Thursday, July 30, 2009

Pendants for life

I love this necklace. I wrote about it in another post Alphonso and The Coconut.

My husband and I bought each other similar necklaces from Alphonso, a local artisan in Negril, several years back. I chose this one, a luscious coconut carved from Lignum Vitae, with a spiraI of tortoise shell over coral, attaching it to a leather cord. My husband chose a coral chalice embedded with pieces of silver, wrapped with a spiral of tortoise shell and also linked to a leather cord.

Alphonso, an elder rasta, took his art very seriously. He would rather sell his wares to The Right Person than just make a buck from a bad-minded buyer. After choosing our necklaces, Alphonso took them back to "prepare" them for us. He returned that evening, a healthy shot or two of overproof under his belt, and performed a ritual of sorts before handing them back to us.

He circled the yard of Whistling Bird, under the bright light of an August moon. He would pause in various corners of the place, muttering soft incantations at each stop, blessing the piece in the darkness. My husband and I exchanged glances, raising eyebrows and jutting our chins at one another, smiling. Alphonso eventually returned to our verandah. He then recited a blessing over each of us and placed the necklaces over our heads, one at a time, letting them gently fell to our neck and shoulders. A blessing of unity, family and love.

We will miss Alphonso, no more jewelry for us or for anyone. He passed away this past spring.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

here's another...............

ACEO No. 2, 2.5"x3", ink, watercolor, white gel

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

You'll see it here first

I've started making a few ACEOs (Art Cards Editions and Originals) and will put them up for sale shortly. Here's a preview:

ACEO No. 03

You can google ACEO to get the full story, but essentially they are miniature art cards, always 2.5"x3" -- tiny -- but can be completed in any medium. Whether they be watercolor, acrylic, oil, collage or wood, clay, fabric, and metal. Size is the only qualifier.

They were quite a fad for a bit and the enthusiasm may have slowed somewhat. People collect and mat/frame them, or just treat them the way they would baseball cards. They are fun to make.

These 3 are on textured paper, made with watercolors, ink and white gel pen.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Bridge to the Beach

This little bamboo bridge at Whistling Bird doesn't travel over any water -- it just leads you directly to the sea. Sweet spot.

Bridge to the Beach, 9/5"x4", ink and watercolor on paper


REMINDER: Friday, July 31st is the last day to take advantage of my buy-3-for-the-price-of-2 print sale on Etsy. Check it. Free shipping worldwide.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Table For Two Mangoes

Hey girls, you take your own table this morning. Mommy and Dads are dining alone today. Banana pancakes with sliced pawpaw for the pickney. Cheese omelette with callaloo and passion fruit for us.

"Just Natural" is one of the sweetest spots to eat on the West End in Negril. Opposite the cliffs on the roadside and tucked away behind a jungle of flowers. Hidden delight.

"Table for Two Mangoes", 14.5"x9", ink and watercolor on paper

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

R Train Uptown, Thursday Morning in July

She wore a fountain of fire-engine red hair, but just on one half of her head. And she was pissed off at something. Seriously.

Monday, July 20, 2009

I was featured on The Front Page of Etsy today

I don't imagine it's too tough to spot my painting -- "Rasta Pickney Deh Deh" -- in the collection of 12 items (9 shown in photo) featured on the Etsy main page today during the 2pm slot.

Etsy's reach is huge, with over 1,902,073 average daily page views from all over the world. Getting placement on the Front Page, even for just one half-hour slot, is something most sellers crave. Some land their multiple times, some folks never.

I saw my page views for just that one painting go through the roof, from about 20 views over the past couple of weeks to over 245 within the space of about 20 minutes.

And then - boom - before anybody else could take a look at it, it sold.

Followed that with a sale for 3 more -- life is good.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Amused by The Muse

Yeah mon, yuh mek mi laff fi dead. Yuh mi MUSE fi true.

Nobaddy know wha'gwan like wi. It nah go soh. Itta go SOH.

The heat is creeping in at last. Clothes discarded, piece by piece.

Mek yuh strip dung. Nice, eeeeeee?

I smell the snapper on the grill -- poured the wine.

Come nuh, mi wan sintin' fi nyam, seen suh?

And tenks. Tenks fi de flowah dem, King.

You know how I like my flowers, honey. "I'd rather have roses on my table than diamonds on my neck" -- a true dat, Emma.

Nuff pritty-pritty flowah in da place mek one house one true home.

Big show tomorrow in the city -- kids away, mummy and dads will PLAY.

Sweeeeet summah!

Wednesday, July 15, 2009


You know I prefer the ocean. Whether it be summers on the coast of Maine, where I learned to swim in the arctic-cold Atlantic, or the balmy bathtub of the Caribbean, crystal clear straight to the bottom -- I'll take the salty sea over chlorine any day.

But a pool in the Berkshires ain't too shabby.

Berkshires No. 1, 6"x9" watercolor on paper

Thursday, July 09, 2009

Christmas in July

Seriously. Shop NOW. Save big.

I'm running a special sale in my Etsy shop -- Buy Any Two Prints, Get a third FREE. Shipping always included.

Note: the lesser priced print of the 3 will be the free print. Still, a great deal.

Sale in effect through July 22.

As they say on the beach, "looking is free". Browse prints here.

Sunday, July 05, 2009

Grillin' and chillin'

Having a laid-back weekend -- family and friends always passing through the place. King is putting the new grill, his Father's Day gift, to the test. As Empress, I am requested to season and prepare feeesh, fowl and even some lamb chops (sshhhh, ital police, always deh 'bout) while he gets the coals burning.

Life is GOOOOOD!

Friday, July 03, 2009


Under the seagrape,
Sugar sand in my coffee
But I don't mind much.

Negril No. 12, 9"x12" watercolor on paper

Thursday, July 02, 2009

I'm lucky, I'm lucky --- I can walk under ladders*

and, we hope, we'll have a home in Jamaica -- one day soon.................

Last week I posted a gocco print made from a palm tree drawing I made while in Jamaica. What I didn't mention was that the spot on that mountain top is the place where we hope to build a home -- and this is the view, looking west, toward the seaside town of Savanna La Mar. Negril lies further beyond, in the hazy distance:

We've already begun to cut a road up to our spot:

A closer view, it's pretty rugged:

Our daughter snapped a few photos of me drawing on our friend's property right there on the mountain. You can see the ocean beyond the palm.

The result was a drawing that I turned into the previously discussed print.

Here is another version, hand painted with watercolors, of that very palm.

It is available on my Etsy shop, along with another version, matted and ready for framing.

*a nod to Joan Armatrading

Wednesday, July 01, 2009

Beach High Kewl

Negril No. 2, 6"x4", Watercolor on paper

Higglers, patties, palms,
Catch a glimpse then hit the road:
Roast yam with saltfish.