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ABACO PAINTINGS INTRODUCTION

“Of all the things I wondered about on this land, I wondered the hard­est about the se­duc­tion of cer­tain geo­graph­ies that feel like home—not by story or blood but merely by their forms and col­ours. How our per­cep­tions are our only in­ternal map of the world, how there are places that claim you and places that warn you away. But here you can fall in love with the light. “

 
The An­thro­po­logy of Tur­quoise: Med­it­a­tions on Land­scape, Art, and Spirit’
 
Au­thor Ellen Meloy.
The clear wa­ters, the vi­brant col­ours and the per­fect light in the Ba­hamas are the in­spir­a­tion for my cur­rent series of paint­ings. The sea­scapes are awe-in­spir­ing with the ho­ri­zon stretch­ing un­in­ter­rup­ted from where the sun rises in the east to its flam­ing   farewell in the west. The im­pres­sion is that the ocean is flat and the edge is where the sky meets the sea. The sky is a vast royal blue can­vass spot­ted with fluffy white clouds often in the shape of ones fa­vour­ite cuddly toy.

 

 

The shal­low wa­ters are a spread of tur­quoise greens that lap gently onto the pure clean sand, soft under foot and stretch­ing as far as the eye can see. Un­be­liev­ably we, my part­ner and our guide, have this ma­gical pan­or­ama all to ourselves, ex­cept per­haps for sim­ilar minded anglers a long way off in the dis­tance. We are here to fly fish from a skiff or wad­ing bare-footed, stalk­ing a single bone­fish bot­tom feed­ing (tail­ing) or a fast mov­ing shoal passing with a pur­pose.

Our love of Bone fish­ing brings us here each year, to the Delphi Club, by ex­per­i­ence and repu­ta­tion the finest fish­ing lodge in the en­tire Ba­hamas. I bring with me a small sketch­book, a wa­ter­col­our box and some copic pens to sketch the shapes and re­cord the lovely pas­tel col­ours that are sharpened by the pur­ity of the air and light. Back in my stu­dio in the west of Ire­land I am blessed with a won­der­ful re­call, and aided by the sketch­book and some snap-shots, relax in front of the easel and let my mind drift back to my para­dise. The Abaco sea­scapes are best painted on long can­vasses; mine meas­ure 150cm x 40cm and 120cm x 30cm. I hope you enjoy them.

It would be re­miss of me to con­clude without a men­tion of the dazzling array of bird life on the is­land, the most cel­eb­rated being the Abaco par­rot. At the last count there were 163 dif­fer­ent spe­cies, all beau­ti­fully pho­to­graphed in Keith Salvesen’s new book The Birds of Abaco. Delphi Club Pub­lic­a­tions,www.delphi-bahamas.com