Posted tagged ‘The Bahamas’

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!!

Crepe Paper & Cardboard, Costumes & Creativity — Junior Junkanoo 2013

March 5, 2013
Jr.Junkanoo.5.2013

photos by Paula Boyd Farrington

Junkanoo—that distinctly Bahamian combination of colorful handmade costumes, cow bells, horns, and rhythmic goat-skin drums pounding out a steady island beat were proudly on display at last month’s Junior Junkanoo Parade, February 2nd, 2013. Parents, teachers, children, and community volunteers dedicated countless hours through the year crafting costumes of hand-cut and finely fringed crepe paper, carefully pasted in layers onto cardboard forms sized to fit student performers—the next generation—who are learning first-hand about the history, design, and production of this unique cultural art form. The detailed costumes, dance routines, and fun themes chosen by participating schools are a delight to see, and a true celebration of island creativity. Here are a few photos from this year’s event:

Jr.Junkanoo.1.2013Jr.Junkanoo.2.2013

 

Jr.Junkanoo.8.2013Jr.Junkanoo.10.2013

Jr.Junkanoo.7.2013

Jr.Junkanoo.3.2013Jr.Junkanoo.4.2013Jr.Junkanoo.9.2013Junkanoo.Horn.Player2013Junkanoo.Jr.2013Congratulations to all the Junior Junkanoo participants, parents, teachers, coordinators, designers, artists, dancers, musicians, parade officials, volunteers, sponsors, food vendors, and support teams who made this lovely and lively Grand Bahama event possible.

Ka-lik, Ka-lik, Ka-lik. Hear that? That’s the sound the metal clanger in the cow bell makes when it rings—and it’s calling you to come see next year’s Parade. The Junior Junkanoo Parade is usually held in late January or early February each year, and the full scale holiday Junkanoo Parade in Grand Bahama is held in the evening on New Year’s Day. The Junkanoo Summer Festival is scheduled here for July 4 – 25, 2013.

Move to the rhythm. Move to the beat. Dance along. It’s a heartwarming treat!

 

Goldilocks Season

November 4, 2011

We entering into Goldilocks Season on Grand Bahama. The weather is not too hot, not too cold … it’s juuuuust right. It’s the kind of weather that makes you say “aaaahh” and draws your eye extra-much to every bright yellow bit of tropical bliss … … from cerasee bush medicine growing along the garden wall … … to fresh guava in the kitchen … … to more yellow elder (the national flower of The Bahamas) …

… to the way the sun bathes the palm fronds in warmth while a woodpecker taps his tat-a-tat-tat tune …… a soft light glowing on everything … ripening the sea grapes

  

photo by Caitlin Farrington

… renewed gratitude alighting in our hearts, and reminding us of so many golden days … giving thanks for the not-too-hot, hot-too-cold glories of November in The Bahamas! (And to how marvelous it is when the weather matches your mood … here’s to the glow of your internal paradise keeping you warm if you’re bouncing back from that too-cold-too-soon snow storm up north, or still waiting for a touch of fall—like we’ve been doing during the high humidity the past couple of months! Here’s to paying attention to the subtle and not-so-subtle shifts of season and keeping a weathered eye on the blessings that abound everywhere.) Tra-la.

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.

 

 

 

 

 

Famous Blueprints: Our Humble Historic Home

October 7, 2010



A few years ago we were delighted to discover that our unassuming little home in Grand Bahama was born from famous blueprints—designed by Alfred Browning Parker, whose post-World War II contemporary modernist work in and around Miami made him one of the most sought-after architects in the U.S., garnering high praise even from Frank Lloyd Wright—a guiding influence in Parker’s organic architecture philosophies.


Originally constructed for a former chief executive of The Grand Bahama Development Company, our modest two-bedroom home shares architectural roots with a much grander home, built by one of Freeport’s founding families on Sea Shell Lane. This property was recently sold by Coldwell Banker James Sarles Realty and photographed by fine art photographer Christine Matthäi. Matthäi’s artful images capture the home’s classic oceanfront elegance and the timeless organic nature of Parker’s work.

Sea Shell Lane residence photographed by Christine Matthäi

Parker shared a passion with Frank Lloyd Wright for designs that worked with local climate and natural materials. In tropical climes that meant louvered shutters and windows that allowed prevailing ocean breezes to cool things down in the days before air conditioning became commonplace. Parker’s sensitivity and commitment to use of indigenous materials is also evident in the limestone rock that is incorporated into both our humble abode and the Sea Shell Lane residence.

Beautifully blending local materials, recycled materials with then-modern techniques like poured concrete was part of Parker’s modernist mission. His designs are still relevant today in the way they seamlessly merge the interior with the exterior—blurring the boundaries between building and landscape in classic organic architecture.

Sea Shell Lane photos by Christine Matthäi. 2010 ChristineMatthai.com

In our little part of paradise, the grand old trees that surround the property are visible everywhere and bring a particular kind of contentment and sense of well being found only in the shade of their longevity. Our stands of mature trees were planted by Lila Gonsalves—the first President of the Freeport Garden Club—and I send her quiet thanks on an ongoing basis for the green goodness we regularly enjoy in the garden.  Sir Jack Hayward also had a hand in our arbor abundance, having given the now towering 40-foot tall Royal Poinciana tree that graces the front entry, to the original home owners in a coffee can—a tiny sapling housewarming present that bursts out in dazzling splendour every May & June.

Royal Poinciana entryway tree in full bloom

A kiss of the sun for pardon

The song of the birds for mirth

One is nearer God’s heart in a garden

Than anywhere else on earth.

— Dorothy Frances Gurney


Our small home and the Sea Shell Lane property are the only two known surviving residential works of Alfred Browning Parker on Grand Bahama—a tie to modern day Freeport’s history that still smiles on the ideal of harmony between human habitation and the natural world—an essential element in preserving our island’s inherent beauty and grace as we make our way into the future.

Related Alfred Browning Parker Links:

Alfred Browning Parker: The Master of Coconut Grove:

Modernism Magazine (Volume 11, No. 2 | Summer 2008)

House Beautiful Magazine

The legendary architect Frank Lloyd Wright commented on a home Alfred Browning Parker built for himself in the Coral Ridge area of Miami, featured as House Beautiful Magazine’s 1954 Pace Setter House:

“This Florida house aims at the highest goal to which architecture may aspire: organic architecture. Along this new but ancient way a home where the enlightened mind can flower, where people can develop their fullest potentials, is still a possibility.”

Slide Show: More of Christine Matthäi’s photographic images of Sea Shell Lane residence, click here.


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