Monument of Hope

Hope Monument ParkI came to sit in the park and playground of the Monument to Hope in Bartica, a couple of times. There was never anyone there, it was a good place to be alone and sketch. The monument itself was not very sketchable…a grey granit obelisk, erected in memory of the men and women who died when a boat full of escaped convicts arrived in the town at dark and robbed several of the gold-buying businesses.

The swing set was more interesting, though probably not very exotic. I’ve been having some trouble with this whole “travel sketching” idea, to be honest. Because we have been to some exotic places, I guess I felt that I owe it to my sketchbook to document the unusual, the novel, the never-seen-before. Naturally. When else will I get a chance to see these things? But, sorting through the files on my external drives, I came across this little PDF booklet, Start To Draw Your Life, again, by Michael Nobbs, and felt a twinge of longing for the days when I would draw my running shoes, a coffee cup, a tea strainer…nothing fancy, just getting lost in the drawing…

Because something in me loves the overlooked, ordinary, everyday things about life, and let’s face it, even up a river in a jungle, most days are just ordinary days…when you do the laundry, or sit on deck with a paperback novel, or cook oatmeal for breakfast. And if you did a tally of time spent “having adventures” and time spent doing everyday chores, you’d find that we spend probably 70% of our time just plodding along, doing the countless little things that make up a life. And why not paint that? It is as authentic and legitimate a subject as jungle vines and vernacular architecture.

It’s easier, too, to find a subject and paint it, if it’s around the home. Thing is, I love to do the drawing, I love adding colour. I don’t care what the subject is, in the end, I just love the doing. If I have to wait until I am somewhere unusual, or doing something exciting, before I can pull out my sketchbook, I won’t get to draw and paint as often. And that’s frustrating.

So, I know I’m in Guyana, living in a boat on the river, surrounded by howler monkeys and a dawn chorus of hornbills and parrots, but folks, sometimes my sketchbook posts will feature things from my kitchen, or stuff on my desk. And that’s fine, too.

12 thoughts on “Monument of Hope

  1. There is art in everyday life, and hope is always there too. Live life and enjoy every bit of it. The swing is alive when a happy child id swinging, and so when its empty, its just a monument of hope that maybe when you were there sketching it made you feel happy somehow, and made you alive. All your art work are masterpieces. I love them all. Miss you.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I stumbled on your blog though a link from another blog a couple of months back and have been following ever since. You are doing something that is so interesting and adventurous from anything I have experienced and I am loving every post. So if you sketch the everyday of your life on your boat, it is totally exotic to me. So go for the ordinary. It will be a wonderful diary of your trip and fun for others to see what your life out there is like. Love your sketches too!


  3. Maybe the swingset is truly a monument of hope,– symbol of the hope for the future that lies with children of the world!

    Just as I believe there is more truth in fiction, I think also that everyday life and how we all just put one foot in front of the other as we go through life are the acts that fulfill “hope.”

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Such an amazing and inspiring post! You’re a very good writer! Please check out my blog:


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