Island Time: Bahamas Sketches and PaintingsWednesday, February 03, 2010
Just got back from a six-day painting workshop trip to Elbow Cay, one of the "out islands" in the Bahamas. The workshop was taught by Susan Abbott, a wonderful artist and teacher whose sketchbooking workshop I had taken last year at the Art League in Alexandria, VA. We stayed at the Hope Town Harbour Lodge, and spent hours each day ogling the Atlantic, painting the lovely pastel-colored houses en plein air, and just watching the fronds of palm trees sway back and forth. I went snorkeling at the coral reef just off the hotel's beach, rode a golf cart to Tahiti Beach at the other end of the island, and climbed up the stairs of the island's iconic mechanically operated lighthouse. While the food options were a bit limited (there are only a handful of restaurants on the island, and anything stocked in the small "grocery" stores has to be ferried in), the views and weather more than made up for it.
We started off with a few quick sketches as we took a walk through Hope Town:
Then I set up my easel on the beach and did this larger painting:
As I walked through town, I'd spotted a bright red shutter on the firehouse and decided to paint that:
Here's a quick sketch of the water as seen from a bench on a bluff overlooking the beach:
And here's an alley in town, sketched at twilight:
When we went to Tahiti Beach, we came upon a group of kiteboarders with their colorful equipment. I had to work fast to capture them:
And here's a quick sketch of that beach:
A color study of a wall in town:
On our last day of painting, the weather wasn't very cooperative. I started this painting on the beach as the sun rose, but finished it under the hotel's awning as a torrential rain set in.
We did a color study exercise; I worked on this while waiting for the paint on my other work to dry:
The rain eventually subsided, and we sat at the Harbor's Edge restaurant and painted after lunch. It's not quite clear what time of day it is in this painting, as I made the sky rather too dramatic!