“Skin of the Iguana”

view of White Bay beach

view of White Bay beach

Loved the shell mon!

Loved the shell mon!

The plan on Monday was to take the ferry over to Virgin Gorda, where there was a local type of carnival. Since we didn’t see much evidence of this in the earlier part of the day,

we decided to continue with Plan A, and revisit The Top of the Baths, a brief taxi ride away. Following lunch, two of the group decided to visit the Baths, while the others spent time within 

the gift shops and around the small pool for a few luxuriating hours. Next on the itinerary was a return trip on the ferry to Road Town , where we started happy hour with painkillers at Pusser’s

along with more drinks at the bar at Village Cay Marina. Before long, we realized it was time to return to Cane Garden Bay, and Myett’s, where we feasted on baby back ribs with tamarind sauce,

mixed veggies, and garlic mashers. The day’s activities in hot sun resulted in an early turn-in for the group on a quiet holiday evening.


Tuesday morning welcomed us with the continuous beauty and activity around Cane Garden Bay. We decided to change the mode of transportation for our next destination,

Jost Van Dyke, which can be seen nearby from this area of Tortola. The local boat rental place had set us up with a speedboat over to Foxy’s harbor, which is the inspiration for one of my

recent paintings. A tip: follow the bartender’s advice when he tells you that Foxy’s Firewater Rum, also identified on the menu of drinks as the Dread Fox, has a way of sneaking up on you.

Another taxi ride away was Soggy Dollar Bay at White Bay. We were surprised as we entered the rear pathway by voices asking if we were from Virginia Beach. It turned out that guests from

a weekend wedding on Necker Island were from home. The next several hours were spent limin’ on the beach and two of us visited Ivan’s Bar, which was located on top of the stairs leading 

to the left of the beach. The ride back with Dwight and Jason was fast and fun as we skirted the waves with a blaring background of reggae and Michael Jackson classics. Myett’s happy hour

was once again calling us ashore, where we spent many hours with too few appetizers and continuous painkillers for the rest of the night.  Needless to say, evening became morning before

we realized it, and the trip up the stairs and morning after was a prime example of the bite of the Dread Fox.


Below (center) is the latest painting from the BVI series. To see this original as well as the print options available, stop in at the website here.

You can also see the recent added beach gift items for the coastal living lover on the home page above. Click on “Special Stuff Shop” in the upper right 

corner to go to the VI “Vee” shop. Join my summer Stomp It Out Campaign to end cancer with a purchase of Foxy’s Flip Flops. Proceeds from sales 

will go toward research for a cure. Thanks!


Fresh from the easel… the completed painting preview by Kandy Cross

Fresh from the easel…
the completed painting
preview by Kandy Cross

“The IST Tour 2014”

The new member of our island family

The new member of our island family

Oh. The title above could probably use some explanation.  You want to say it like a long, slow Southern drawl: “The I S T Tour”, like you’re ordering a chilled

beverage with lots of ice (remember, slowly, drawn out), why, sweetened, of course. One of the first reminders of the differences between home and the islands:

IST. That stands for “Island Service Time.” If you think you will get fast food while there, you are in for a true awakening. Island time and your time is not

the same. You, as an outsider, must adapt, or you are in for a rough time; thus, the name of this recent tour.


If you have read the previous blog post, ” Heart Notes”,  you understand why it has been such a challenge to balance the distractions in this artist’s life.

Luckily, I was able to return to the BVI for the third visit during the Spring for the long awaited vacation from what seemed like the longest ever winter on record.

Cane Garden Bay was still there in her spectacular turquoise and sun stroked beauty, yet with a few changes along the beachfront. Due to the Easter holidays,

we knew that some of the places we had been to before might be closed over the first weekend (they were), and that some of the favorite haunts would be open,

especially on the days that the day trippers from the cruise ships would arrive. Like picnic ants scurrying hurriedly for morsels, the restauranteurs would rush 

in their well choreographed island dance to arrange the rows of beach loungers in front of their businesses during the earlier morning hours where the only sounds 

were the waves lapping on the shoreline and distant voices of walking tourists.


This time I was armed with my arsenal of aerosol “Gettum No Seeums” sprays, and the only beach annoyance was the fact that I had forgotten to include my towel

clips to prevent the occasional slip and slide of the villa towel on my lounger. With Kindle in hand, life was right out of a color photo in a Frontgate catalog…total bliss.

Drinks at Tony’s Welcome Bar ( with Chris as our smiling gentle bartender ) complimented the first sunsets. Our crew of four were joined by a Steelers couple along with 

their captain and friends who we would see often on our week adventure. 

We ended our weekend with a grilled steak and broccoli dinner on the poolside patio at our tropical home along with several bottles of wine.  Accompanying some patio dancing was  

 our new friend, Gee Gee, the proprietors’ neighbor’s cat, who would lead us to the bottom of our stairs, then turn and meow good night.

