Monday, May 30, 2011

Beating the Block!... or... Inspiration Comes Through Perspiration!

All of us who are driven by an inner passion to express our Selves... no matter or art form or genre... face fallow periods... and not surprisingly... because creating is such a personal process... we come down hard on our Selves because of this situation. We assume that our "Mistress"... has left us.... forever!

It is a painful process... and in visiting a number of blogging friends sites, I have recently discovered a fair number of folks who are suffering from this affliction. Perhaps this feeling is driven by the slowing sales in the art world all over... or perhaps simply because we spend so much of our time seeing many other artists... who (supposedly) by their almost daily postings... are always "on top of their game."

If one looks carefully at those artists... one can readily discover that they share one thing in common. They are not trying to paint a "master" piece. They are quite simply...painting! They simply find something(s) close at hand in their immediate environment... and set down to paint it. That's one strategy to overcome the dreaded "block"!

Other artists connect with other blogging friends to create thematic challenges... throwing down the gauntlet to their friends to take a stab at a common theme... let's say... "Camera". In so doing ... they create a group enthusiasm and creative spirit by responding to an "Idea" that wasn't their own. It works for them and great things come out of that exploration... for everyone involved.

Other artists sign up for a workshop with someone they admire to add new ideas and instruction to ignite their flagging enthusiasm... and usually they come home vaccinated against depression and withdrawal with a good "shot" of new possibility to suppress despondency. Another great strategy!

There are countless ways to approach this very ordinary creative occurence , but as with all hurdles we face in life... it is the individual themselves who must think and act to create their own solution in the end. Each of us is different... unique in our needs... our process and our goals.

I would like to share some insights into my own strategies for keeping this demon at bay. When I feel drained... artistically impotent,,, unmotivated... looking for my next "Idea"... a number of strategies come to mind. Obviously... working en plein air is my "magic bullet." It never fails to revive my spirit. Simply put: ... "beside still waters... it restoreth my soul." But weather... or at this time of year black flies makes that an impossibility for allergic ol "Me"... so on to plan B !

I slip into second gear - change medium for a spell. During the past week... I have worked in acrylic instead of oil. Boy... that approach sure created new thought and perspiration... believe it! But after my third piece... I was over the top... excited and refreshed. As well... I REALLY shuffled the deck... and changed subject matter... going to figurative work... definitely not my forte. Astonishingly... to "Me"... there was an epiphany moment in that genre for "Me". That moment would not have happened... if I had stayed on my usual... safe... and well-travelled landscape route. I will not become a convert to figurative painting... but it did inject new enthusiasm... and create an awareness in "Me" that I was not limited to just painting landscapes.

Yesterday I took three separate views of a wonderful Charlevoix, Quebec site... and with scissors in hand... "cut n' pasted" an entirely new and "virtual" subject. How freeing it was to create... first with scissors... then with acrylics... on a new painting surface (I'll load that story for you on another post). The result was nothing short of the feeling one gets... standing at the foot of "David"... towering 25 and a bit feet over you. Get the picture?

And did I mention? Deb is away with her Grand Gals in Yorkton Saskatchewan for a week... a well-deserved and necessary shot in the arm for "Her." She unconditionally supports my family members and "I" in every area of our lives... every day 0f the year. Travel is another way to support a positive and creative spirit. Our trip to the Barbados was just that in early April.

I will mention (gleefully) as well... that as the sole person manning the Gallery... I am in charge of the daily play list for a whole week! My diet yesterday... Diana Krall... Forest Music... James Taylor... Gordon Lightfoot... Andrew Lloyd Webber... and... The Jersey Boys!!! How good does it get! Boy...did I "cut the carpet"... all day around the studio. Back n' forth to the easel... just being sweet sixteen again... "Me"... my Self... and "I"!!!

No... I'm not at all manic -yet! But "I" am full of energy... vitality... and productive! I could run on at the mouth forever... but I'll leave you with this food-for-thought... from God (only) knows where on my journey. But the idea comes from a source we all know and understand intimately in our common pasts:

"We could all learn a lot from crayons. Some are pretty. Some are sharp. Some are dull. Some have weird names and they are all colours.But they all live... in the same box."

We, as artists... though we might differ in technique... medium... abilities... experience and physical locations "live in the same box"... and we share a common passion for making art. Through sharing "Ideas" ... process... feelings and Hope.. "We"... are a Family! The world... in these turbulent times... needs people who think this way... and through their sharing this feeling we demonstrate... that Peace is not just a word... or an impossible dream. It is an action!

