St. Croix-nicity’s One Year Anniversary

Almost to the day, one year ago, friends came to visit. They both had blogs- one a photographic blog, the other a politically focused one. I’d read theirs and enjoy them but never thought of authoring one myself.

I didn’t even like the WORD blog. I knew it was an acronym for web log but to my ear it sounded more like a blending of ” blah and gag “. Not an attractive imagery, wouldn’t you agree?

My laptop was seized over breakfast one morning and the birth of St. Croix-nicity began.

Apparently friends don’t let friends go without blogs.

Mary Schwalm, a great photographer, set up the banner photo at the header. Her blog is a quick study- just great images, little text and very sharp, hip titles for her photos.

Judy Wolfe– whose movie reviews, photos and art pages and political insights I’ve loved for years, manned the keyboard and I had the pleasure of just answering yes or no to questions of layout, structure, gizmos, widgets and links.

I’ve been visited by people in:

Islamic Republic of Iran


The Green Zone- Iraq

Viet Nam






Five thousand eight hundred sixty two visits and 33,972 page views.

Brilliant outreach for someone who dislikes flying.

Amidst those 5,000s’ have been some wonderful exchanges of information, encouragement, tips, and generous sharing among and between other artists. The feedback, the teeth gnashing frustrations of scraping yet another surface, the light-bulb of an a-ha moment, and the connection to people otherwise unknown to you is the joy of this blog and the exoneration of those two kitchen witches who started me on this journey a year ago.

Am I ever grateful.

Two days from today those same two harbingers of fall visits and blog hostage taking, are coming back. I’d hoped to finish another painting before they got here but got only as far as the drawing:

on-the-fence-drawing-canvas-blogTaken from a photo I took last weekend at one of our farmers’ markets.


Another Work in Progress, he’s got great shadows and lines but the painting will have to wait until these two conspirators leave.

This years visit will be the G7and G9 summit- Canon Camera owners all of us. They know how to use them, I’m just learning. I’m expecting 6 days of de-briefing in the kitchen but thankfully, no Katie Couric interview…….

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40 Responses to “St. Croix-nicity’s One Year Anniversary”

  1. judylobo Says:

    I can see St Croix from my terrace! Congratulations on one year of illuminating blogging (not gagging). See you in a few days.

  2. Marian Fortunati Says:

    I hope you have a wonderful fun and fulfilling visit. I thank you for your humor, creativity and thanks to your friends to started you blogging. I am a late-comer to your blog, but I will say it always makes me think, smile, stare in awe or best yet… teaches me something. Thanks for striking the path and for helping those of us who follow.

  3. david lobenberg Says:

    Mary schwalm’s two photographs of falling leave reeeally got me jazzed! Thanks for the link and happy anniversary, comrade!

  4. Sue Says:

    Congratz! I’ve always loved your blog – beautiful art, wonderful insight and sharing that gorgeous place where you live. Blog on, because the best is yet to come.

  5. bonnieluria Says:

    Marian, you may think you came late but you more than make up for it with your great comments.
    It makes me feel so good to know that you find things you like here. That’s my motivation.

    David- thanks for the good wishes. Yup- Mary can shoot it all from sports to nature. Glad you checked her out.

    Sue-Your blog was very instrumental in showing me the range of possibilities of inclusion in a blog format. We’ve all become mini-newspaper magnates.
    Thanks so much for dropping by again.

  6. Paz Says:

    Happy anniversary! I’m glad I found your blog. I love it! Have fun with your friends. I love Mary’s blog, too. Will have to check out Judy’s blog.

    Your work in progress looks terrific. Can’t wait to see its progression.

    I look forward to seeing many more posts here.

    Paz XOXO

  7. maryschwalm Says:

    Happy Blogiversary! Imagine what might have been if the third visitor also started a blog! Perhaps with Ms. Judy arriving sans computer we can get Elise pumped for her own blog! She can update it annually in St. Croix! Psyched for the visit. I’m packed! 2009 Desk Calendar image selection is all that’s left to do before the airport! See you soon!

  8. bonnieluria Says:

    Paz- thanks as always. I hope to get to it after the party leaves here. I see you leave comments on Mary’s blog too.

