We have been home for a few days from a week in Jamaica. A warm, sunny week filled with painting, swimming, eating, laughing, eating some more and then even more. We stayed at Calabash House, a guest house in Treasure Beach on the south shore somewhat east of Black River. The south side of the island has some gentle beaches, one of which was across the back yard from our house, and is less touristy. We went with our friend, Jane Miluski, who teaches watercolor here at our local art center, and 4 other women from this area, two of whom we paint with regularly. It was an extremely compatible group, enhanced by Elizabeth Seltzer, the owner of the house, and Dawn and Tricia, the Jamacian cook extradinaire, and her assistant. Dawn cooked all of our breakfasts and half our lunches and dinners, and were we to go again, we'd arrange for more meals by Dawn because her cooking was wonderful and there were only 3 other places to eat within walking distance. Most of the mornings, Jane did a demonstration, then we sketched and painted until siesta time, taking time out for lunch. Many of us continued to paint after the siesta break. In the late afternoon, we swam, then broke open the beer and wine while we watched the fabulous sunsets. Some of my photos are in Picasa, http://picasaweb.google.com/janefranphoto/JamaicaWithFranAndJane. One day we hired a van and went to the market in Black River. One day Dawn invited us to her house to see her garden and to drink coconut water, the liquid in coconuts before they're ripe. We were all very reluctant to come home!
I'll include in this entry the sketches I did the first day we were there. When on location, I particularly like making ink sketches and then putting in watercolor washes. I draw with a fine, brown, Sharpie pen which has permanent ink so the water doesn't smear it, and which lasts longer than the more expensive drawing pens. Most of those are done in my sketchbook and are about 5" x 7". This trip I also did a number of more careful pencil studies for painting from later.