"Some say that I'm a dreamer. But I'm not the only one!"

-John Lennon

Sweet dreams and sharing... and Good Painting to ALL!

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Displacing... Then Replacing Despair

How sad it makes me to see and read of the tragic events... here in Canada... in Manitoba and Quebec... in the US Mid-West and around the world everywhere. In my first thoughts... I feel helpless in my inability to reach out... given our own current financial precarious situation and time of economic uncertainty.

But then, I look "inside" at the countless blessings and gifts that I currently have in my own life... and those that have continuously dotted my journey. Generosity is something that I grew up with... not just monetary generosity... but spiritual generosity to be shared as well with those we encountered as a family. I realized too... that generosity is a two way street... that being able to receive generous gifts was equally as important as being able to give them. I came to realize as well... that this "two way" perspective embraced one of the basic laws of the Universe:

What goes around ... comes back around.

I watched the second last and final Oprah telecasts... and though I cannot claim to have been an Oprah fan... I was left aghast... and in tears viewing the powerful scene of the a seemingly endless line of lit candles held by male individuals from Morehouse College... all recipients of the generous opportunities to receive an education from Oprah's efforts and contributions. Over 64,000 individuals were directly educated worldwide by her programme of incentives to reduce poverty through educational support. My opinion of "Her"... is deeply changed. I come away in awe of her generosity and vision... and world-changing contributions.

"From a backwoods beginning in Tennessee... to this!" Not the Bravado in reference to her individual wealth per say... but more to the powerhouse potential for change... bec ause of the work of her empire of committed and loyal workers who have joined her in her Quest... and her journey to create a better world for impoverished others with a will to "do better"! There is no greater example in my lifetime to support my own belief in "The Power of One."

I was generously reared by loving parents of very modest and humble beginning... being always taught to believe iun my Self... and that "I" mattered... to "Them"... and to the World! I went out into the world to take that precious gift of Self Worth afforded me by them... with me to share it with others. I chose teaching as my vehicle to accomplish this end in my own way. I am proud to say that "I" have made a difference for a great many individuals with my own Light... in my own small corner. I continue to work towards this end through this blog. I reach out to those of you who care to listen and believe. "We" all need to believe... and to know and truly feel that "We"... matter! Each of "You"... matters to "Me"!

Art is the other gift that I have developed and used towards accomplishing this end... simply because Art, Music, Literature, Poetry and Dance are the social conduits for "connecting" to each other. They know no boundary or frontier... require no special language to understand and enjoy. Each of us can avail our Selves of them in out own unique right... and not be judged.

To quote one of my "Mentors" from my children's childhood years, Mr Fred Rogers:

"The world needs a sense of worth, and it will achieve it only by its people feeling that they are worthwhile."

Each day that we go about our separate journeys... we are afforded the unique opportunity... no our RESPONSIBILITY... to reach out to others generously sharing with them... our resources... our time... our good thoughts and our encouragement to strive for their best.

A Smile costs nothing! Neither does a good morning!... I love You!... Thank You! Can I help?... You are welcome to share mine! Get the picture? Simple gifts that cost nothing make the finest blessings... as unexpected.. and small as they may seem to "You"!

My painting offered this morning comes as a result of some "play"... as Mr Roger's referred to " a child's first work"... yesterday in my studio . Using a still life that I picked on my evening walk... acrylics... used in a wild n' crazy... unusual fashion for "Me" - the plein air oil painter! HAHA!! ... I created this bouquet for each of "You"... in gratitude for your many kind and encouraging words and visits to my world!

Life is complicated. Do your best! "You" are worthwhile! So is your Art! Be proud of it... and your Self!

Thank "You"...ALL!

Good Painting!... and Many Blessings!

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Listen to the Music!.....

"Lost in the Sixties - oil on canvas 20x16 inches - SOLD!

"In a picture I want to say something comforting, as music is comforting."

-Vincent van Gogh

Never at any time in the year is there so much music in Nature... as in the Spring! Nature comes alive... the air is filled with sounds and excitement! Music in Nature is pure sound.... void of human noise it is regenerative... and healing to the human spirit. For this sole reason... plein air work should be included in one's process.

Painting beside a waterfall creates the sounds of the visuals in front of you. Combined with the light... colour and movement... it takes artistic awareness and understanding to a higher level. Needless to say... it adds emotional as well as visual support... that often results in a fresher ... more accurate rendering of the scene than from photo reference back in a cozy studio.

