I love everything about traveling; discovering new places, taking pictures, tasting new delights and finding the perfect keepsake to preserve the memory. A great souvenir can remind you of a special moment, an object that will represent your journey, and can be the prompt for a story. I’m not referring to a t-shirt, mug, or a key chain, but something tangible that will become a part of your family history.
The moment we arrived we were welcomed by Ross, the general manager with a glass of champagne. Kristal arranged all of our excursions and no detail was left undone. The hospitality continued throughout our stay. I could not help but to notice the art collection, which featured the work of many of the local artists. I asked Ross about the art and he graciouly arranged for us to go to a gallery in town. As soon as I walked in I fell in love with Jonathan’s work, so many stunning pieces, each one capturing the spirit of St. Lucia. I knew I wanted a painting to bring home for my memory.
The only problem would be which one and will they accept a credit card? I loved the vibrant colors and the way the lighting was captured in the paintings. The expressions of the children mesmerized me, I kept staring at the entire collection trying to narrow it down to one painting, that I knew we could take with us on the plane.
A little about Jonathan Guy Gladding, he arrived in St. Lucia via New York, July of 1999. He was a peace corp volunteer doing a two year stint in St, Lucia that never ended. Jonathan was inspired by the rich subject matter of the school children. “I had found in St. Lucia what artists have traveled far and near to find-true inspiration”. Check out his online gallery here.
So this is the one we selected. I loved the rendering of the chalkboard and how if you look closely you can see St.Lucia written in chalk. There are so many details in this piece, my little camera does not do it justice.
In addition to searching for art when I travel, I also collect holiday ornaments, preferably handcrafted. When we decorate our tree we always reminisce about where a particular ornament came from. Some of the ornaments are funny little knickknacks that my kids picked out, but all of them share a story.
What do you collect when you travel? Why do these souvenirs mean so much to us?