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.