Music can be a very supportive influence within the studio as well. Music in this case... comes out of one's "personal play list"... or musical tastes. Whatever the case... research supports that music is inspirational and uplifting to the artistic and human spirit. When those inclement days force you to remain inside... music can transport your senses into a higher zone of creativity.

I have a very eclectic collection of... and interest in various genres of music as does Deb... and in our shared studio we play between sometimes very different individual play lists. We do share common artists and genres... but we do differ broadly in tastes as well. When I need a special artist to inspire me... I choose and vice versa when she feels a need for her music.

I love classical... big band.... jazz... country and folk classic... with a sprinkling of "oldies" from the 60's and 70's. My preference would be to be entirely in the classical genre... and in particular Vivaldi... with those soaring... ethereal violin celebrations.. like the magnificent and uplifting Four Seasons.

However... there are special pictures as van Gogh's quote suggests... that pull at the strings of my heart and soul. Any of Wyeth's work... the Canadian impressionist Tom Thomson and certainly... most of van Gogh's oeuvre. Michaelangelo's David and Pieta reduced "Me" to a blubbering fool... when I stood before them. Art does have the ability to bring about a transcendental state.

Just last week, one of my blogger friends Suzanne Berry posted her most recent piece "The Camera"... a response to the Moses Botkin Challenge Group that she works with from time to time. Suzanne's work is continually of the highest calibre and I much admire both her work and her approach to creating art. This piece however... dragged me constantly back to her site for multiple visits and great enjoyment.

There were many things about the piece that attracted me... but it was the mere simplicity and treatment of her subject that drew me to it... along with her usual masterful and dynamic compositions... breath-taking brushwork and her luminous use of colour. Simply put - this is a masterpiece ... one that I coveted!

I work alone really by choice... and do not join into the challenge thingy... simply because I have so many ideas that I want to work with... before my hour glass is empty and I am no longer able to paint. It will come to us all. Each artist has only so much time to make so many paintings. I choose to direct my own journey in this way. So choose wisely!

Suzanne's energetic... but natural pose reminded me of a photo I had taken on Salt Spring Island when I paid a visit to see my brother and his wife in 2006. The photo taken was wistful... yet warm... but at the same time I felt a deep sense of pathos for the individual. He was most obviously quite stoned... bangin' out 60's hits that we both had shared... but in our very different journeys. He was quite "down-and-out" in his fortunes, it seemed to "Me"... but "He" was 'Free"... to be what he had chosen to become... and seemed happy with his lot. "I" admired "Him" for that! Lord own journey has hads its ups n' downs too... I can assure you!

I am not usually interested in formal figure or portrait work... preferring to work in landscape and still life genres. I admire those gifted individuals who have committed their lives to those other very demanding art forms. But Suzanne's piece... forced me to leave my path... take up the gauntlet... and to seek some new adventure. I enjoyed my Self so dramatically... that I already had another subject in line before the first was half finished... but that's another story for next time!

So, in closing... my deepest thanks and gratitude go out to my Friend Suzanne Berry and her talented group for making... "Lost in the Sixties" .... a reality! It would never have likely occurred except for this encouraging shove from the witty and talented Moses Botkin Gang... and in particular... Suzanne. Do visit her site... its always a treat for "Me" that I look forward to when she posts new work! Her site is located on the right side of my blog page!

Make your own music... sing your own song!

"Sing!... Sing your song...

Make it simple to last the whole day long.

Don't worry if it's not good enough,

For anyone else to hear...

Just Sing!... Sing your song!"

-Karen Carpenter

Good Painting... and Listening to ALL!!!

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Tip-toe... Thru the Tulips... With "Me"!

"Flowers leave some of their fragrance in the hand that bestows them."

-Chinese Proverb

These grand Spring tulips came from the garden of a dear and now departed friend and neighbour, Marian Drennan. Marian passed away last summer after a full and fruitful life spanning 94 years. Her 95th birthday would have been celebrated on May 1st.

Marian was a retired teacher... a Mother... Grandmother ... loyal and faithful Presbyterian.. a mentor surrogate Mother and wonderful friend for "Me"! I miss "Her" greatly - her puckish wit... girlish giggle and her never flagging optimism and Faith. The world is a better place ... simply because "She" was present... and touched the lives of so many of her family, friends, students and her community.

Marian rests eternally beside her husband Alvin... in the Presbyterian Cemetery just up and around the corner on Mill Street West... part way around one of my evening and morning walks. We still "visit" ... regularly... and yes... I "borrowed" a bouquet of her beloved tulips to be with "Her."

