you in. You can almost feel like you're going along with them. You can imagine yourself to be off to a new adventure just over the horizon. I do like drawing sailboats - especially in this kind of loose fashion.
It's a natural thing to return to something that you know how to do. I kind of know how to draw sailboats and that lets me experiment and be a little more free about drawing them. I'm not worried that it's going to end up looking like a one legged frog or something.
Everybody knows how to draw a sailboat. Two triangles and a base. I guess the trick is to try to make it a bit different and a bit special.
We live across from American Yacht Harbor in Red Hook and I see a lot of sail boats come and go.
In the spring there's an international regatta run out of St Thomas Yacht Club. Thus the name "St Thomas International Regatta". Captains, mates, sailors and pirates descend on this tiny island in March for the regatta. The race is a big deal and the boats are absolutely wonderful.
I've often thought about buying a boat but I'm reminded of the two best days in a boat owners life: the day he buys the boat and the day he sells it.
Boats can be absolute money pits. You have to pour money in to keep the gear up to snuff. You don't want a line to fray, a sail to rip or a winch handle to fail when you really need it. Of course everything you need costs more than $500. You can rent a boat for a thousand dollars a day and it's probably a cheaper option.
It's hard not to think about buying a boat when you live here though. Especially because, were something go wrong, escape might be necessary. Disaster planning is always in the front of your mind when you live on a small island.
St Thomas really is a tiny island. If you look at a map of the western hemisphere you probably won't even see it. For reference it is a couple of islands east of Puerto Rico.
So here's my current plan:
Option 1: I know someone who's off island at the moment. His boat is empty while he's not here. That's top of my list right now.
Option 2: Appropriate / misappropriate one of the empty boats moored in Vessup Bay, hoist the sails and slink away into the sunset.
Option 3: Rum, lime, coconut and wait. (stocked up already)
It's a toss up which one plan is best right now but you always need a plan. Society is so freaking fragile and things can go south in a heartbeat. You don't want to be stuck scrounging bananas, coconuts and genips with the feral dogs, iguanas, and chickens.
I've been told that you need to keep your drawings lose and gestural to get more action into them. If the drawing is too stiff it takes a lot of the life out of it.
Since it's Saturday, and things should be a bit more relaxed on a Saturday, I thought I would try to hang loose. Today, I feel real loose. Not quite like a long necked goose but close enough.
It's time to chill.
Putting a little creativity in your life is important. I'm sure that everybody is put on this planet to be creative in some way.
The way I look at it, creativity comes from looking at things in a different way. The expression of thinking of things in a different way can be the manifestation of your creativity. It's, as they say, thinking outside the box.
Photography, writing, drawing, painting, music, tattooing, mathematics, winemaking, programming, woodworking, dribbling a basketball or kicking a football. All these things are manifestations of a creativity, education and practice. You need to firmly plant that manifestation outside your box.
For the longest time I knew that I liked to draw but I would live in my head and didn't produce anything. Sure, I'd pick up a pencil and occasionally draw something. That something usually ended up in the bin.
In order to produce something you usually have to learn certain skills. Those skills often come at a cost. Hard work, risk and even sometimes reward. All that takes time and instruction (self or otherwise). Success comes from the consistent pursuit of worthwhile goals.
You can be the greatest whatever in the world but if you don't create you are not exercising the muscle that makes you get better. You have to occasionally go beyond your comfort zone. Creating is really just manifesting your talent and we all have some talent.
Here are two birds that watch each others back and help each other along. This was something that grew from a doodle. Perhaps someday it will be more but right now it is a manifestation of my practice for the day. I am happy for that.
What's your worthwhile goal? Where do you apply your creativity?
I hope everybody has a great weekend.
Many, many years ago, like so many others, I got by on noodles. They were cheap, easy and quick. They made the perfect fast food. I loved the really cheap ones. They were yummy.
The problem is you get used to cheap things when you're younger. You also get used to bad habits. Then, when you're older, you gravitate to those habits.
Why do you keep returning to your roots? Because you know the things that helped you get by in the past will probably serve you again. You gravitate to old habits even though they will probably hold you back.
