Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Back to This Blog's Mission

ArtPrize 2011 is over.  I did not win a quarter of a million dollars, but I did receive many kudos, some wonderful, wonderful comments and it was fun!  Now it's time to get back to this blog's original mission which is to show how sensory input gets changed into art - at least how it does so in my work.

Several years ago I won an award at the Coconut Grove Arts Festival.  The prize was for 1st place in my media category - fiber.  There was a cash prize and a round trip ticket to Curacao, in the Netherlands Antilles, near Venezuela.  Pretty cool, right?  It sure was!  A friend of mine also won for his media which was wood, but had no intention of using his airline ticket.  So I bought his ticket for my husband and the two of us flew out of Miami the following winter.  We chose to spend a week on the island of Bonaire which is one of the Antilles.  The other two are Curacao and Aruba.

It was a long flight, 4-5 hours.  From Curacao we flew to Bonaire and took a shuttle to the resort.  I had to pay for the flights between Bonaire and Curacao and the week at the resort, of course.  What a trip!

Bonaire is a true desert island.  Very little grows there naturally, because it is almost 100% sand.  I don't know if it was an exaggeration, but we were told that all the plants were imported.

There is no fresh water source.  All the fresh water comes through a de-salination plant.  We were careful to not waste any.
 One of the many 4 ft. iguanas.  We were told not to touch them, because their skin carries salmonella.

Since we had not rented a car we stayed at the resort almost the entire week.   That was certainly not a problem!  Every day we hung out on the beach, read books in the shadow of rustic beach cabanas, swam in the crystal clear warm shallow water or kayaked out 1/4 mile to a docking raft and walked the rest of the way to the reef.

The restaurant served good food, but there was little fresh produce because, we were told, it is very expensive to import.  After a few days another couple that did have a rental car invited us to dinner in town with them where I pigged out on a very expensive, huge salad!

On another day we took the resort shuttle into town for a few hours of sightseeing and shopping where I accidentally found a craft fair!  It seems everywhere I go, some kind of art or craft show magically appears!  We learned this one sets up only on days when a cruise ship docks.

The best day trip took place near the end of our stay, when we hopped on a large catamaran to go snorkeling in the bay.  Talk about gorgeous!  Unfortunately, I did not have an underwater bag for my camera, but I'll never forget the beautiful reef!

One day I was hanging out on the beach and absent-mindedly started moving the sand around.  I was in the perfect place: relaxed, full of new sensory input from several luscious days in a completely different place, not thinking about anything and completely happy.  An hour  later, I realized my hands were creating a shape so I just went with it.  After another hour, the shape was finished and I took a photograph.

At the time I had no plans for the design.  Little did I know how important this shape would become ......
       (more about what happened will be in the next post)