I immediately fell in love with Jamaica, the sweet perfumed air, the goats that climbed the trees, the glorious flowers, the gentle waves that embraced the beaches, and the lilt in the voices of the people. I took photographs everywhere, then I came home and painted. And painted. And painted. I created a series of large acrylic paintings on canvas called, "Tropical Fantasies". Many of the paintings from this series were later purchased by the Marriott Hotel in Richmond, VA for its new (at the time) hotel.
We returned to Jamaica time after time, eventually visiting there for more a dozen vacations, some of which lasted for two weeks. Eventually, it seemed essential that I use Jamaica as the setting for one of my books. So I set my first novel, Hearts Across Forever, in Jamaica and based the plot around Rose Hall Great House and the legend of the white witch.
Our last trip to Jamaica was in 2004. I have very much missed going there. Times have changed. No where in the world appears safe any more.
I have dreamed of returning to Jamaica. Perhaps we will go back one day.
Perhaps we will not.
|"Rose Hall Great House" - pastel painting by Mary Montague Sikes|