Monday, May 9, 2011

Santa Clara Panama

Rainald took us on a several hour drive to the Caribbean coast. We stopped at a bustling roadside bodega and got some delicious mango and peach shakes. Outside the bodega women were seated behind folding tables selling lotto tickets. The tickets were displayed on an abacus style box, folded over metal support wires. Three policemen stood around a motorcycle with their machine guns slung over their shoulders. I of course wanted to sketch, but we had a schedule to keep. The point of a vacation seems to be to go to quiet, serene places to rest and relax. I seem to have a hard time doing that these days.

When we got to the coast we parked near a short boardwalk that lead to a restaurant and bar with a palm leaf roof. Lunch was delicious. I had some large garlic covered shimp that were finger licking good. People in the bar were shouting over a soccer game on TV. Terry asked our guide about a fishing village that was listed in her Foder's guide book. He explained that most of the fishermen had sold their ocean front properties. They would be offered large sums of money, like $100,000 dollars, and they couldn't refuse. 0nce the money was spent, many would no longer have a livelihood. At first I didn't want to sketch. The place seemed spindly and lonely to me. Once I started however I got lost in the process.

One fishing family remained. A young man untangled a fish net the whole time I drew. Terry relaxed under the shade of a Tiki style beach hut. She checked her e-mails on her iPhone and then read a book before taking a siesta. We walked into the surf, but a very strong undertow discouraged us from swimming to far from shore.

Prints are available for each sketch for $250 and many originals can be purchased for $400. White museum grade shadow box frames are $100 more. You can e-mail Thor at

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