    If you like movies and want to read excellent movie reviews, check Judys’ blog for that too.

    Mary-await the carriers of the 2009 desk calendars and the multiple campaign coverage stories! Yeow- tomorrow!
    And Thursday in the water.

  9. razzbuffnik Says:

    I love the drawing. It think it would make a great etching.

  10. wrjones Says:

    Looking very promising! So you’ve got company – I’ll hold off my visit until Thanksgiving.

  11. bonnieluria Says:

    Razz- thanks for that. Remember when the word ” etching ” was used as a ruse to get a gal up to the apartment to look at them?
    I’m eager to have at this one with sharply contrasting values of light and dark like the photo which I took in early morning sunlight, as favored as the late afternoon.

    Bill-fine, so long as you don’t hold off your comments until then.
    I had to post something for fear of reprisals and admonitions from you to produce another painting.
    For you they come like candy from a 30 pound bag, for me, more like from a busted vending machine that needs a sledgehammer to release its’ contents.

  12. Ted Says:

    A hearty congrats! Your work, and YOU, are among the best and most wonderful things on the island of St. Croix!

  13. w1kkp Says:

    My rescue drawer holds some of your thoughts and words of encouragement. Imagine if you’d not listened to these two secret agents?! I’d know my own art less, I can tell you that. One thing, though, and this is because I am knee deep in studying the creative process, couldn’t you work on your painting a little bit every day of their visit? If nothing else, just to look at it, think about how you will approach it when you have more time. Is there no way to begin your day with that solitary work and then move into the wider world of creative friends and Canon G7 and G9 for the rest of the day? Just asking. But, also asking and acknowledging that their creative gift to you last year was also mine. So, maybe I’ll just shut up.

  14. bonnieluria Says:

    Ted- that flattering comment might only be true if YOU weren’t here. I’m just trying to keep up.
    But, really, thank you, Thank you.

    Pat-our gifts are darn reciprocal aren’t they.
    My studio is a convertible guest room. The days start early and run late. If I can’t get immersed, I wait until I can.
    But don’t you ever ever ever just shut up or I’ll have to close the lid on this clam shell and never blog again.

  15. Nava Says:

    Happy Blogaversary!!

    That is a really cool drawing, even in its current raw stage, before you develop it further.

  16. bonnieluria Says:

    Nava- Thank you.
    Do you draw first when you do a watercolor?
    I find that with people as subjects it helps me to keep the proportions to scale an makes me more familiar with the lines where landscapes are more forgiving if a tree isn’t in the same spot.
    I knew I liked this one as I started it. Makes up for all the ones that are hiding under Gesso.

  17. w1kkp Says:

    Ok…you’ve given me permission…Total immersion, I get. The best of all possible worlds, truly. But, in reality, is it is cousin to waiting for inspiration which sometimes comes and sometimes doesn’t.

    So, what about good ol’ plein air around your pool for an hour? Not that you would set up everything there but simply go there with your sketch or sketch book. Doodles, even! I am truly wondering what would all your visiting blog artists (house guests and bloggin’ ones) say about not doing their art for a week.

    Not that your art doesn’t encompass your other activities with your friends, for surely it does. But, you know what I mean, right? If you came to visit my guest room, you would probably wake up to brewed coffee and sticky buns and no hostess. I’d be out roaming for 45 minutes or so. By myself, looking around, going “click” every once in a while or not, but out there immersed if only for a short time. Then, I come back and feel I could begin my social day. Perhaps, this is another singleforareason?? Reason #5072?

  18. TerryC Says:

    “I didn’t even like the WORD blog. I knew it was an acronym for web log but to my ear it sounded more like a blending of ” blah and gag “. Not an attractive imagery, wouldn’t you agree?”

    Now that you mention it, I would agree! Your wit and talent are always inspiring, though Bonnie, so congrats and keep up the good work!

  19. nathaliewithanh Says:

    Happy anniversary! Hey, it must be mine too! I wish my birthdays were the same… Not remembering them when they come along!

    I have a question. On the photograph, the man strikes quite an unnatural pose with his left arm. Do you think that it might look strange on the painting? Shouldn’t you modify the position of that arm so it looks right?