To move forward you have to break old patterns. Bad habits like settling for less will never serve you well. You have to put in the work to get your best out.
I could have quit. I could've not done the drawing and not posted it. That would have been playing into the old comfortable me. That me doesn't want to wander out and put my neck on the line. I've learned over the last couple of months doing these drawings that I need to do the drawings get them out even when I don't want to. I don't want to be tied to the old insecurities that keep me from my best performance.
Another day down and another day on target. Another day I slew the dragon.
Back on the horse tomorrow and I'll see where it takes me.
It's funny what happens when you let your mind wander, when you get in the zone a little bit.
I was having real problems coming up with something to draw today. I hope I don't have the same problem tomorrow. I thought I'd try an exercise to free my mind of the obligation I feel to be as good as I can possibly be. Today - this is as good as I can possibly be.
It's just a little doodle. I was amazed to see something starting to emerge from the visual cacophony of discordant shapes. Though this was originally a free form exercise. When I was done and I looked back at the photo I saw interesting shapes come out.
I used some darks and lights to accentuate the image. I thought what came out of it was interesting. It was interesting to me. Many things that interest me are of not particular interest to many other people. I can live with that.
As humans, we're programmed to identify danger (Lizard Brain - it's the oldest part of our brain - survival - fight or flight). Many of us are even prone to over identify danger. Even in the mix of color I saw the danger coming out of the picture. I'll give myself two points for identifying the threat.
This was a fun game because it was a meditative process outlining the different shapes and it was fun to see something pop out of the digital explosion.
Okay - this was a play day for drawing. I'll set my mind on tomorrow and see what comes of the day.
I've been a bit preoccupied today. Perhaps this drawing isn't up to my normal standard. But with limited time and most of my concentration going into filing the dreaded 1040 I am happy to get a drawing done.
I don't mind paying taxes really. I don't mind putting up my fair share. I don't like not knowing if I am paying too much or too little. I resent the money has to leave my bank account. It bothers me the government is not fiscally responsible. These things bother me. Nevertheless, without taxes I suppose we wouldn't enjoy some of the things that we've become accustomed to like roads, bridges, defense, stable commerce within and outside our boarders. All these things come at a cost and they matter.
I resent it mostly because it's so complicated. I wish it was so much easier so I don't have to worry if my sums are valid and my logic is sound.
It's been many years since I've actually done a tax return myself. Why ... because before I had someone doing my taxes I would come close to having a stroke every day tax day comes up. My eyes would bleed and I think one time steam actually started coming out of my ears.
I have found the trick to peace of mind is doing your taxes early. Get it out of the way before you have to rush down at the last minute.
For me, I am satisfied that I do the best I can. That - I can live with.
Peace and joy to y'all.
Hermit crabs are almost as common as Roosters on the island but they're more tolerable because they don't make as much noise.
When you walk along the National Park road (a 1/4 mile stretch of asphalt along the south side of Red Hook Harbor) you can see holes in the ground to the sides of the road. If you catch it just right you can see hermit crabs scurrying back to their holes to escape danger.
One day while walking along Magen's Bay Beach I spotted what looked like a tiny(ish) conch shell at the water's edge. It was perfectly formed and in great shape. Not a flaw. What a find! Being a beachcomber from way back, I did what I should not have done. I picked it up.
Happy with my findI put it in my pocket and brought it home. When I got home I rinsed the shell off in the sink and set it on top of the clothes dryer to dry.
That night, as I was slinking off to sleep after a very nice day, I heard a scuffle from the laundry room. It sounded like someone thrumming their nails on the clothes dryer like an impatient boss.
I got up to investigate and found that this lovely little conch shell was alive and not with a conch! It was a hermit crab. Hermit crabs, it seems, grab whatever shells are available and make them their home. Nature's recycling program. This guy was trying to escape from Stalag Attenborough. I picked him up and put him in the kitchen sink. I didn't want him to inadvertently through himself off Mount Clothes Dryer. A three and a half foot drop can kill a hermit crab in or out of it's shell.
The next morning I went down to the beach with the little fella and I put it down next to the water. He was shy at first - again - but I waited a while as it scurried away and found shelter.
I learned my lesson. Don't freaking touch the wildlife.
