Posts tagged art
Posts tagged art
Practicing my watercolors with Princess Anna.
Paper Towel Landscape
The colors used in my last illustration.
A Ship With No Souls - part 2
St. Maarten/St.-Martin is an odd tiny island. My tour guide gave the briefest ‘history’ lesson ever (“The French man and the Dutch man made a bet to walk around the island. And where they would meet again would determine how much land each side have. I don’t know if the French had longer legs or if the Dutch was lazy, but that’s what we have now.”), and it left me feeling like Wikipedia probably had more information. The French side definitely was quieter. The houses a little more private, if they were large. The capital, Marigot, a little more quaint. The people a little less hungry for action. I had not eaten any food in the Dutch side but the food at the French side was amazing. The restaurant I stopped at was a small place with plastic chairs and tables squished together under a tent. Apart from a little review from Anthony Bourdain in its menu, there was nothing to hint that the food would be delicious and thus lunch was an incredible surprise.
Of course, a day’s tour can’t confirm anything, but I had noticed things were a little more ambitious in the Dutch side. The best and simplest example is the airports. The airport on the French side was a small strip allowing only a few planes per day, most of which were private. The airport on the Dutch side was a literal show, with one end of the massive landing strip right next to a beach. When planes arrive, the crowds stand to cheer and salute, with the aircraft barely skirting overhead on the beach before going over the fence and onto the strip. When they depart, they move to the end, turn with its tail facing the beach. Sand kicks up into the air, forcing sunbathers to jump into the ocean. Even in the ocean, the force of the jet’s engines ripple out on the waves, a miniature storm experience before the plane taxis off and flies up into the sky. Whereas the French airport seemed like some hush-hush entrance into the country, the Dutch wanted a big show, with the arrivals listed on a surfboard like listings on a rock concert poster. Even the Dutch airport, built in 2006, was modern, large and proud.
The photoset is simple – no big comparisons between the two sides, and they might be the touristiest photographs I’ve taken in a while. I don’t know if the conch and the urchins were handled safely or correctly, I apologise.
On a side note, I had joked in the tour car that my memory only had a three-year lifespan. My guide thus proceeded to lecture me about how horrible that trait is and that she even remembers her first communion when she was eight. She had been given chocolate milk, which gave her just horrible flatulence that her aunt had to shake the curtains to remove the smell. It was the strangest tour I ever had.
I have very strange memories of a mysterious place in St. John, U.S. Virgin Islands. It was raining and there were steps leading deeper and deeper into this little maze. I remember glowing lamps and crowds weaving in and out of shops with wide open doors and windows. If I were to paint this place, I would use soft blues with touches of pale yellow. This memory is corrupted and I know it. I’ve romanticized it, making it some hidden secret on the island, when it is in fact a popular shopping area. I imagined vines clinging onto the walls and steps so steep, I had to cling to the walls.
When I arrived there ten years after I first visited, I wanted to rediscover this unknown area and compare the present to the memory. The place, I learnt, is called Mongoose Junction. It’s definitely touristy, with middle-aged freshly tanned groups drinking colourful drinks and wearing wide-brimmed sun hats. Out of the many pictures I took of the place, I unfortunately only had two that I thought were somewhat interesting to present here. The rest were congested with shoppers and tourists. The steps didn’t stretch as high as I remember, and maybe it was the bright sun, but I would definitely paint this place browns and reds than the cool blues.
I won’t say I was disappointed, because I was very aware of how many years had passed and how much I imagined it. It has always been a shopping district and not some mystical grotto I happened upon. It’s still very beautiful. I hope that next time, when I wasn’t rushing to this place before catching a boat back to St. Thomas, I would be able to explore a little further and maybe see if there were any of those secrets from my childhood.
Information on Mongoose Junction can be found here.
The other six pictures taken were from a bus tour around the island.
When I visited the Bahamas, I was determined to avoid everything and anything Atlantis Hotel-related. It’s not that I have any personal beef with the place but I had been to the Bahamas before when I was much younger and had my share of what the hotel was like (my family and I surreptitiously stayed at the Sheraton hotel next door). I took a taxi tour this time, vowing to learn more of the Bahamas’ history which I am happy for, though the tour was brief. I wanted very badly to take photographs at Fort Fincastle, but with three titan cruise ships docked at a nearby harbor, the view was definitely a little… odd.
The photoset presented are some of the small things I discovered during the tour. No views, no overly-touristy landmarks, no sunsets and beaches (sort of - I cheated on one). Just small findings in New Providence Island, Bahamas.
A Ship With No Souls - part 1.
(Happy New Year, guys!)
"He’s got on with his life."
(watercolor, gouache and a blue pencil)
One of my many odd renditions of Mr. Cumberbatch (as Sherlock). I think I’m improving. I’m very impatient for the new series.