    Have a great time with your two compadres! 🙂

  20. bonnieluria Says:

    Pat, I love the sound of waking up to coffee and sticky buns, knowing there’d be a roast chicken about 9 hours later. And then I’d want to follow you around while you go snapping.
    And so in homage to your suggestion, I’ll bring a sketch pad to the beach with us tomorrow. Maybe I’ll spit something out.
    I have a hard time drawing or painting with an audience.

    Alas, the pool is only in your imagination and not ours. We use the giant pool called the sea.
    But I really do need the nudging once in a while…… so thanks.

    Terry-thanks much- this format is akin to my old office of days ago when we said, ” what do we need a fax machine for?” And then 4 of them were always busy.
    How did we fare before blogging!!!!

    I enjoy checking on yours too.

    Nathalie-is this when you began yours too? It went so quickly.

  21. Paulette Says:

    Congratulations on a year of blogging! (and yes it is a horrible word.)
    I love the sketch it has a very loose feel to it.
    How wonderful to spend time with friends learning the ins and outs of photography, especially those two!
    Have fun!

  22. Eldon Says:

    Great drawing, can hardly wait to see the painting. I followed you back from my blog and have found a heck of a painter and some amazing art. You’ve inspired me. Now we see what shakes out. Thanks.

  23. planetross Says:

    Congratulations on our Blog Anniversary!
    It is a bit strange … blogging, not your paintings. (smiley face)

  24. planetross Says:

    I meant “your” Blog Anniversary. (I feel shame)

  25. melinda Says:

    Congratulations on your blog ‘aversary! Your friends are wise and witty counsel.

    Your drawing is energetic and impressive too. Wishing you all the best in the coming year–m

  26. bonnieluria Says:

    Paulette-Don’t you so appreciate learning by example than by reading 245 page instruction manuals???
    I’m taking it all in. Thanks for the comments.

    Hi Eldon – glad you stopped to leave a lovely comment. Thanks- it’s really appreciated as I got a lot out of watching your step by step video. It’s pretty good to me that I inspire YOU! Thank you.

    PR- we know each other long enough to feel it IS OUR anniversary. I’m guessing you’re over the shame by now.
    And just because blogging is strange – do you see any cessation in our future?

    Melinda- Thanks for the encouraging comments. Having good friends who are repeat offenders, er, visitors, is a fortunate thing for me. I’m getting some good camera instruction.

  27. wrjones Says:

    Really Bonnie, I think you have milked this drawing for enough comments. Let’s move on to the next stage please!

    Stay out of the water it will wrinkle that cute little foot.

  28. planetross Says:

    There is no end in sight here: it’s just wasteland and hard going ahead. Beware!

    note: I’m over the shame.

    double note: toot toot!

  29. Theresa Rankin Says:

    I love the sketch …it has such grace!! I am holding my breath for the finished piece! And you have been tagged come to my page and find out the rest!!

  30. Frank Gardner Says:

    Well, Happy Blog Anniversary Bonnie. I keep checking back to see if your guests did a complete overhaul on your blog or something.

  31. bonnieluria Says:

    Theresa- please don’t stop breathing….I still have three friends visiting from NY and Boston so painting is not happening yet and probably won’t be for some time.
    I’ve just squeezed in a few early morning minutes to catch up on my favorite blogs.
    But, I have to say that being tagged by you is an honor and I imagine you’ve been a ” tagee” more than once.

    Frank- Thanks- I know you just completed your first year too.
    We’ve been getting lots of photo tutorials in, so blog changing didn’t seem as important.
    Now I suppose my photo images will have to live up to a higher standard too!
    Pressure is everywhere!

  32. carolking Says:

    I wish I was there too! Hope you guys had a good time.

    Looking forward to seeing more progress on the painting…..great start.

  33. epicurienne Says:

    Sorry I was late.
    I love your blog. Thank heavens for friends who do these things for us.
    Meanwhile, I’m trying to torture my brother and Monsieur into setting up their own blogs. So far, no joy. They’re bigger than me.

  34. bonnieluria Says:

    Carol- you were ALMOST here- we thought we saw your ship on the horizon nearing St. Thomas. We wished you were here too.
    It was like having the entire AP papparazzi greeting you as you exit the kitchen in your jammies and bed hair, snapping away.

