Sunday is one of those days where you try to appreciate all the good things. Like today we had a day at the beach enjoying the sun, sand and water.
Last summer I painted a very abstract butterfly which now lives proudly on someones wall.
Sometimes I create things and don't know why. Sometimes I create things for a purpose.
This little butterfly has been on my mind for a while. I love the way butterflies seem to float on the breeze.
Butterflies are really just moths that got a lucky genetic break - at least from a human perspective. We love butterflies but moths eat our clothes and we chase them with flyswatters.
Since I am apt to try to draw pretty things, I suppose a moth might be out of the question. But you never know.
We had a really interesting caterpillar in our frangipane tree outside. It had brilliant colors - yellow, orange and black. I looked it up and it doesn't turn into a beautiful butterfly at all but it sheds its beauty to become a pretty mundane moth.
I was a bit outraged because the caterpillar was eating / killing our frangipane tree (beautiful flowers). We had a little catch and release program going on. We would take the caterpillars off our tree and relocate them somewhere it didn't do so much harm. I should do a drawing of one of those sometime.
I enjoyed my Sunday - I hope you do as well.
We have some really good friends who surprised us with some great news the other day. They're going to be grandparents. They're overjoyed at the prospect of this little one coming along. I really can't think of anything that would make them happier.
As that thought was settling into my head and percolating, I remembered how their daughter (the expectant mother) was so enthralled with the great apes: Bonobos, Gorillas, Chimpanzees and Orangutans. She studied them at university and even spent some time working with them in South East Asia.
I can't remember exactly what kind of apes she specialized in. I remember being told many times. That seems to happen more and more as I move on in years. Some things I thought I would never forget just fly out the window. It's like the wind was blowing through my ears and sucked that bit of info right out of my head. In it's place I am left with the impression of the information I used to have but not the substance.
We were very glad to hear their news and we wish them all the luck we can muster for a happy and healthy family. This little drawing is for them.
One of the bonuses of being a sentient being is you get to recognize the beautiful things that are all around you. Your mind can focus on a pin prick or the vast expanse of a colorful sunset.
I love the sunrise and the sunset.
Sunrise is full of opportunity and new promise. The world transforms from dark to light and things become clearer. With light comes warmth, confidence and new vigor.
Sunset lets you reflect on the day's gains and losses. My world, or my particular part of the world, rests. It's a respite from a busy and day. But it's also a beginning. It's a time for letting your hair down. (What hair I do have).
Not all days are created equal but sunrises and sunsets are consistent. They are such amazing experiences. It's as regular as clockwork.
The real primo thing about a sunrise or a sunset is that it's free. The only price you pay to experience it are the breath you take and the attention you spend. So, hey big spender, spend a little time appreciating the finer things in life.
They are promises and the world always keeps her promises.
Treat her well.
Hull Bay is by far one of the most relaxed beaches on the island. When you go there you really feel like you're getting away from it all. Take a couple of beach chairs and/or a blanket and you're almost guaranteed a private spot on this little gem.
The beach really isn't very big but it packs the scenery in. You won't get tired of watching the waters come and go. Surfers come to this beach because, if you do a bit of paddling there are waves out there ready for surfing. Like I've said in another post, they're not Hawaiian 100 foot monsters but they are big enough for somebody with a surfboard and and the desire to get up and make a run at it.
Personally, I think it's a lot of paddling for rather unimpressive waves but I'm not a surfer. I understand surfers need their fix. I've seen some people make some good runs out of the waves there.
Paddle boards are popular here are well. The behemoth this guy is carrying is a paddle board, not a surf board. This drawing shows him off to work. He gets on his paddle board to get out to the boat he charters. Not a bad way to travel to work if you ask me.
Hope you enjoy the day.
My biggest issue lately is a question of style. I like so many different things and each subject develops a style on it's own.
When I start a painting or drawing I kinda know where I want it to go but I don't really know where it's going to end up.
It's sort of like cooking I suppose. You know the recipe and you know how to put all the ingredients together. You have the tools. You develop little bits of knowledge and various techniques. In the end the dish kind of appears. Each plate is slightly unique, slightly different, but still, if you've practiced enough, it'll tastes good.
I always thought kind of stuff was artsy babble. "The drawing tells me where it wants to go". I'm not sure I really buy in to that sort babble fully but it's true in a way.
I've always thought harlequin masks were cool. One of the participants in the parade last weekend was wearing one.
I decided I would draw that mask.
Thanks for helping me think through this a bit. I usually don't know what I think until I write it down. ;-)
The Carnival Adult Parade is a time to let loose and be free. It's a celebration of expression. Most of us and I'm including me in that group, have trouble expressing ourselves. We have been so conditioned to get along.
When I was young I'd get made fun for not being tough enough or not fitting in where I wanted to. My parents didn't encourage me to be too different although my parents were and are uniquely themselves.
So I go from day to day and from week to week and from year to year conforming and contributing and being an upstanding member of society. I've done a reasonable job at that one.
I've always felt there was something more though. There's another level to this game and the way you get there is being slightly outside of the norm. You can't be the same as everybody else and unique but I think we're unique by nature.
That means that you have to express yourself in some way that is different than everybody else. I don't think you need to express yourself to be different but if you express yourself honestly you will be different. That comes from inside yourself.
I don't want to be like everybody else but I have continued to conform. That's where stepping outside my old comfort zone is necessary. It takes doing the things that other people are either unwilling or unable to do.
Being unique doesn't mean you have to be obnoxious or have an irritating, in your face personality. What I think it means is you have to be yourself.
That's what I'm doing here. I'm being a little unique, expressing myself and doing it publicly. It makes me feel better. It makes me feel like the creative person that I know I want to be. It is making me feel ... well ... more me.
Thanks for reading.
Life throws some scary things at you like the little creaks in the middle of the night, the speeding car that passed you unawares or unknown aches and pains we can't explain. We worry about everything. It is in our nature. We over-emphasize the things that might hurt us.
As a species we are always trying to mitigate risk. We want to be sure the crops will flourish, we want to know our family will be healthy, we want to know that the put in on the eighteenth green will go it... We are a superstitious bunch. Through our evolution as a species we have created talismans to ensure things work the way we want.
In a way a talisman will work because you can start focusing on positive outcomes. Rituals and talismans provide us psychological protection against the boogey men and bad things that can happen.
In the Virgin Islands that protector is the Moko Jumbie. At carnivals and celebrations the stilt walkers come out to play. It takes quite a bit of talent. These Moko Jumbies are high walkers watching over the people and keeping evil things away. A good Jumbie performance can be a great spectacle. Some stuff they do is completely jaw dropping.
I choose not to be superstitious but hope the Jumbies are watch out out for me. I did this stylized drawing thinking back on the sky walkers on parade during Carnival. One of the island's great attractions.
I hope this week goes very well for you. Loved the parade again this year.
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.