Monday, June 15, 2009

Well...finally home, tired...but filled with unique
experiences and memories. This was my home for
seven days, and perhaps it was sailing that proved
to be my favorite part. Bringing back a good many
memories from my tour in the US Navy...

I remember my father, (having served 13 years in
the navy) saying how blue the Caribbean waters
were...(as I served in the Med), and he was quite
right. The water struck me as though having color
you'd expect of a jewel or gem-

I was on this trip as a class advisor, responsible for 17
graduated high school seniors and nine adult/chaperones.

The upper decks is where daily most hung-out...

and here, over looking the "Lido" deck...

Interestingly, I had kids complaining by near week's end,
that there was nothing to do. Heck, I was content just to
look out over the Atlantic/Caribbean waters from deck
three where I went often to get away from the crowds, as
those that know me would not be surprised I'd do-

But...let's see, nothing to do they said, hhmmm...there was
a caged/netted in area on the 12th deck for basketball and
volleyball, a running track, an 18 hole mini golf course,
ping-pong, a half-dozen swimming pools, and about that
many hot whirlpools, a spa, sunbathing decks, Las Vegas
style shows in the palace theater, night clubs, discos, a half-
dozen five star type restaurants, 24 grill and all nighter
pizzaria, a mini-mall of high end stores to shop, bands and
music performers daily and nightly throughout all the ship,
television in your state rooms, oh...and a casino.

So...yep, I guess I can see how boredom and frustration
would set in!!!

At our first Port of call, Nassau, Bahamas...I got away
from what I knew years ago as the "Hey Joe" tourism
areas to find this old church of Scotland, and set down
to paint. Propositioned several times along my merry
ole way if I were interested in buying drugs or dope.

I guess I must have that look....

I didn't bother trying to bring oils to get thru the
TSA airline brought my Cotman watercolor
field kit and a few small tubes of watercolor in my
checked bag. Had a pad of paper...and also, did not
have the convenience of time in-between shopping and
excursions with the others to travel about freely or
paint as long as I would like. These then amount to
watercolor sketches.

I laid in the values with Wolff carbon pencils first,
going over with a brush and water to bleed and
render the subject. Then I applied watercolor over
the top...something like working over a grissalle or

This is 9"x 12"... St. Andrew Presbyterian Church of
Scotland...Nassau, Bahamas

Next was St. Thomas...and as others went about their
shopping part of the excursion, I found an obscure alley
way and sat down...this one, 9"x 12"

...following this watercolor, we hopped back onto our
open taxi having one heck of a fun ride, 35mph in 10mph
roads with no shoulders and sharp curves...and went to
Magen's Bay beach...rated one of the top ten in the world-

Then it was off to my favorite island, that called St. Maarten
divided in side the Dutch, and the other French.
Very much enjoyed kayaking in the seas leading in and
out of lagoons and wonderful beaches.

After a fine swim on one of the beaches we landed our
kayaks, it was off back to the ship on our 120 person
capacity catamarran. Then, I walked around and found
a bronze dedicated to Pieter Stuyvesant, the islands first
governor in 1643...and did this watercolor study, 12"x 9"

I was approached by folks interested in buying
my studies, but let them know I was creating
what would amount to souvenirs of my
experience for myself. Each time I do trips
abroad however, I get the feeling were I to be
so inclined, I could probably recover my travel
expenses simply by painting. Such as was my
experience in Alaska...and so want to go back

On board ship...well, what other subjects are
there but people themselves. Not my choice of
ideal subjects...but when you have the itch to
paint whatelse do you do? So, I did the little
paint and don't let folks know what you're doing

These were in a sketchbook, and again just
simple little quick sketches...nothing special,
but an exercise...

Nice to be home...but what a pleasant experience to have
had...(all other responsibilities aside...)


Mick Carney said...

Aren't sketches a far better way to create memories of such an exciting trip than photographs? I taught for many years but never managed a trip with students like yours.

Larry said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Larry said...

Everywhere one goes on the port of calls, become aware of shops that are part of an extended village of the cruise ships. No doubt the ships share in profits from the sales.

On these islands of the Caribbeans, it is jewelry from well known stores in the US such as Kay's Jewelers, etc.., and other designer names like Rolex, Gucci..etc., and it struck me as bizaar that one should desire to frequent the shops one could anywhere in the states.

So...for me these sketches represented my alternative to the expensive trinkets or tokens people gravitate to as validation for their trip. Seeing the culture, experiencing the atmosphere...well, that was a gem enough for me. No need for the jewelers.

take care

andersontg said...

How interesting to check your blog and see that you were in my neighborhood for a bit! I live in St. Croix, USVI,and have shared similar chaparoning experiences taking high school students down island on a class trip, so your narrative gave me a grin. I'm part of a plein air group who paint in a different place on our island every Friday and passers-by are always very interested in our efforts. Although sales rarely occur, their reactions are always an entertaining part of our mornings!

Larry said...

One of the bummers of such a cruise is in and out...

One thing I enjoy teaching workshops is getting to know the local artists and seeing that which tourists just don't really get to see. A very good reason I'd like to go back to the Juneau, Alaska area now.

I was limited to what was near the ship, in walking or quick taxi distance, and limited to time. Imagine you see some wonderful things.

Thanks for dropping a note!


Helen Read said...

Sounds like a great (but tiring, perhaps) trip. Love your sketches and commentary! looking forward to seeing what paintings come of these!

Larry said...

As tiring as one gets, and with the responsibility as heavy a weight as it the end, we had a very unique experience not soon to be repeated. Thanks Helen...