Archive for the ‘by the sea’ category

Ocean and Sunset Artist Trading Cards

April 12, 2016

Ocean.ATC.Stirred.Sea

Creating Artist Trading Cards (ATCs) with the fabulous Helga Strauss Stevens of ARTchix Studio was a big part of how I discovered my love of making collage and mixed media art.  It’s also how I made the e-acquaintance of the delightful artist, Lenna Young Andrews, who is hosting an Ocean & Sunset themed swap of these small, almost-business-card-sized works of heart—all made just for the love of art and sharing the joy with other artists and crafters!

I couldn’t resist this theme, especially with such glorious sunsets by the sea and crystal-clear aqua waters around here.baby.turtle

Sunset.Inspiration.WestEnd.GBSo, I set out to have some fun with warm tones and cool blues, making 3 of each theme (and a couple extras for personal swapping). I started with watercolor paper and acrylic paints for the Sunset cards … yellows and oranges and a touch of red mixed in with some gold highlights:

1st.Layer.SunsetATCs.2016 2nd.Layer.Sunset.ATCs.2016 3rd.Layer.SunsetATCs.2016 4th.Layer.Sunset.ATCs.2016For the Ocean cards, I let my love of gelli-printing on tissue paper lead the way and started layering that in with various bits of collected paper (and vintage ARTchix sheets):Tissue.Paper.GelliPrints.4Ocean

Beginnings.Ocean.ATCs

With all the backgrounds ready …

Ocean.Sunset.Backgrounds4ea

… I started browsing through my stash of image sheets from ARTchix, and paired pictures with some other wisps of paper, stamping, some typed “by the sea” words (on yellow tissue to blend with the paint), and little embellishments to bring the ATCs together … I kept the colors separate in the Sunset & Ocean themes (warm and cool), but loved playing and mixing the themes together in the content, with bathing beauties and sea creatures cavorting on the Sunset cards too! The little veined marks in the backgrounds of some of the Sunset cards (almost reef-like) was made by letting a little water into the paint mix and pressing the cards together … it added to the blending of the colors and I’m totally in love with how water creates these little rivulets—patterns that show up in paint, in tree roots and branches, in underwater coral fans, in our veins, in trickling raindrops … it’s an organic flow that shows up everywhere water makes its mark!

Sunset.ATC.Seahorse

Sunset.ATC.BySea.w.Fish

Sunset.ATC.bySea.Flower.Shell Sunset.ATC.Love.Sunsets

Sunset.ATC.BySea.Mermaids

A quick picture of the fine line needle tip applicator that I used for putting little gold highlights on the cards—shown in front of my beloved trusty 1955 Royal Quiet Deluxe typewriter—I love pecking collage words out on this machine as much as I love hearing the carriage return bell DING!

fineline.applicator

I finished off the backs of the Sunset cards with snippets of polka dotted papers gleaned mostly from odd bits of wrapping paper and smudges of paint in the same warm tones … just because I love dots dots dots … and paint!

Sunset.ATC.Seahorse.Back

Totally enjoyed finding more bathing beauties and images and sea-inspired touches for the Ocean themed cards … snip, snip, glue, stamp … there’s even a thin layer of clear pouring medium over the blues to give them more of a water feel …

Ocean.ATC.LiveIN.Sea

OceanATC.EnjoyToday

Ocean.ATC.MerryMermaid

Ocean.ATC.Beachcomber

Finishing them off on the back with more polka dots, along with Starfish postage stamps from The Bahamas (they have especially pretty postage stamps in The Bahamas that I seem to use more in collage than in mailing letters! 🙂 )

Ocean.ATC.Card.Back.ET

Thank you, Lenna, for hosting such a wonderful swap—I really enjoyed the process of making these—and what fun it will be to find ATCs from other artists waiting for me in my mailbox in a few weeks!! Swaps swirl with shared joy and the glow of art enthusiasm … just like sunsets and the oceans of creativity sparkling out there … enjoy!!

Picture Postcard Kind of Day

January 25, 2015
Banana.Bay.1.25.2015

© paula boyd farrington 2015

 

Enjoying the afternoon at Banana Bay … a true Grand Bahama paradise kind of day … straight out of a picture postcard. The combination of brilliant and soft-blended blues, an intensely-gentle warming sun, a just-enough breeze, and low humidity all came together today in one stellar “Ahhhhh ….” that begs both simple enjoyment and a cyber-singing of its praises.