You're not allowed to take shells off the island anyway and you really shouldn't mess with mother nature. So, look, gawk, stare and observe but please don't feed the animals or disturb what is in nature if you can possibly help it.
I was lucky the little guy lived. I guess he was a bit more lucky than me. I learned my lesson and he escaped with his life. He also had a great story to tell his grandchildren about his trials on Mount Clothes Dryer and the day he almost met his maker.
If you want to watch a really cool video of Hermit Crab migration on St John just click on this link here.
Have a great day.
This weekend I'm reminded of when we first moved to the island. It was in the beginning of April 2012. Five years ago. A lot of water has passed under the bridge since arriving here. At first, it was an exotic place to be sure. Beautiful vegetation, awesome sea views, potent pain killers (the rum drink not the opioids - though the opioid kind can also be found here I'm sure) .
The first place we stayed was called Pavilions & Pools. Basically small studio/one bedroom apartments with a limited kitchen - kinda like Guest Suites sans glitz.
One of the best features of this hotel was the fact that each one of the rooms had an individual swimming pool in the back. Not a huge swimming pool. I wouldn't be practicing for the olympics in it but they were a nice feature nonetheless.
I remember this place well - not because of the amenities, not because of the great views and not because the bathrooms attached to these little apartments were actually outside (greeting geckos in the middle of the night). I remember this place well because of the chickens. The roosters to be a bit more specific.
You see, on this island roosters run wild and they're awfully proud of that fact. I know that because they shout it at annoying volumes through the entire night. You could be inside with the air conditioning running (air conditioning is loud here) and you could still hear them.
Before being initiated to island life, I would have told you that roosters crowed very early in the morning. Of course it has to be true. You see it in all of those fabulous cartoons you watched as a kid. Now I know better.
To compensate we resorted to wearing ear plugs to bed at night. Still, it could wake you up out of a deep sleep.
I think eventually we got use to it. Now I don't think about it much.
Just so you know. If you ever plan on moving to the Virgin Islands the roosters rule the roost. I don't even think it's legal to kill them. Though, I've often thought of it. One night I ran down in the back yard with pockets full of stones at about 3am to run them off. I shut them up but I don't think I hit anything. I was aiming at the ground.
That's another thing. People tell you chickens can't fly. All I have to say is "How the hell do they get up in the trees?". Last I saw they weren't hoisting each other up on a dumbwaiter. I imagine they have some sort of limited flight capability cause I haven't seen them flying overhead either.
For now, we just kind of put up with it. We live with chickens clucking and roosters crowing and dodging them in the middle of the road. They hang out in parking lots, on the beach, at restaurants or anywhere they darn well please.
Okay - Enough about chickens. On to something more productive or at least less frustrating.
Things don't always turn out like you planned.
I started off trying to draw a rose. Believe me, that rose took on many forms in the process. At first I wasn't happy with what was going on with the drawing. After a while, it even became a bit frustrating. I couldn't get what I wanted out of the drawing no matter how hard I tried.
Then I thought, I'll just relax and go with it a bit. For a while things still weren't working and I put it down to take a breather. I started thinking that I should let go of my preconceptions and start just going with the flow and trusting the process.
I usually come up with something that I like, not always but most times if I just stick with it.
A lot of times we give up too easily. Right when your about to make a breakthrough, right when the going gets the toughest and you don't think anything is going to come of all your hard work you put in, something happens and a new concept comes to mind. You get a fresh look. You find a different way to work around the barriers.
Most times, I just have to give myself a chance to succeed not be afraid of a little hard/frustrating work. If it doesn't turn out then you still have another chance to make it better. For me, I just have to keep at it a bit.
I guess the moral of the story is to not give up too soon. I'm glad I didn't give up on it before it started to look like something. There's always the next one.
Around the corner and down the road from where we live there is a Montessori School. I'm not all too familiar with the concept. Apparently, the term Montessori refers to a method of education developed by an Italian woman called Maria Montessori. Go figure. It is an approach that is based around helping children discover learning. I won't go into much more about it because I would then be proven, beyond a reasonable doubt, to know nothing except what I can read on a Wikipedia Page. I have friends, including a daughter, who could probably explain it much better than I could.
