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'The only time I feel alive is when I'm painting.' ~Vincent Van Gogh~



Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Visiting the Past: TANGIER ISLAND, VA

Recently, I took a weekend trip to Tangier Island, which is a small island in the Chesapeake Bay of Virginia.  The island is only 3 miles by 1 mile in size, and shrinking.  It is a beautiful island, and has retained its original charm and way of life for many generations.  Population:  525.

The only way to access the island is by water, either from the Eastern Shore of Virginia, or from the Maryland Shore.  We took a boat over from Onancock, VA (another favorite small town of mine).  Despite the rough waters, the 12 mile journey by boat was wonderful.  The captain, an island native, was very friendly and informative.  After the hour ride, we arrived in Tangier.  The entrance to the island is filled with crabbing boats, crab shacks, crab pots and so much activity.

The main way of making a living on the island is, of course, by farming the Chesapeake Bay for crabs and oysters!  The hard-working watermen have continued this way of life for many generations.  And even though there are organizations trying to 'Save the Bay', the waters are being increasingly polluted, so much so that it is threatening the island residents way of life.

Tangier Island Special
Work in Progress
Watercolor on Paper





We enjoyed our day touring the island and talking to the locals.  They have a very unique dialect derived from our Cornish ancestors, which is quite a challenge to understand... especially when they are talking amongst themselves.  Tangier is also a 'dry' island, alcohol is not sold there or consumed in public.  No movie theaters, cars, malls, bowling alleys, etc.  They have a small 'convenience' store for groceries (which get sent over from the mainland weekly).  There is one school for all the island kids, one hospital in which the doctor flies in on Thursday's for clinic duties and a handful of 'mom & pop' restaurants. 

It was quite a day stepping back in time!
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Thanks for visiting!  Happy Painting!
Bonnie



Galleries Showing my Art

  • Fine Art America
  • Riverview Art Gallery, Portsmouth, VA
  • Jester's Galler Shop, Suffolk, VA