It is after all High Gratitude season here.  When I first moved here, people told me this idyllic time of year was sometimes referred to as “gloating season”—that is not my intent here. And we year-round island residents have waded through our share of summer heat and high humidity to get to these glorious days of dewy-free revelry. These slice-of-heaven days may already be well-enough celebrated in the tourism brochures, but those images don’t capture all the little moments of day-to-day warm winter bliss …  the long rays of dawn glinting off the cat’s fur …

cat.w.sun.glinting

… the delight of finding that the avocado tree in the back garden is offering up yet one more late-ripening gift of green goodness …

late.ripening.avocado.1.2015the silhouette of a shorebird wading in late afternoon liquid gold glimmers …

silhouettes.shorebirdsAhhhh indeed.  Perhaps today is received with extra gratitude and thanks because it was blustery and somewhat gray yesterday—a grand day in its own way with the palm fronds applauding madly in gusts, as if cheering wildly for the cool front to get here—sweeping a path clear for silky sun and cyan sky kisses that take your breath away. And give you pause to take an extra-deep breath and offer up a quiet hallelujah for natural wonders—and absolutely exquisite island days.  Here’s to the sunshine of the heart, wherever your paradise …

 

Art in the Mail: International Postcard Swap

May 17, 2014

Postcard10

Postcard9.Mermaidens

Postcard7

Postcard8.Bahamas

Postcard6

Postcard5.SeaSiren

Postcard4

Postcard.3A

Postcard2

Postcard1Enjoyed creating these mixed media collage postcards for iHanna International Postcard Swap.  These cards are crafted out of recycled pieces of cardboard,  along with some vintage ARTchix Studio images, scraps of old sewing patterns, bits of imprinted paper napkins, acrylic paint, gelli prints, and odd wisps of wrapping paper—a blend of textures and colors and fun celebrating the abundant sea and aqua blue waters that make this archipelago nation of 700 Bahama cays and isles extra delightful—along with a vibrant international community that calls these island home!  These 10 cards are winging their way to various parts of the world, and I’ll soon photograph and post those that land here too!  Handmade art. Snail mail. Adventuring art hearts! Thanks, iHanna.nu for coordinating this lovely exchange!

 

An Art Garland of Sea Scallops

November 19, 2013

Garland.Day.At.BeachGarland.Sea.Frolic Garland.Sea.Star Garland.Shell.Chaise Garland.Swim.In.FlowersGarland.Mermaid.Silhouette

I created these scallop-shaped collages for an ARTchix Studio swap at the end of summer—all with a sea theme, and splashes of mixed media goodies:  vintage bathing beauty images and laser wood cuts (from ARTchix), plus tropical umbrella-paper & stamped cupcake-liner toppers, colorful blue/green background papers, tissue paper, watercolor crayons, and even snippets of paper doily “scallops” painted with gelato sticks and fortified with layers of Mod Podge® to make them more durable.  The art-scallops string together with ribbons and festive ties into one see-worthy garland 🙂 … oceans of fun!

And deep oceans of thanks to the amazing Helga Strauss Stevens, owner/creator of ARTchix for inspiring so much creative joy, not only with this theme and so many others over the years, but also as a pioneer in supplying vintage & contemporary mixed media images, custom-made embellishments, and ephemera and cool stuff of all kinds when she started ARTchix 12 years ago.  She’s the one who started me on my collage journey, and I am heartily grateful, and ever in awe of her talents, generosity, kindnesses, and fun-loving spirit. Brava, Helga, Brava!!

p.s. … and here are the lovely, beautifully-detailed, whimsical, and smile-inducing scalloped artworks I received in the swap … waves of thanks to all the artists who made these and the extra bonus goodies in the packages too … thank you!

sea scallop collage by Michelle McLean of artfulembellishments.com

sea scallop collage by Michelle McLean of artfulembellishments.com

sea scallop collage by Lisa Robinson
sea scallop collage by Lisa Robinson

sea scallop collage by Naomi Walsh

sea scallop collage by Naomi Walsh

sea scallop collage by Ronetta Bantly

sea scallop collage by Ronetta Bantly

sea scallop collage by Julo Twombley

sea scallop collage by Julo Twombley

 

Avast! It’s International Talk Like A Pirate Day

September 19, 2011

September 19th is International Talk Like A Pirate Day. This is the official day to practice saying “arrrggghh, matey”—and other plank-walkin’ talk—an occasion dreamed up by a couple fun guys who were bored one day, but had plenty of Pirattitude. They told funny guy/author, Dave Barry, about it back in 2002, and he put it in his Miami Herald column. The rest is shiver-me-timbers history, and people all over the world now use this date as an excuse to swagger about in their swashbuckling finest and to think about stirring some rum into their coffee. Or maybe that’s just me. Anyway, it’s all about having fun—and got me thinking about Grand Bahama’s own brush with fictional pirate fame.

