A Week in Paradise

bahamas1Hope Town (the town), Elbow Cay (the island), Abacos (the group of islands in), Bahamas (the country, Commonwealth of the Bahamas which is 700 islands/islets in the Atlantic Ocean south of Florida and north of Cuba.  I spell all this out because I thought it was one island in the Caribbean somewhere.  Invited by our friends Sandy and Brit who are sailing there, Liz and I flew off to meet up with them for a week in Hope Town.  What follows here is my hastily sketched and stenciled and collaged memories.  Hasty because we were far too busy swimming and snorkeling and eating and shopping and exploring our little island in a golf cart and did I say eating? and sailing and drinking and eating and, well you get the picture. Sigh.

I brought little sketch kits for the girls so I wouldn’t be alone with my scribbles, and they caught fire with their sketchbooks!  I also brought some small stencils and stamps to decorate the pages in case we just ended up writing desciptions of our activities.  My book, a stack of 6″ X 8″ soft pressed watercolor sheets I put spiral binding on, came home dog eared, rumpled and even water logged in places – saturated with the elements of beach and wind and sunshine.

bahamas2But first we had to get there, which meant a red eye flight from San Francisco to Fort Lauderdale followed by several hours in the airport waiting for the puddle hopper plane which flew us and 6 other people to Marsh Harbour.  Who would have guessed we could sleep so soundly curled up on a bench in a noisy airport?!

bahamas3A taxi, a ferry across the Sea of Abaco with the island children just getting out of school, a ride to our Blue Moon cottage with the hosts and finally we’d arrived in our island paradise.  Enough time to realize that we’d entered an entirely different reality, where everyone waves and greets you like you’re an old friend.  Above is a view from our porch in the cottage.

bahamas4and those lovely yellow green coconuts everywhere.

bahamas5Brit brought us a lobster he’d captured while diving, cleaned it and we had it for dinner. Not like the lobsters we have on the west coast.  I think they call them crawfish and they’re huge and brightly colored.  One fed four of us.

bahamas6Here’s Brit kite boarding at Tahiti Beach while we beach comb.  Frankly I stand at first in utter and complete astonishment at the endless stretch of immaculate white sand framed by a constantly changing palette of water and sky drama.  My little watercolor palette collapses in dismay at ever getting it right.  I decide to go with the feeling for the rest of the week – get it down and dirty, inventing when necessary.  I plunk down in the sand to do this windy sketch.

There’s more.  . .coming tomorrow. . .boats and lighthouses and rum drinks. . .

1 Response to “A Week in Paradise”

  1. March 22, 2014 at 8:22 am

    I just love the freshness of your sketches! I love how you are able to capture the essence of a place with just a few lines and limited palette. I’m still sketching because of the great start you gave me with your classes!


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In conversations with the Muse I mix paint with vision, collage with story, word with meditation and prayer. And out of the mixture comes a release of energy and healing and a lightening of the load of everyday living. You'll find most of it here, where I've been showing up for the past few years, along with collectible paintings, travel sketchbooks, figure studies and an invitation to join me in art play and discovery!

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By Susan Cornelis


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