    Hope your cruise was relaxing.

    Epic- you’re right on time! Vicarious blogging is a big sport among the resistant. They have YOURS, so they don’t need their own, right?
    Thanks for stopping by again.

  35. solvay Says:

    Well, to save you (and me) from having to pay rent to Frank Gardner, I came on over to your site – which I’ve visited frequently – to make a comment. I’m not sure I even entered the info correctly, but I’m SURE I’ll find out as soon as I press “Submit Comment”……..

    LOVE the dog/gecko photos, the overdone painting skeleton, and your sketches in this post. Very interesting about the origins of your blog, and about the various visitors you’ve had. I’m not surprised, since your blog is so worldly and interesting. I’m also very glad you made it through hurricane season, this year – seems like it was especially rough in your part of the region. Amazing that in the U.S. we barely hear anything about things where you are……just one MORE reason not to pay attention to the American press, in my opinion. I do NO U.S. media. None. well….other than the few headlines that cross my eyes as I pass through random websites. But that’s it.

    Anyway, HI.
    I like reading YOUR posts on Frank’s blog, too!

    Happy Anniversary, a few days ago!

  36. bonnieluria Says:

    Solveg- hi and welcome here- hope Frank won’t be jealous!
    At last count he had 52 comments on his last post- I think he can spare some visitors!

    How nice to know you stop by here regularly and that you find enough to bring you back.

    We’re now out of storm season but still off the mainland radar map. Often an advantage.

    Not knowing what your area of skill is, your comments on Franks’ blog would hint at an aesthetic leaning. And dagnabbit sometimes by the time I’ve arrived there, you’ve used up all the good words.

    Look forward to more exchanges.

  37. Bill Sharp Says:

    Bonnie, Congratulations on your one year anniversary. I always look forward to visiting here and reading your humorous and thoughtful perspectives on life and painting. It’s very nice, especially during the sun deprived Pacific NW winter to think about sun and sea and Bonnie.

    Looking forward to much more. Thanks for sharing.

  38. solvay Says:


    I just LOVE that you used that word, both here and on Frank’s blog! TOO FUNNY! That’s like bubble-gum ice cream or something like that.

    My aesthetic leaning: I’m a cellist and private music teacher…….but when I was young, I really wanted to be a painter…..I drew and painted a lot til one day in college I saw this girl’s work and it was so great, and my brain couldn’t really get around it as to how to make what she was making, and I knew in my heart I should pack it up. right or wrong, that was what I did. But I studied a lot of art history and architectural history………..I guess that’s all been coming back to my remembrance since discovering this awesome world of artist blogs!!!! I’m almost pathologically addicted……….

    : )

  39. bonnieluria Says:

    Bill- always feels like a gold star in my notebook when you leave a flattering comment.
    Some days I feel like writing comes more naturally than painting so having a personal venue to express the days’ progress has been great fun for me.
    And it’s connected me to so many wonderful artists, like you, that I otherwise would never learn from.
    Thanks for checking in….

    Solveg-it’s not surprising that the other art form- music, would be your direction. I just picked up a book about and by Tony Bennett who aside from being one of my favorite singers is a very talented painter.

    It can’t be viewed as right or wrong because you’d never know.
    I fully relate to the comparisons we make to others. Do you do that with other cellists?
    It happens with me too that I look at others’ work and think I’ll never get there. But I get where I go and presumably there’s room for all of us on the road.
    If you can teach, then you must know your art.
    Oooh that almost pathologically addicted…….. I know what that’s like.
    It serves as my continuing adult education in art school.
    And when I consider how my typing speed has improved..well..justification if ever I heard it!

    I always enjoy your enthusiastic descriptions.

  40. Mary Sheehan Winn Says:

    Happy Anniversary!
    I feel the same way about my blog and the friends in the blogosphere.
    I had Open Studios this weekend and Katie May McElwain, a blogger from the North Shore of Boston who I’ve been visiting with on the blog, came down. It was great !
    I’m amazed at the ripple effect of blogging. Pleasantly surprised, and yes, I started blogging because my friend got into it and asked me to visit her blog!

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