Filming for some of Disney’s Pirates of The Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest and Pirates of The Caribbean: On Stranger Tides took place on Grand Bahama Island, back in 2006/2007. It was a thrill to see The Black Pearl and Davy Jones’ Flying Dutchman cinema-ships up close and to catch random sightings of the cast and crew out and about on the island.

We were all swept up in the movie-making excitement—especially my daughter and her friends, who had a great time devising their own buccaneer ensembles in which to search for treasure and adventure during Ye Olde Playtimes.Halloween at our house that year included a rather commanding and fierce-looking Pirate Princess known as Sparrowla—an imaginary long-lost sister of Captain Jack Sparrow:Here’s to sailing the Seven Seas of Imagination and Laughter for as long as you can! Yo ho, me hearties, yo ho!

 

 

 

Out of The Blue: A September 11th Anniversary Tribute

September 11, 2011

 I wrote this poem in the weeks following the tragedy of September 11th. My heart wanted to wrap everyone in the healing waters here in The Bahamas—the starfish I saw was such a stark contrast to the horrific devastation, such a reminder of how amazing life can be when we’re not terrorizing one other. The poem originally appeared in Grand Bahama Island Magazine—a welcome digest my husband and I published for many years. I post it here with prayers and remembrance on this 10th anniversary of September 11th, and blessings of natural wonder and grace and hope.

Out of The Blue

The waters of The Bahamas

shine so clear and blue

reflecting a kind of peace

that is eternal and renewed

Catching sight of a simple starfish

resting of the sand beneath the waves

there’s wonder and a sense God put it there

as a natural tribute, just for you

For everyone who lost their lives

and those who labor still

to heal and defend

the freedoms we all hold very dear

Where do we go for comfort

to find the strength within

to fight the good fight without fear

to find the peace again?

We lift our eyes up heavenward

and then look here on earth

for reminders of a paradise unlost

where hope can be rebirthed

… and under the liquid surface

of waters that sparkle true blue

we gaze upon a simple starfish

and find the courage to love and live anew.

— Paula Boyd Farrington

Bahama Blue Bathing Beauties

May 30, 2011

The color BLUE dazzles in The Bahamas. Countless variegated shades of aqua, cyan, cerulean, azure, sky, royal, indigo, and sapphire surround us in the shifting seas and are celebrated in all kinds of art—including these artist trading card collages I created for the blue-themed ARTchix challenge.

 

I loved making these vintage Bathing Beauty mixed media collages. The backgrounds came from photos of tropical-water-hued fabric prints in my fashion wardrobe, photographed and printed onto paper, then layered with some retro-fun ARTchix Studio images and historic postcard text.

I love splashing into waves of blue and frollicking in art.

Tra-la.

 

Sand In My Shoes: A Collection of Island Stories

December 20, 2010

I love this book. It’s touching. Tender. Laugh-out-loud funny. It gives you a taste of island life that goes beyond the usual idyllic picture postcard images and gets straight to the heart of things.  I love these vibrant, adventurous, warming, and humorous stories so much that I helped the author (a dear friend of mine—Marina Gottlieb Sarles) orchestrate the layout of the book for publication, and I’m pleased to say it has been received as a new island classic. Well into its 2nd printing, the book has garnered fans from around the world. It’s a wonderful gift any island lover will enjoy and a great introduction and insight into Grand Bahama’s beginnings—the author, Marina Gottlieb Sarles, is the daughter of the first village doctor and nurse—and draws storytelling inspiration from her childhood in The Bahamas.

Sand In My Shoes author Marina Gottlieb Sarles

You can learn more about this delightful book by clicking here. And it can be ordered online here or via Amazon.

On Grand Bahama Island, Sand In My Shoes is available at the Coldwell Banker James Sarles Realty offices at #9 Regent Center, at the beautiful new Art of Giving gift shop at The International Bazaar (beside Island Watch Repair near the arcade), at Oasis drug stores, and at the Underwater Explorers Society (UNEXSO).

Falling in love with the island and getting sand in your shoes is a true treat—enjoy!