IMG_2718tonys IMG_2715cgbattonys




“Heart Notes”

I feel as if I have completely lost the first quarter of my business year. Did the calendar genie touch the pages of January-March and switch the days into Fast Mode?

My intention had been to follow my goals for the year with one word: consistency. I think that the muses were too busy thinking of new ways to combine Carnevale and St. Paddys and forgot me entirely until they knew I would again be available for creativity duty. (Reporting now, sir.) I guess I am still learning that when life throws you some detours you have to treat it like dogs do: kick dirt over the poop, and move on, as a recent Facebook post directed.

February this year was definitely related to the heart, as my Best Friend went through open heart surgery the day before Valentine’s Day. He actually did receive a gold aorta following a lengthy nine hour period of invasive surgery. When he awoke from the anesthesia, he said that the first thing he heard was the song that I had introduced to him to calm his pre-surgery anxiety, which was Pharrell Williams’ “Happy.” During his recovery, hearing that music always made him smile, and grateful to have a new heart.

Now is the time for Spring focus and working on the consistent tasks while returning to the easel and the euphoric unknown. Lots of ideas for new paintings which have been on hold can be started again, and if the brutal winter ever decides to leave, as I am sure it will, warm weather will bring creative surprises, and that means feeling happier, too.

‘You Had Me at Renoir”

343px-A_Girl_with_a_Watering_CanRecently, I was thinking about the first painting that I saw as a small child. It was inside the pages of a larger volume set of books that had been ordered for the family. I barely recall sitting upon the floor with the excitement and awe of opening a Christmas present. I thought then that this was the most interesting image I had yet seen, comparable I guess to today’s child with his first iPad screen in front of him, or the way we all felt the first time Steve Jobs introduced us to the latest version of the most recent Apple gadget. 

  Continue reading

A Hurting Heart

"Professor Wilson"After losing three friends to three different types of cancer within three years, I also lost the last day of the month of July, one of my studio assistants to the disease. Having been through periods of grief, which are inevitable, yet another loss was difficult, and it brought back the memories and the pain. Luckily, I had a series of commissions to complete so that I could try to keep focused on my work.


My fur buddy was with us only a little more than a year as he had been adopted following the passing of his first set of parents. Since I had his twin brother and had kept him during their vacations, his transition into the household went quite smoothly, and he had just arrived at the point of acceptance into his new family. Wilson was the quieter Wheaten terrier, who preferred to oversee production and scheduling each work day within the studio. One of his favorite tasks was to alert me when it was time to finish painting for the day, and he knew exactly when that hour was there. When he didn’t want to eat on his last day, I knew that something was terribly wrong, and needed immediate attention. Within an hour he was gone . An autopsy was performed because it was rare for this breed to have this aggressive type of cancer at the age of six years, and I had hoped that it would provide clues as to what caused it, only that remains a mystery.


As anyone who has gone through the loss of a pet knows, life continues onward and time eases the wounds. If you would care to share in the comments, what did you find that made the transition to acceptance and peace easier?


“Finding the Voice”

‘Foxy’s at Jost’, Kandy Cross, acrylic on canvas, 24×24″, 2013

Following the extended winter funk, I am excited that my goal of adding another 

painting to the BVI series has been reached. My apologies to any reader of the 

previous post… it wasn’t my intention to delay the completed “Virgin Gorda Baths”,

as I only gave a small detail preview there. Guess I can only be grateful that I have 

been interrupted within the period since I last blogged by those muses. 

I have tried to keep the distractions that lead me away from the easel at bay.

Limiting the time checking Facebook within a week, along with Twitter tweets, and

daytime TV has been exhilarating. I still would rather have a face to face conversation

with friends instead of texting, but it seems that even in business, that is the only way

to get a quicker reply.

The evening isn’t suitable for painting, and the television gremlins still come

out at night to entice, ensnare, entertain with a plethora of eye and mind


 The recent finals of “The Voice” have captivated me, and as each birth of another 

creation occurs, I find myself wondering about the search for my own artistic


I don’t have any celebs to coach me, only to accompany me with background music

as I wield the spontaneous brush. Yet, like the show, the final result will be up to the

public. Will they like the results enough to tweet and post about, vote for, or adopt my

“babies”? Would the name and “voice” be lost within obscurity?

As the artist, I already know the result. Any creative knows it. I must 

continue. It is what I do, and have been called to do. It keeps me sane in an otherwise

insane world. The muses know that. They are smiling.


 For those who haven’t yet seen ‘Virgin Gorda Baths’, scroll down to see the 

entire completed version of the painting.
































In the comments, whether you are a “creative” or not, what is your gift to the world?

Have you found your voice? How do the muses speak to you?

























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