While she was living in the Sara Vista Nursing Home in nearby Elmvale, Marian befriended the lady volunteer who came in weekly to freshen up the ladies... "dos." Marian had a great affection for the woman who religiously "showed up".... gratis for her and others. Marian mentioned that the lady remarked that she was sorry that the only space available was an empty janitor's closet... a "room"... with no view.

I remedied that situation with the "view" from a window that I had painted out of my head. I felt that it belonged there... because it had Dutch tulips and girls... doing what girls love to do... skipping "Double Dutch." Marian loved the gift... as did all of the ladies... and their generous stylist.

Isn't that the spirit expressed in the opening line of this post?

"What goes around... comes around!"

"Pass it forward!"

All these good things!

Happy Birthday Dear Marian!!!

Happy Spring... and Good Painting to ALL!!!

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Spring's New Woodland Broadloom

The week of warmer temperatures did in fact... activate the dormant and much-dreaded black fly hordes... but as is always in the case in life there exists paradox. Those same warmer temperatures triggered an explosion of life in our hardwood forests in the Oro-Medonte Hills... and as well right across the Province of Ontario.

The darkened and lifeless shaded forest floor is now carpeted completely with new greens and with undulating waves of white trilliums... our provincial wildlower emblem. Here and there one can discern a "stranger" in their cascading white midst. That sighting for "me" always evokes a tongue-in-cheek remark that I imagine being overheard in these woods:

"Who's the new guy in town?"

I will not dwell on the subject in my usual romantic way... I will simply offer this small sketch as a symbol of my abiding trust and Hope... in all things true and good! Happy Spring everyone!

Good painting!... Damn the flies!!!... and pass the pigment!

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Spring = Plein air Season underway!... Well sort of !

Though the "Greening" is well behind places south of us... it is in the air and well underway ...finally!

T 'is the season again!.... No not for Christmas... It's Black Fly time!!! Though short in duration... it is much feared and respected by all of us ... gardeners... farmers... cattle... horses ... and horse's ass plein air painters... who love to work outside! This is NOT a lament... nor complaint - just another facet associated and accepted as part and parcel with life... north o' suburbia!!

Though the dreaded Black Fly is in the air, it is not yet at its customary horde level ... but rather at this time only manifesting its "in your face"... and nuisance mode for the outdoor enthusiast.That will all change within a week or so... when the hatches do in fact hatch out... and they head out in search of anything... or anyone warm blooded to bite and punish in unrelenting droves. Their time is short -lived... but the agony they inflict lasts as a memory for a very long time afterward.

I am now... and forever... significantly allergic to their bite... due to the over needless and foolhardy over dosing and cumulative numbers of assaults that I have withstood over my outdoor painting life. On one occasion in Algonquin Park... I was so engrossed in finishing my 36x48 canvas... that I failed to notice that the hordes had slipped under the protective netting covering my head... and that they were having a Sunday school picnic on the open and uncovered area on the nape of my neck.

The experience left me bleeding profusely and bitten... far too may times! By nightfall... my neck had swollen to such an extent... that one couldn't see my ears from the rear. The burning itch reaction that multiple bites cause can only be described as torture. Only massive slugs of antihistimines brought any form of relief.

Needless to say... I will not put myself into any position where such havoc can be inflicted. I do not relish another bout of "staph"... or the risk of an anaphylactic attack for the sake of a painting.

Today's' cheery spring... and yes... studio subject lies within a very few minutes walking distance of our Gallery and apartment... just on the periphery of the village and on out regular nightly stroll route. I call it affectionately... my "Lady in Red"... but in local lore it is simply Rumble's Feed and Flour Mill. It was the epicentre of commerce in Hillsdale for nearly a hundred years... but ceased operation in 1959 when its last owner, Jack Rumble became ill and locked the door behind him... and it ceased to be a mill from that moment on.

The Rumble family are great friends who have allowed me the run of the place... where I am free to enter the property and paint at my leisure - a great gift. They all have a Sherman view of the mill in various views and seasons. I plan an in depth "visual essay" style theme some day soon... whenever things fall into place... and I decide to kick start the project! Stay tuned!

Until then... all the usual sentimentality and romance that I usually inject ... and inflict upon you set aside... please do enjoy on particularly favourite site from my Home... and journey!

Good Painting!... and a Fly-less Spring to all!

PS Tips for the ardent fly time painters:

1. Avoid wearing light blue clothing such as denim... it attracts the female "biters" they say.

2. Avoid wearing any kinds of perfume... aftershave... or deodorant... they transmit tell-tale vapour trails that lead directly back to you!