Shades of Blue Bliss: Water Inspiration

December 10, 2010

Blue Bliss: Water Inspiration 8821 © christine matthäi

Artist Photographer Christine Matthäi has created an alluring and intriguing series of images inspired by the changing shades of blue and blissful reflections of what surrounds and supports us most—water.  Her travels to Grand Bahama Island and watching the wind and waves create motion, reflecting the sunlight on our gorgeous clear sapphire seas, is certainly part of her ongoing inspiration and fascination with water—that life-giving source vital to us all. Take a look at these modern, contemporary art works:

Blue Bliss: Water Inspiration 9589 © christine matthäi

Blue Bliss: Water Inspiration 8789 © christine matthäi

Blue Bliss: Water Inspiration 9587 © christine matthäi

Blue Bliss: Water Inspiration 9592 © christine matthäi

Blue.Bliss.Water.Inspiration.8908

Blue Bliss: Water Inspiration 8908 © christine matthäi

If you are interested in prints for your home or office, write to the artist at christinematthai (at) mac (dot) com and note the image number in the caption.

Or take a look at all Christine Matthäi’s gorgeous contemporary portfolios by clicking here.

I am fortunate to call Christine a friend, and am posting this because I admire her incredible talent and brilliant work. As with all things I enthuse about here, it’s simply because I enjoy it and like to make the world a brighter place by sharing the good stuff!

That said, I DO have a vested interest in my husband’s printing company—Freeport Advertising & Printing—a Grand Bahama-owned full service printing and graphic design business here since 1973. If you would like to win a big beautiful 24″ x 36″ inch, fomecore-mounted print of one of Christine Matthai’s images (your choice of the ones shown above), just click here to subscribe to their free Printer At Work newsletter. You can see a sample issue by clicking on the Printer At Work button on the bottom left side of the screen. The newsletter is a quick read, with great tips on marketing, design, technology, and ways to save money and  increase business sales. It comes out every two weeks, so you won’t be getting tons of email or anything. There are even a couple fun cartoons in each edition. (And of course, your email address is safe with us and will be kept private.)

Okay, that’s it. If you’re already a subscriber or have an account at FreeportAdvertising.com, you’re already entered and eligible to win. Subscribe by January 1, 2011 to be eligible to win the print. A random entry will be drawn by over-caffeinated gerbils, or some objective technological wizardry, and the winner announced the following week.

If you want to leave a comment here letting me know you’ve subscribed, or which print is your favorite, or just to jump in and say the water’s fine, that would be wonderful, but is completely up to you.

And if you need some last-minute Christmas cards printed, or little notepads with people’s names on them as thoughtful gifts, I know just the place! (that was the last commercial plug–but aren’t imprinted personal things so cool?—okay that was it, really … I get on a roll and can think up all kinds of fun goodies to print!)

Enjoy the blue bliss of water that surrounds our wonder-filled island and makes us all fortunate in business … in beauty … in life … each and every day. In gratitude for the time and tides—Paula.

It's about the water. It's always about the water. Southern shore of Grand Bahama Island.

 

 

 

 

 

From Boots to Banana Bay in One Beautiful Day

December 9, 2010

You only get a handful of occasions to really justify wearing winter boots on Grand Bahama Island.

Yesterday was one of those days.

Unseasonably low temps in the upper 30s kicked off the day. Clear and a couple degrees warmer than our U.S. neighbor, Florida, (just 68 miles to the west), but still nippy for those of us more accustomed to the kind of warmth and humidity that keeps air conditioners running all through the summer and early fall.

But by mid-afternoon, the thermostat had buoyed up to what I like to call “Goldilocks” weather … not too hot, not too cold …. it’s juuuust right.

I picked up my daughter and her friends from school and decided we would savor this sumptuous high-blue sky, silky-sunshine, and flat-calm, low tide afternoon at a casual beachfront restaurant called Banana Bay. It’s a laidback, delightful place where boots are seldom seen, and shoes in general are quite optional …

We claimed a spot overlooking the wide beach, put in an order for some burgers and salads that the attentive staff cooked while the kiddos explored the eddies and sandbars that emerge at low tide …

… all sorts of shells and sea patterns, sea weed and driftwood glisten …

… a sturdy hammock slung between two palms becomes an imaginary high-seas swaying ship with some help from youthful imaginations …

and then the magic of the low-slanting rays of late afternoon sun start to glow …

bathing everything in a golden winter warmth …

glowing everywhere …

with a dazzling finale!

If you’re reading this from somewhere that’s seen more than your fair share of snow already … I do heartily apologize.

But I just had to capture the soft enchantment of this best-of-both-worlds kind of day. Boots and Beach. A taste of two winter paradises in one.

And if you are in the midst of a snowy winter wonderland type of paradise, please make a snow angel for me. I love snow angels. They’re best friends with the sand angels and mermaid angels that live here by the sea.

Enjoy the wonders of wherever you are. Tra-la.


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