I don't much come into contact with the school down the road at all except when I walk through the grounds on a weekend. There are cool things there like an over-sized chess set, an open air auditorium, and a combo basketball court/tennis court. Just up the hill a little from those cool open spaces is a Macaw. It is a grand large bird. I loved seeing it every time I walk through the school. Recently, however, he seems to have been relocated or is in the infirmary or he might even be... (won't say it). Suffice it to say that I haven't seen him in a while.
Every time I would walk by his cage he would put on a big display like he was protecting his roost. I'm sure if you were his friend or if you were the person who took care of him he would be more docile. I really don't know. To me, he was loud and disapproving.
Nevertheless, I enjoyed seeing him when I walked by. I miss him. I hope to see him again some day but in the mean time I did a drawing from an old photo I took when on one of my little strolls. This drawing results from that photo.
I am really not sure why that song popped into my head. Oh yeah - could be this white (kinda white) pigeon.
I enjoyed this one and put a bit more time into it that some of the others. I am not sure I am really happy with the results. But that doesn't matter. The point is that I did it and that is what matters. I don't always move beyond my comfort zone. For some reason this felt like a stretch.
I've heard that pushing yourself will help you get better. If you always do what you've always done, you'll always get what you've always had. It's good to push yourself a little bit.
I suppose I could let the drawing consume me. Then it would probably take many times as long. If the drawing took too long I would get discouraged. If I got discouraged I would stop. So setting limits on how long I'll take on a drawing is a bit necessary in my case. I'll live with this result.
When we visited Old San Juan a few weeks ago we went by Parque de las Palomas. There are hundreds if not thousands of pigeons in that park. Interesting place - pretty touristy but the views across the bay are really nice. They're trying to raise funds to restore the little chapel at the end of the road and it's open so people can take a look inside.
I really enjoy Old San Juan. There are a couple of art galleries I like there. We usually find something interesting in one of them. I think of it often.
For now, the memory of this pigeon will have to keep that flame alive.
On to the next drawing.
Get your own copy of Una Paloma Blanca at RedBubble.com
At night when you're roaming the backstreets of St Thomas - you might hear a bit of chirping going on. It's just some amphibians gettin' froggy.
The frogs here make an awful lot of noise. It's a tropical island so you might expect tropical sounds. I just didn't expect so much of it coming from the frogs.
We've kind of learned to imitate the sound. It gets a bit addictive. Sometimes I think they even talk back. Could be the rum talking though - but who knows.
One day we were sitting out on our patio having an afternoon reading and relaxing and one of these green hoppers came right up to say howdy. He was about as big as my hand - or maybe I was just a little startled and my eyes went wide as saucers. He was friendly and ended up clinging to the patio doors for about an hour or two before we decided we wanted to go in.
Once on his own I guess he thought that was it... the party was over. He wandered on his way. Neither of us was worse for the wear. Nice to have friendly creatures around. They kind of light up your life a little.
Don't worry - I didn't try to lick his back or anything strange like that. I just left him be. We have to get along with our neighbors. I wouldn't want them questioning my sanity any more than they already do.
St Thomas is littered with Iguanas. Sometimes you can't spit without hitting one. They can be found anywhere from the Ritz Carlton to Charlotte Amalie to Magen's Bay Beach. They are simply all over the place.
The same goes for chickens but that's another story altogether.
Once, I was driving down what we call kidney alley (unpaved and very rough road - since paved but we still call it kidney alley) I saw a dog running along the side of the road with an iguana in its mouth. The dog didn't seem like it was hurting the iguana. He seemed to be transporting the critter from one place to the other. I looked like the dog was traveling to work with lunch hanging out of his mouth. Poor iguana didn't look too happy.
They are quite fierce looking creatures but most of the time they'll just run away in a huff if you approach. Sometimes though these ancient warriors will stare you down, hiss and try to slap you with their tail.
The first time I ran into one of these recalcitrant iguanas was on the 15th hole at Mahogany Run golf course. He was close to where my ball had stopped in the fairway. I know, I know ... how often does my ball actually get in the fairway on a drive. This time it was sitting smack in the middle. I tried to shoo him away with my club be he wasn't moving. The more I tried to get him out of the way the more he was determined to come after me. I ended up dropping my ball a few yards back getting "iguana relief" is apparently allowed. Iggy won this time.
