Archive for December, 2007

Eat Your Veggies!

December 28, 2007

tobago-blog.jpg -These are The Tobago Market Ladies, an 11″X14″ work in acrylic. Long before produce was called produce, they were simply known as “Vegetables”. Everyone grew their own and picked what they needed for the day’s meal. Our food is already a week old when we get it, having been strangled in shrink wrap during it’s travel here.

We’re fortunate to have several places on St Croix where fresh food can be found-
Southgate Farms on the East Road has done so much for raising the bar of awareness of fresh, wholesome, organic produce. We’re all so grateful to Luca Gasperi and his crew for bringing quality to our table.

bok-choi.jpg-The La Reine market, just off Centerline Road near the Kingshill Post Office, although only open on Saturdays, not only provides a varied selection of vegetables, like this bok choi, ( photo courtesy of the very talented Judy Lobo ) but unusual fruits, and some of the best local hot sauces and fruit preserves.
These ladies know how to put up fruit so forget Smuckers and buy something made on someones’ stove from their grandmothers’ recipe.

-Fairly new is the VI Farmers Cooperative, located on the road between Midland and East Airport Road, just South of Annaly Farms. They are selling locally grown vegetables on Saturdays.

-Most exciting is the VI Sustainable Farm in Frederiksted. Last weekend, the guest chef was Frank, the culinary machine behind Bacchus restaurant- his pride for the past 11 years before giving it up for a well deserved change. Luckily for us, he can’t stay away from the kitchen too long. He served a great dinner featuring our very own local Senepol cattle. No antibiotics, free grazing.

-And if after all this healthy food discussion, you still disdain vegetables, see what else you can do with them here:

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Merry Croixsmas!

December 21, 2007

cocowaterblog.jpg– This is my newest work called Coconut Water, inspired by the omnipresent abundance of coconuts here on St Croix. Say Nyet to Naya, Poo Poo Perrier, Dis Disani- when you can drink coconut water! Read all about the many uses of coconuts throughout civilization and history here:

cocodemerblog.jpg-Give this your best guess- what do you think it is? Man? Woman? Mermaid? Sculpture? None of those. It’s the seed, the largest seed in the plant kingdom, of the coco de mer. This rare specimen is on display here at The St.George Village Botanical Garden, St. Croix.

– Another tradition here during the holidays is the Caribbean version of fruitcake called Black Cake. This one bears no resemblance to the sticky, tacky, cubes of red dye #2 ,citron studded paste that gets mocked every year and tossed in the trash. The authentic lovingly made version seen here, when done the traditional way, takes ONE YEAR to properly prepare. Don’t be frightened. That’s not cooking time. It’s the time it takes to soak the fruit in rum. Read on- the NY Times found it fascinating enough to publish.

Happy Holidays and my wish for everyone is that this time next year we can celebrate around a tree and not a BUSH!

A Bunch of Things….

December 17, 2007

theo-blog.jpg“Theo” was inspired by a vintage Trinidadian post card from the early 1900’s. This will be one of my entries in the Good Hope Art Show opening here on February 15th. Until I moved to St.Croix, I had never seen a” hand” of bananas. I had no idea they were as heavy as they are or that there are so many varieties. We have red ones, short and stubby, growing in our yard. Their leaves provide homes for tree frogs and shade for less hearty plants that grow below them.

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-An example of bananas ” in situ”and not wrapped in cellophane like they are in the supermarket was taken here in St Croix by artist/photographer/blogger/movie reviewer extraordinaire Judith Wolfe.
-Now play this video clip, scroll back to ” Theo ” and have a good laugh at what is probably one of the best soundtracks in a movie scene- EVER!

Tropical Winter

December 12, 2007

rainbowolga.jpg An unexpected, unseasonal arrival of Tropical Storm Olga brought dramatic winds and horizontal rains. And a stunning rainbow emerging from dusky clouds-over Annaly Bay on St, Croix, USVI.

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In,weather like this, dogs become anxious, kitties canoodle.

“When the Rooster Crows at the Break of Dawn…”

December 12, 2007

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Think of all the ways you have ever implemented the process of waking in the morning. Most likely: alarm clock. Perhaps the front desk with a wake-up call so you don’t miss your flight. Remember when mom used to be the bearer of that bad news? Maybe your own internal clock lets you know when you’re through counting sheep and blinking your way through REM cycles. But unless you grew up on a farm or a ranch, it’s unlikely that you’d be awakened, every day, at 4:30AM by an unseen rooster. Unless you live here. Where geese are used instead of dogs to guard your home.Hidden somewhere in the dense bush that surrounds our house is an errant rooster whose sole function, other than jumping in a pot with vegetables and the contents of a bottle of wine, is to goad us in to consciousness waaaay before we intended to do that for ourselves. Baskets with rocks lined the perimeter of the deck so when the piercing chorus started again, there was some satisfaction in getting out of bed and pelting the invisible but very audible creature with a well practiced lob. We had the good bottle of wine. We knew we could get fresh vegetables at the La Reine farmers’ market. All we were missing was the rooster. Seems after months, the only way he would be captured was on my canvas. He either died of old age, was henpecked, or taken out by some other neighbor whose M.O. entailed more precise and modern methods than a box of rocks. I like him much better on the 12X12. This painting is sold.

synchronized-kitties.jpg-Now these two are what we get up to every morning. It’s still early but it’s not 4:30. It’s a leisurely 5:45. I think with the additional time, I can keep this blog somewhat current.

No Problem, Is.

December 4, 2007

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I did this rough sketch last year of a very well known musician here on St. Croix named Jamsie. He’s shown with a dried gourd that provides the unique sound that identifies his music as Quelbe` or scratch. He’s the oldest working performer and at 79, he still plays often. I liked the sketch, done roughly in acrylic and liked it so much, that I didn’t know when to stop. Essentially, I ruined it. That WAS a problem.

 

It’s better that the real Jamsie lives on and my painting died.

-No Problem is the least generous, non-thoughtful response to” Thank You ” that a person can say. It contains two words- NO and PROBLEM. Two negatives in a two word sentence. How good could THAT be? It’s everywhere! I know it’s hopeless but can’t we petition to bring” You’re Welcome “back into conversations? OK, so the phrase ” My Pleasure ” is pushing the civility and believability limits but NO PROBLEM? Five minutes from now it could be a problem, but oh lucky you, you caught me in a moment of lighthearted jocularity so right now it’s NO PROBLEM.

Chili Pepper obviously really has No Problem (s)

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Don’t Just Do Something, Sit There!

December 2, 2007

nostalgiablog.jpgNostalgia is what I called the wistful dreamer in this piece. Homage to the days of staring out the window in history class, wishing you could be anywhere else.

Replacing the verb ” to do ” with the verb ” to be “. Not an easy thing for denizens of the 21st Century. Not when you can’t sit still long enough to create a shadow! Just a reminder that it’s ok sometimes to just sit there and not do anything.

waitingblog.jpgShe’s ” Waiting “. Daydreaming is easy. Waiting is not.

Audience participation is appreciated now. Offer up a suggestion of what she might be waiting for and if it’s better than what I can think of ( as yet, nada ) I may include it in the painting. Seems there’s a theme here of sitting on one’s duff. Aha- the perfect bloggers position.