This is gonna be a long one so pour yourself a glass of wine or a big cup of coffee. Or both. Before the workshop in Nagshead NC, there was a trip to Curacao to teach and participate in a brand new painting event. Even though I've pretty much decided to give up the painting events and focus on my own endeavors, I really could not say no because I have not been to Curacao that I recall. Though it was familiar in some ways. If Maui and Jamaica got married and had a child, it would be this place. Kinda third world, yet it has the highest per capita income of all the islands. A small island and yet it has more variety of landscape mile for mile than any other place I've been. One side is desert and cactus and the other is lush and tropical. Run by the Dutch but peopled with descendants of the slaves traded there, people of South America, Chinese, Koreans, folks from all the Caribbean Islands and some folks from Holland. Everyone there speaks at least 3 languages and many speak 5 or more. Lots of local people without a hint of local vibe, as in, we felt very welcome. And though it's a small island, the roads are placed like spaghetti that's fallen on the floor. No grid. Which translated into an extra hour or two each day of lost driving time. It got to be pretty funny by the third day. I shared a ride with Thomas Kitts and Hai-ou Hou. Two great people with strikingly different personalities. I'll just say I was somewhere in the middle of the spectrum. And I'm not used to ride sharing, at first it was a little cramped as we were in a Kia Speck, kind of a not-very-smart car. We somehow managed to get to where we were going and carry wet paintings and not kill each other. One evening, a car load of artists misplaced their keys, we had 6 people and all of the gear in a car that really should hold 1 and maybe a dog. It was pretty darn funny. If only I had been really gassy, that would have made the trip.
I took only one size panel (11x14) and had some inexpensive, lightweight custom frames made that I could pack and not have to ship. Did maybe two a day but it was so friggin hot that it was all I could do to get those done. The above painting was of a floating market in the port at Punda. Really cool looking place. Sold that one. The next painting is the other side of the market, water side boats, walkway side is canopy and fruit and fish. Sold this one too.
The first day we spent a lot of time driving and going off the beaten path looking for the gems. The more we saw the more we had a hard time choosing. For one thing, the houses there are all painted in tropical rainbow colors with a goodly amount of patina on the sides and roofs and that's the one thing I didn't get to paint, well, I did one. But I wish I had done more. That alone could be an entire show. The port was amazing because it had everything, oil ships, refinery with blazing fire from the chimneys, brightly colored buildings and boats of all makes and sizes.
This place required a guide to get to and once we did get there, it was enthralling. big cactus on a 40 foot rock bluff with crashing seas. Never seen anything like it.
And this place, what is it? Utah? Oh contrare, it's Curacao. It was a big quarry nestled up to a brand spankin new Hyatt. The boats below were in a nearby harbor. Must have been 50 of them of all colors. Another shows worth of paintings.
This time I treated myself to some fun experiences, I swam in the crystal blue ocean several times and even took a windsurfing lesson and now I think I have a new hobby. The show itself, well, it was a learning experience for the people there. First time event and scheduled to coincide with their wildly popular international jazz fest, it was a little wonky. Not great sales but subsequently I sold a few of the paintings during my last workshop, so it was all good. Great people, great friends, good times and a few paintings. Can't ask for much more than that.