Sunday, September 4, 2016

Painting with banana stalks by a Chamorro artist in Saipan

One hot afternoon in Saipan, living a #Travelife, the Travelife Magazine team got into a 4WD vehicle to head up a mountain to a neighborhood inhabited mostly by members of the Chamorro tribes on the island.

No paved roads up this mountain so I reluctantly had to leave my Mustang convertible at the hotel and get into the 4WD with my team.

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Within a few minutes of off-road driving, we'd reached our destination: the home of a local Chamorro artist who'd began a successful trade making paintings with the aid only of banana stalks of all sizes and shapes and some non-toxic paint -- the kind you'd find at an art studio for kids.

So everything seemed pretty simple, but it turned out to be the kind of art activity that needed lots of focus. And the results of the paintings he did on postcards were beautiful.


Within a relatively short time that seemed more like play than hard work, he'd created beautiful designs with crabs, fish and marine life.


Of course, some of us became inspired to try our hands at this new art. 

Michelle Barrera and I were the most enthusiastic in our group and we quickly set about stamping postcards with designs with our banana stalks. I didn't think much about the overall design of my works as I just wanted to try the techniques out, so my artworks came out more like wallpaper design.


This was probably subconscious on my part as my current home improvement project -- I embark on one whenever I actually have time and am not away on a #Travelife, that is -- is hand painting the wallpaper along one of my corridors myself to restore the colors. 

Of course I could always just change the wallpaper, but this particular one is a vintage wallpaper of a  special design that's a limited edition from Europe, so I've decided to paint it myself to refresh the colours.

My last home improvement project, by the way, was restoring a couple of bathroom cabinets by myself with lovely tiles. I really like doing this myself as I can get it exactly how I want it, and it's very relaxing to do something nice for your home.


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Meanwhile, Michelle did lovely things with her postcards. She made great scenes of Saipan complete with waves and all.

We left from our "art class" in Saipan very relaxed after such a calming activity, and with great souvenirs of our holiday in Saipan, living a #Travelife.



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