3. Applied Skin So Soft Baby Lotion to hands ... neck and face is touted to be a good outdoor repellent. Keeps your skin soft as an added plus! HAHA!!

4. A sheet of fabric softener inside one's hat is claimed to discourage fly visitors around the head and face... where they really prohibit concentration and good painting conditions!

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Happy Mother's Day

Happy Mother's Day to all Moms... wherever you are! I "hope"... that your family has taken the time to celebrate "You" on your special day that we set aside to remember your countless acts of kindness and sacrifice... to make our lives fuller... every other day in the year!

I cannot ever personally show my own Mom my gratitude for those years of gifts to "Me"... and sadly... for the first time since "She" passed on... I cannot make it down to visit and place flowers on her grave ... as has been my custom since her death. I placed chrysanthimums on her grave three weeks ago... but it just wasn't possible to make the eleven hour journey to Brockville this year. Life ... quite simply... got in the way!

I decided on Friday to abandon my next painting subject... which was to be another Bajan piece and to create a floral tribute (she adored all flowers and birds) dedicated to her memory and to share it on Mother's Day with people like my good wife Deb... my daughter Lisa blogger friend Joan Joan Sicignagno... and all other Moms who regularly visit my site! Happy Mother's Day to all!

I chose the daffodil because it symbolically represents respect... sunshine and unrequited love... feelings that I continue to feel strongly not only for my own Mom... but for Mothers in general. My own Mom defined for "Me" as a child and now as an adult... by her actions and beliefs... what the power of Hope can accomplish. She carried Hope with "Her" until the end of her journey... and I do hope that her belief in a life hereafter has been met.

Irregardless of that one Hope... the Hope that she had that each of her children and grandchildren would prosper has come to fruition. Each of us has ... or is on the way to reaching that goal according to our separate goals and desires.

So on this special day... I send this "pigmental" bouquet of Hope... and thanks... to each and every Mom that reads this post! My apologies for some bit of an unfinished look... but I wanted to post it on the day! I will tidy it up a bit later next week... a few pushes n' pulls are still needed.

Rich blessings... and thank "You"... one and all!

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

A Trubute.. to Hope!

Hope Springs Eternal... but it takes working on! The coming of Spring signifies Hope in all cultures. It is the time when the Natural World slips from dormancy and the icy shroud of winter. It is the time in the Christian World when Resurrection conquers Death. It is the time in a Child's World when freedom from heavy clothes... a time when freedom of movement and play fills the hearts of the young with joy... delight... and even love.

If you watched the Royal Wedding... and didn't feel the overwhelming and radiating power of Hope... in not only the couple... but the British nation as a whole... then you are incapable of ever finding... or embracing Hope. I am hardly Royalist (though my Mother was). But I was deeply moved by the possibility of a better life for these young people. Their subjects obviously sensed and embraced that notion of Hope.

As I listened to the soaring ... pure voices of the boy choristers reaching to the very heights of the vaulting... one hundred and twenty-one feet above this pageant... my own previous sadness and the cold greyness of our late-to-appear Canadian Spring melted away... and was replaced by true joy... if only for a single day.

As with all aspects of the human condition and experience... paradox exists for all states of being. One cannot understand, or appreciate gain... unless one has felt loss. Light cannot exist or be appreciated... except to have followed on the heels of darkness. Joy is beyond understanding... except for the affliction of pain. And so too... one can only strive for Hope... when one has tasted Despair.

If Hope be a "thing"... a feeling... wherein lives any chance of Hope... or Love prevailing... where might replaces right... where violence against any other individual is justified and condoned out of pure vengeance? What lessons do these thoughts ... actions and even governmental support teach children who look to their adults for direction?

I do not subscribe to... or cannot change those feelings ... or erase the actions of such Hopeless acts... but I can express Hope in my own unique and personal way. "I" choose to continue to reach out ... in Hope and Love.. to whoever will accept it... believe in it ... and pass it forward. I have created a painting which fills my heart with Hope.

Making that painting... as a result of a trip to the Barbados... where I found Hope ... alive and well amongst a vast number less fortunate individuals than my Self.... I returned to Canada and my own life filled with Hope and optimism. That momentary elation and sense of Hope was dashed... temporarily at least, by the combined and overburdening greyness lingering here and in many other parts of the world... the heavy and oppressive weight of a stagnant economy... and even sadder... several world events that eclipsed the Joy and Hope created by the Royal Wedding.

