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A Trip to the Bahamas Brings a Fresh View for a New Year, 2023


Green Turtle Cay Beach, Abacos, Bahamas

At the end of December 2022, I was fortunate to take a trip with my husband and college-age twins to a rented house on Green Turtle Cay in The Abacos Islands of the Bahamas. This was an excellent way to refresh our spirits and look forward to a new year.


Four years ago, we stayed on Abacos Island, where I painted the views of the water and pastel-colored houses on the shoreline. Sadly, that area was completely obliterated in hurricane Dorian, so we chose Green Turtle Cay, also in the Abacos Islands of the Bahamas, because it was less damaged.


Studying the waves on the rugged, beautiful ocean beach a few steps from our house became my morning pastime on this trip. I sat on the beach early each day for a week and watched the water before painting a small 3" x 5" study. The formations of waves and the distribution of color are fleeting, and it is hard to seize the forms and light in your mind's eye long enough to paint them. It helps to familiarize and internalize these images. I painted six little 5" x 3" studies in watercolor.

It was a great exercise in observation.


After six days, I understood where the waves roll and break and create foam and how the magnificent aqua colors mix in with sand and seaweed. I then painted a larger 9" x 12" painting. The weather was beginning to get windy. This rougher rolling wave movement is reflected in the painting below.

Rough Seas, watercolor on arches paper, 9" x 12"


On the island's bayside, there are many coves where the ocean is calm and vast areas of shallow water. This makes it easy to observe sea creatures living in these shallow waters, such as rays, starfish, hermit crabs, conch, and Coral. The textures and structures of the shells and coral are so beautiful and intricate.


Bonefish also can be found in these waters, known as flats. They are long, silvery, non-edible fish that fly fishermen love to catch and release. While accompanying my fly-fishing husband, I painted this landscape seen below in Coco Bay. The silvery light is particularly beautiful at dusk.


Serene Waters, Watercolor on Arches paper, 9" x 12"


All these new works, and more, are available on my website, https://pamelapaints.com

Thank you for taking the time to read this blog. I wish you all a healthy, peaceful, and fruitful New Year.

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