Sunday, July 29, 2018

jamaican me [crazy]

last jamaica themed post this summer...i swear...maybe

upon coming back from our honeymoon, my wife and i were on an island high, not due to any chemicals or substances but rather because of the wonderful experience we had during our trip.  the weeks following the trip found us creating spotify playlists of music we remembered hearing on our trip, testing out frozen jerked chicken from trader joes, more trips to the maine beaches and me buying a case of red stripe imported beer which i'm sure left the cashier wondering if i had accidentally picked out the wrong case instead of the many craft beer options in this city.

our jamaican high did lead us to venture out and try an event we had been wanting to check out for a while, reggae sunday on peaks island!  every sunday, a bar on the island hosts a sunday afternoon of reggae music, so one sunny morning my wife and i took the ferry over to the island to check it out.  what we found was a huge party on a patio complete with a reggae band, rum drinks and of course red stripe!  after ordering my first bottle of the jamaican lager i was a fan.

it didn't "recreate" our honeymoon exactly, but the fact we were enjoying the sunshine and music with drinks in our hand with lots of other people doing the same, it was close enough.  the fact that the drinks were not part of an all inclusive package and we did in fact have to pay for them kept us grounded in reality.  even with that small dose of american commercialism, we had a wonderful afternoon, one that not only made us appreciate our home a little more, but it also seemed to extend that honeymoon feeling just a little more.

one love.

Monday, July 16, 2018

the [jamaica] sketches

as i mentioned in my previous post, the best part of the honeymoon was being able to spend 10 days with my wife.  however, another wonderful benefit of taking time off to do...well...nothing... was having time to sketch.

now, i'm not a great sketcher, but i LOVE to practice. you may remember my sketchbook experiment i blogged about here and here.  a true vacation to me is when you have time to drink two full cups of coffee in the morning with no one bothering you and also having time to sketch what's around you. with very few decisions to make every day and being in a new environment, full of interesting scenes to sketch, i was thrilled.  the two full cups of coffee also helped this.

before we got to jamaica i made a vow to sketch everyday of the trip.  sometimes i would take my sketchbook with me and sketch on-site, while other times i took a photo of the scene so i could sketch later that evening. what started out as an exercise to simply sketch more while on vacation, turned into a sort of visual diary.  when you sketch a scene, your eyes trace over the objects in great detail in a way that seems to ingrain it deeper into your memory.  looking over the drawings, each sketch takes me back to the day i drew it and i can picture myself with my sketchbook in my lap and my feet buried in the warm sand. the faint smell of rum from the strawberry daiquiris that spilled on the pages also helps.

anyway, i was very happy with the way the sketches turned out so i thought i would share them with you on here.  i hope you enjoy them as well.

day 1 - arriving in the afternoon, we had little time to explore our first day, so i sketched the first thing i saw; the view from our hotel room.

day 2 - our first full day at the resort was spent almost completely at the beach, allowing me to sketch this without leaving the lounge chair.

day3 - the resort had a large pool with a swim up bar which is where we spent most of this day.  there WERE more people there than this sketch shows, but you get the point.

day 4 - part of the beach was reserved for sailing and paddle boards.  walking past these sailboats, perfectly lined up that day i knew i had found my sketch.

day 5 - on one part of the beach, locals would dock their small boats and ask you every time you walked by if you wanted to buy souvenirs or go fishing with them.  although we didn't partake in their offerings, watching one of the boats head out to sea provided a gorgeous scene.

day 6 - the day we hiked dunn's river falls.  what i discovered, hiking and sketching waterfalls are harder than i planned.  even though i feel liked i changed how i sketched the water halfway through this drawing it turned out to be one of my favorites and reminds me that we actually did complete the hike.

day 7 - we spent most of the day by the waters edge again and watched the staff set up a canopy on the beach for a wedding that was going to be held their that evening. a sweet little reminder of our own wedding 10 months earlier.

day 8 - we walked the same path to the beach everyday, so i wanted to capture that well. it also gave me a chance to draw lots of palm trees...which are fun to sketch.

day 9 - i couldn't leave our honeymoon without sketching my beautiful wife.  here she is on the balcony of our hotel room standing exactly where i told her to stand so she was perfectly framed by the palms.

day 10 - i was a little worried about what my last sketch would be.  i walked all over the resort trying to find the perfect final sketch, when stumbled across this scene.  it was near the end of the day, the light was perfect and i loved how the trees seemed to perfectly frame the beach.  there actually was a man sitting in the chair, but in a lot of ways i felt like i drew myself into the sketch; looking out to the horizon and thinking back on the past ten days.