Monday, January 19, 2015

Curacao Colors

  Here is a little gouache study inspired by my recent sojourn to Curacao

 Windswept                                               gouache, 8x10 inches 

Greetings and Happy New Year!  

Hope 2015 is off to a great start for everyone.  I’m resolving to keep evolving my problem solving.  Yes!  Also hope to get to the gym regularly.  Anyway, about two month have passed since I last graced the internet with my ramblings.  So much has happened and I’d be remiss if I didn’t fill you in.  I traveled to the far off lands of Curacao, one of the famed ABC islands in the Caribbean Sea which is just forty miles off the coast of Venezuela.  There I was inspired by the beautiful, colorful, crumbling buildings and the fantastic underwater coral vistas teeming with fish of all shapes and sizes. 
At three of Curacao’s museums I was educated in the dark and tragic history of the largest port during the shameful slave trade.  The Kura Hulanda Museum had the most extensive collection of slave-related artifacts and replicas I’ve ever seen, anywhere.  I visited the oldest synagogue still in use in the Western Hemisphere which has sand floors to symbolize the forty years in the desert.  It is also a reminder of when sand was used to muffle the sounds of the secret prayer sessions held during the Spanish Inquisition. 
I walked on the floating Queen Emma pontoon bridge also known as 'The Swinging Lady' which opens up to let ships into the large natural port.  All this whilst dodging mosquitoes carrying the painful Chikungunya disease!  I got bit a few times but luckily no illness.  Wow!  I was there for only two and a half weeks and I still haven’t processed it all!  
In addition to these far off adventures I received an award from Plein Air Salon for the 2014 October/November bi-monthly competition and agreed to participate in an exciting Cityscapes Show in Massachusetts scheduled to open in February.  Great way to start 2015!
Below are a few pics of my Curacao adventures.  Enjoy!

(December 2014)

 Did a little bit of plein air painting despite the grueling heat

Enjoyed a serene morning at the Mikvé Israel-Emanuel Synagogue

Cool sculpture in courtyard of the haunting Kura Hulanda Museum 

Ben striking a pose in front of Willemstad's floating market

 The charming 'Swinging Lady' bridge in all her holiday glory!

We explored colorful coral and shipwrecks under the sea

 In between snorkeling and painting, I napped and worked on my tan at the beach

 These cool Iguanas were everywhere, some as big as my cat!

 The Curacao hermit crabs were quite fashionable, with their unique and colorful shells!

Took a day trip to Klein Curacao and explored the landmark lighthouse and cool shipwrecks

U P C O M I N G   E X H I B I T I O N
Cityscapes Group Show

Idling on P3                                           oil on canvas panel, 9x12 inches

I am pleased to announce that three of my paintings will be included in the ‘Cityscapes’ show at the Francesca Anderson Fine Art Gallery located in Lexington, MA.
This exciting show, which is scheduled to open in early February, will feature some remarkable ‘city themed' artwork from renowned local and out of state artists.
Click here for more info and exhibition details.

R E C E N T   A W A R D !
 October - November 2014

Versailles Launderette                    oil on panel, 8x8 inches

I was pleasantly surprised and delighted to get some fabulous news while traveling in Curacao. 
I was notified via email that I had received the ‘Best Building’ award for the PleinAir Salon October/November 2014 bi-monthly online competition juried by Joseph McGurl. Yay!
Click here to view roster of winners for the October-November 2014 contest.

 2 0 1 5   P L E I N   A I R   W O R K S H O P S
I hope one of your New Year’s Resolutions includes joining me this September for my eight day plein air painting workshop in Spain.  It’s going to be awesome!  But I understand if your Resolution is to simply join my fantastic five day plein air painting workshop in Ojai, CA in April.  That also counts as awesome!  Ojai is conveniently located within an hour and half drive of Los Angeles and is  overflowing with lush pastures, curly old oak trees and a rich variety of wild British celebrities.  
If you resolve to come to my Esalen workshop in June, I would also count that as a very awesome New Year’s Resolution.  Treat yourself, don’t cheat yourself!  
Most awesome Resolution of all contains some combination of all three workshops :-)
Click here to view all 2015 workshops.

Thank you for taking the time to read my blog.  Hope you enjoyed the pictures and learned something new about Curacao.  It’s not just a blue colored orange liqueur used to make AMF’s, it actually is a place in the Caribbean where you can buy AMF’s should you so desire ;-)  
Here’s to a shiny and happy 2015 and may all your resolutions remain resolute and may all your painting dreams come true!