In closing... I offer my painting "Tribute to Hope" and my Mom... now passed... and with it...I would like to share a favourite poem which deeply and emphatically underscores my own personal feelings about Hope... and Hoping! It is a poem by Emily Dickinson... seemingly simple in vocabulary and imagery... on its surface. But ... do take the time to read each word... each stanza... and absorb the energy and message that is skillfully crafted and presented. The subject of my painting is an upright Heleconia... as prevalent (with its sister the hanging Heleconia) in the Barbados landscape... as our bright yellow, saucy "nuisance"... though not to "Me"... dandelion.

Oddly enough... there is a basis for comparison in use of imagery... in Dickinson's poem and my painting. Dickinson uses a bird as the central metaphor to portray Hope. The Heleconia is often referred to as the "Bird of Paradise"... because of its exotic form... colour and surrounding. I hadn't thought of that until this writing.... the Universe does conspire!....HAHA!!


Hope is the thing with feathers

That perches in the soul,

And sings the tune--without the words,

And never stops at all.

And sweetest in the gale is heard:

And sore must be the storm

That could abash the little bird

That kept so many warm.

I've heard it in the chillest land,

And on the strangest sea:

Yet never in extremity,

It asked a crumb of me.

Emily Dickinson

I truly hope that these conjoined offerings warm your soul and raise Hope within...a few rungs higher in each of your separate... but parallel journeys. Embrace Hope... Paint hard... and dream sweet dreams... no matter what goes on about "You"! Stay your course... and Hope! Count your blessings... and not your defeats!

Happy Mother's Day Mom!... and to all Moms wherever you may be!!!

Good Painting! Hoping that life treats us all... a bit better in the upcoming months ahead!

PS A few licks n' a promise still be added to the painting.

Monday, May 2, 2011

Rewind!... Back to the Barbados!

I offer my apologies to regular follower.... for skipping ahead and not addressing her very good question about the appearance of a windmill in my sketchbook... and the windmill's importance in the Barbados.

I made a segway from that plan to wish Allison a "Bon Voyage" ... and to muster interest in for her in the sandwich contest. You can still vote for her fabulous Divine Chicken Pesto entry at for her sandwich daily until May 15th... once vote each day. We enjoyed it on the weekend... SUPERB!!!!

Our visit to the Barbados linked many previously unrelated bits of earlier "school larnin" as we travelled about and became familiar with landmarks and facts about this paradise. When one feels the constant presence of the warm Trade Winds... it becomes much more obvious as the whys that caused the Barbados to be the first point of landfall... and entry to the New World for early European exploration.It explains why the native population there are descendant to the shiploads of slave ship survivors who arrived and were enslaved to form the work force on hundreds of plantations that existed on the West Indies and in the Colonies prior to Independence and the Civil War.

Sugar was king in the Barbadian trade with England up until the mid Twentieth Century. Cane sugar was the major export... along with its bi-products molasses and rum. Rum was first distilled in the early 15oo's. Each plantation's fields of sugar cane was cut by hand and delivered to sites where windmills were used to grind the cane into powder, using the constant power of the Trade Winds to maintain production. Today... only a few remain in their original running condition and are maintained for historic reasons only. Sites to visit for bronzed... sun -worshipping subjects of the new "King"- Tourism!

The mill that I sketched is the Morgan Lewis Mill in the parish of St Thomas which ceased active operation in 1946. One can easily see the Dutch influence in its construction. Sugar cane mills operated for over 200 years in the Barbados... and at the height of the sugar trade it is recorded that the Barbados had 506 mils island wide. Today... the Barbados has the second largest number of windmills per square mile in the world... second only to Holland. I wonder if that will remain so... given the current technological impetus of many countries to create vast fields of wind turbines/windmills to supplement hydro-electric generation!

I am once again including my sketch of the Morgan Lewis Mill.. Like Caroline, I never expected to see such a thing in the Barbados. Along with this sketch... I will include an example that represents what most other windmills look like today. This one was located at Apes Hill where we were staying. It is well-maintained... and serves as a lunch facility for the groundskeepers and security staff at Apes Hill... as well as offering a very panoramic view of the sea coast from the crenellated tower... which no longer house any windmill gear or roof.

I hope that this satisfies your interest and question adequately Friend Caroline. Sorry for the segway!

I am currently working on a not too "largish" canvas... 30x24 inches... my first major piece related to our trip. Something different!.... I will leave further discussion until completion. One never knows where the process goes... sometimes... no where! HAHA!!

Stay tuned!

Good Painting to ALL!