Friday 8 February 2013

Home at last

After travelling for five weeks, exploring so many different places and experiencing different cultures and climates, it is really good to be home. I spent a week in New York and nearly a week in San Francisco. Stayed in Palm Beach, Miami and Fort Lauderdale in Florida. I cruised through both the eastern and western Caribbean where other tourists seemed to focus only on "going to the beach", while I explored each island. I would hear people say "I have been here many times before. Seen one island you have seen them all". Which simply proves they may have physically been to the Caribban but obviously looked no further than the port or the beach.

St Kitts, West Indies, eastern Caribbean
Christmas street parade with reggae bank on a float

I no longer wake up at night wondering where I am. No matter where I travel to, there is no place I would rather live than Sydney. Despite its hustle and bustle, there is also its beauty, its superb climate (although a little haphazard at present), an element of serenity and of course it is a comfort zone. Even in Sydney there is always something new to see, or somewhere new to go. I also like being a tourist in my own city and discovering something new.
I had some amazing experiences, wonderful memories and met some fabulous people. And am now well into my work and have even started a new painting. Will post some images later. I decided at the last minute to try to have another painting finished for the Botanica exhibition at the Sydney Royal Botanic Gardens. Selection is tomorrow week, so I have just less than a week to finish it.
Absolutely ran out of time to blog while away, and often the internet connections left a lot to be desired. So would like to share a few sketches from my trip with you.
Bonnet House, Fort Lauderdale, Florida USA

Every picture tells a story. As most of you would know I love architecture, and also the stories behind the construction, cicumstances or the people who live or once lived there. An artist built Bonnet House in a classical Caribbean plantation style in the early 1920s. His legacy of  paintings, sculptures and various other artwork and collections are evidenced in this house, which has not been changed since his death. If you are interested in more history on Bonnet House see


Cozumel, Mexico. St Gervasio Mayan ruins

This site has been beautifully restored. There are no complete buildings, but sign boards show what the buildings were, how they were laid out and their purpose. Exploring ancient sites is something else I love, and Angkor Wat is definately on my bucket list.
Lababee, Haiti, western Caribbean

The colour of the waters was extraordinary, just like in the sketch. The time of year (January) I was in the Caribbean was perfect. Temperatures were atound 28 degrees C with a lovely breeze. I saw it all at its very best, as they have severe cyclone seasons and severely hot seasons. No wonder December and January is a favourite time for cruising the Caribbean.
Watch this space for the development of my botanical painting. The sketchbook will have to be put away for a short time, as I have a deadline for the painting.

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