They also seem to like to come out in the blazing sun at mid day to sun themselves and gather heat. I wouldn't suggest feeding 'em. If you feed 'em they just start to associate people with food and that isn't good at all. I don't mind observing these guys but I would rather not sit down to tea with them. So ... Don't feed the iguanas please. The next thing you know they might want your beer and that would be completely out of the question.
Get your own copy of Iggy at RedBubble.com
This Sunday it was time for the Masters Tournament. I am pretty sure I have been able to watch a significant part of "The Masters" for almost the last 40 years. I can't remember missing one.
Something like "The Masters" has become so iconic in our that when somebody mentions it there is no misunderstanding. The Masters is The Masters.
This Sunday there was quite a duel between Sergio Garcia and Justin Rose. Though I think I was rooting a bit for Justin Rose I was just as happy that Garcia won. It was an emotional win for him. He finally won that "Major" has eluded him so far in his career.
I remember years ago when he first became a pro and people were following him. His swing prep was just painful to watch. I think even Jack Nicklaus even admonished him at one point telling him that he really needed to square that hesitation away. I am sure it took a lot of work on Garcia's part to change his annoying habit. He was able to overcome quite a bit to get where he is now.
The affectation that haunted him reminds me that if there's something holding you back from being the best you can fix it. Sometimes it takes a friend or a trusted advisor to give you the hard news that can help you break through. Then, you have to diligently work at it to be better. Nothing replaces hard work.
Well done Sergio.
Today this drawing of a hat I purchased in Puerto Rico last year. I got the hat from a shop called Ole Curiosidades on Calle Fortaleza in Old San Juan. It's a fabulous little shop where you get personal attention. The hat reminds me of my time there. It was a good time.
There's not much to say about this Saturday. My brain got a bit stuck and I had to pull something out of a hat.
When I was in the Marines we used we used to call the melon on top of your shoulders a "Brain Housing Group". It's kind of like an M-16 has a stock, a firing pin assembly and a trigger housing group. Saturday, my brain housing group wasn't fully engaged.
I think I hit a bit of a wall. It was difficult to get my brain in gear.
I'm in the middle of reading a Steven King book called "Revival". I'm over halfway through the book. It keeps you going along. Moving from one page to the other doesn't take a lot of action on my part. I read a lot this weekend but I get the feeling I should have been drawing more.
Ideas are really hard to come by. I read an article the other day (okay it was quite a while back) by James Altucher where he talks about writing 10 ideas down every day. Most of them will be awful but some will be worthy of taking forward. You can be your own "Idea Machine".
I suppose I should keep a log of ten painting or drawing ideas every day - so when I come to an impasse I can get off my high horse, review my ideas and pick one for the daily drawing. Sometimes I have an idea in mind when I sit down to draw and sometimes I don't.
The trick, I guess, is not to try to figure it out too much. Just do.
It was a nice Saturday.
Our friend and neighbor rescues critters who have had a tough time in life. They've been living out of dumpsters or wandering the streets or otherwise neglected. He takes them in, gives them Dr's appointments, nurses them back to health and cares for them like family.
On Martin Luther King Jr Day, January 16th, this dog was found down by Latitude 18. Latitude 18 is a local watering hole for us East Enders on St Thomas. Latitude is a fabulous place but not for a stray dog. This poor pup had been abandoned there. Restaurants and bars have lots of scraps by the dumpsters but not it's always the best kibble.
He is such a sweet dog. He just wants to be loved. Luckily, now he is. Because he was found on MLK Day we decided to call him Marty.
I was fortunate enough to take him for long walks and hang out with him. He's a bit of a dawdler but I think he loves the walks just the same. I even taught him how to sit. (I think).
He was lucky to have a friend like Bob take him in and I was lucky Bob let Marty hang out with me. I like Marty and he seems to like me too.
I said to myself, "Self, Marty really needs to be immortalized in art." So here we are. An iPad Painting of Marty.
You can buy your very own copy of Marty at RedBubble.com