My home-away-from home is St. Thomas in the beautiful Virgin Islands of the Caribbean.

Each year, my family and I make the two day journey from the snow packed mountains of Idaho down to the turquoise Caribbean waters. I enjoy using this time to relax, unwind, unplug and to hang with my family. This down-time helps me refuel my creative inspiration.

plein air painting caribbean

The Caribbean has a complex, rich and varied history that is reflected in its architecture. The local colors are vibrant and reminiscent of the sun and sea.
st john national park service office
Colorful buildings of sunset pinks, sea greens, corals, yellows and soft blues are nestled into some of the most beautiful tropical islands in the world.

The Caribbean islands offer  wealth of historical buildings reflecting its rich heritage of Spanish, French, British, Dutch and Creole colonial styles. All buildings have light, open and airy atmospheres with an abundance of tropical plants and flowers to remind you that you are in paradise!

bananas

While I’m here, I love plein air painting and photographing the local scenery, along with the colorful shutters, doors and dilapidated rock walls.

door

Did you know there are some very famous artists who were also inspired and influenced by the Caribbean?
Winslow Homer, John James Audubon and Camille Pissarro are some of the many famous artists to have been inspired by these islands.
Arts and crafts abound in its many forms of affordable jewelry, tapestries, ethnic crafts and music and occasionally fine art.
John James Audubon is known as, the artist of birds. He was born in Les Cayes, Haiti in 1785, but later moved to the United States to avoid conscription in the Napoleonic War. Audubon became famous in the United States for recording many of North Americas species by drawing and painting them. He is most famous for his collected Birds of America, published between 1827 and 1838. Since then Audubon’s has given rise to birding societies throughout the world.

John James Audubon
“Snowy Egret” by John James Audubon

Winslow Homer (1836-1920) was a prolific and engaging American watercolorist. Although he loved Maine’s New England coast, he often vacationed in Florida and the Caribbean. Homer’s mastery of watercolors and his unique perspective of the islands produced exquisite paintings of sun-drenched homes, palm-fringed beaches and blossoming flora and fauna. Homer is well known for brilliant depictions of the sea.
Winslow Homer
detail from “Gulf Strem” by Winslow Homer

Camille Pissarro was a Danish-French Impressionist and Neo-Impressionist painter born on the island of St Thomas (now in the US Virgin Islands, but then in the Danish West Indies). Danish artist Fritz Melbye, then living on St. Thomas, inspired Pissarro to take on painting as a full-time profession. Pissarro is a stylistic forerunner of Impressionism, he is today considered a “father figure not only to the Impressionists” but to all four of the major Post-Impressionists, including Georges Seurat, Paul Cézanne, Vincent van Gogh and Paul Gauguin.

Pissarro
“Two Women Chatting By The Sea” by Camille Pissarro

Today on St. Thomas, arts and crafts abound in many forms of affordable jewelry, tapestries, ethnic crafts and music and occasionally fine art.
I live in the mountains of Idaho where there is a lack of cultural diversity. Visiting the Caribbean each year is always a wonderful, eye-opening experience.
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You can visit my WordPress art website,  LoriMcNee.com, and let’s meet on Facebook  Fine Art Tips Facebook Fan Page, on Twitter, Google Plus and on Pinterest and InstagramBe sure and check out and my fine art prints and notecards on Fine Art America. ~Lori

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