Governors Estate Eleuthera Art Appreciation Society !

Now a tongue in cheek look at the Governors Estate, Eleuthera Art Appreciation society – 2 members so far – Bob and myself – plus hopefully some of our renters.  Sometimes trying think of what to blog about can be frustrating – mostly it is about the island of Eleuthera and what goes on here or about our travels. But this week I had to order some new artwork for 2 of the bedrooms in the Yellow House and it got me thinking about the some of the stories behind the artwork we have in the rental houses and apartments here at Governors Estate.

When I work with clients decorating their houses I like to try to encourage them to choose pictures that tell something about their interests and are a subtle statement about their lives……. So how does that relate to the pictures we have in our houses ?

I have a special affection for this print - it is the first picture Bob ever bought for me when we were first dating 30 years ago !!!!
I have a special affection for this print – it is the first picture Bob ever bought for me when we were began dating 30 years ago – let the good times roll !!!!

So in Tops – the 2 bedroom house – we have in the main living area an original canvas by Bob’s nephew Dean Zeus Colman. He used to be a street tagger – or graffiti artist – but after studying at Chelsea College of Fine Arts in London – he refined and perfected his style and is now a successful and internationally known artist. He has an amazing way of painting downward looking perspectives and you can spend a long time fascinated by the detail of looking down through high buildings in cityscapes. Check out one of his latest works on a New York rooftop through the Facebook link by clicking on his name highlighted earlier….

Great original painting by Dean Zeus Colman !
Great original painting by Dean Zeus Colman !
Close up of Dean's painting
Close up of Dean’s painting

Also in Tops we have a couple of pictures of framed stamps – we took a trip a couple of years ago to visit our dear friends Clements and Nancy Von Merveldt in Virginia. I went to the Post Office to mail some cards and saw some great commemorative stamps of Hollywood movie stars. So I bought 6 of each featuring Gregory Peck and Katherine Hepburn. Then I took them to Nassau Glass to have them framed – small stamps in the middle of a big frame – I love them !

Top's living space with 2 framed pictures of stamps
Top’s living space with 2 framed pictures of stamps
The lovely Gregory Peck as Atticus Finch - the commemorative stamps....
The lovely Gregory Peck as Atticus Finch – the commemorative stamps….

Artwork doesn’t have to be too precious or expensive either. When I travel I like to stock up on cards for all occasions and on one visit to London I found a great series of cards featuring the official logos from various years of the Olympic Games. I kept those and eventually had them framed and they now hang in the kitchen at Tops…….

Top's kitchen with framed cards of Olympic logos
Top’s kitchen with framed cards of Olympic logos

In the Yellow House and in Sweetcorn House we have a few large framed prints by a Swedish artist called Kurt  Bjernevi. He was a strange character. We first met him in Skane in southern Sweden with great friends Leif and Gunilla Almqvist – in an art week festival – he later came to visit us when we lived in Oxford. We loved his work and decided to stage a small exhibition in our house one evening. People were liking his work and all was looking promising for sales until Bob invited him to say a few words about his work – big mistake !!!  He began rambling about the ancient Sumerians and extra terrestrial visitors who inspired his painting. Everybody took a few steps back and quietly disappeared realizing that in fact he was barking mad – so guess what Bob and I finished up buying quite a lot of his work !

A great print by the crazy Swedish artist......
A great print by the crazy Swedish artist……

Bob has always had a great eye for art and his son Cassius Colman has inherited it. Along with his beautiful girlfriend Jessie Dyer they own a very successful gallery called Nelly Duff in the uber trendy Columbia Road in East London. We have quite a few of their limited edition prints in our office and our own home as well as a great piece in the Yellow House by a Brazilian artist called Flavio Morais,

Great piece from Nelly Duff by Flavio Morais
Great piece from Nelly Duff by Flavio Morais

Collecting and displaying artwork that has a meaning and relevance to your lives is a lifelong ongoing project and the stories behind these pictures trigger many memories when you stop to take them in……

Try it yourself with pictures on your own walls –  it is so easy to stop really seeing what is there – take some time and bring back some memories !

Framed photographs by the talented local photographer Marc Coeffic
Framed photographs hanging in the Yellow House by the talented local photographer Marc Coeffic

13 thoughts on “Governors Estate Eleuthera Art Appreciation Society !”

  1. Sherelle Wallace

    The stories about what inspired an art piece and the artist who created the piece, is always a selling point. Sometimes more so that the artwork itself. I love art. And can appreciate that tastes in art are as varied as those in wine, food, etc. And a home/vacation spot is never fully dressed without beautiful artwork. I enjoyed your blog, thanks for sharing.

  2. OMG Kathy, in response to last week’s blog I have been thinking for a week recounting the myriad ways I find to relax some of which were not fit to print in a blog! 😉 After doing Tai ChiI upon waking, I read every morning at breakfast: local papers, NYT, Economist, Islands, science, medicine, art, Architectural Digest, NG, Town & Country, Wired…too many subscriptions!!! Deep breathing keeps my BP at 106 over 60 most of the time; walking daily; yoga at night. I love meandering throughout my park like yard, watching wildlife and over three dozen varieties of birds – very satisfying. Enough of that. BUT, on Wednesday morning I must tell you, I saw the most magnificent sight – FIVE great blue herons flying majestically northeast. A blessing to be sure!

    My builder recently made 4.5 foot long frame holders out of crown molding that he installed going up a flight of stairs where I can display some 16 plus pieces of art interchangeably. I have art hanging everywhere! Lots of artists in my life not to mention my own work…Thanks for the explanations about the pieces in your homes. I admired them each time I saw them and wondered about them! The “Kathy” by Coleman in Tops is way cool.

    So you began dating 30 years ago???? Hmmmm

  3. I too love art. My Tarpum Bay cottage walls are filled with original art from local artists (including myself). I often see photos of rental properties with blank walls. It says to me, these owners don’t care, they are more interested in the dollar. If they put art on their walls, rentors will appreciate it and come back. I could not live without art.

    1. Bob and Kathy Colman

      Actually I find that a lot of the clients I have are afraid of what to put on their walls and so often until I work with them have shied away from putting anything there. Many people are very shy about committing themselves to anything so I walk them through finding things that they like and are comfortable with…….

  4. Gillian Anderson

    Hi Kathy and Bob,

    We’ll join your Art Appreciation Society! You’ve given me some great ideas about framing pieces that might not otherwise be considered art: stamps; post cards … Of course I have framed my daughter Ava’s work. At seven years old she has declared her calling to be art!

    While staying at Tops this past March we certainly appreciated the art on the walls. One day, as I took a moment to wonder at the Colman over the sofa, I said to our ten year old Myles: that’s cool how he’s got the buildings all turned in on themselves; he responded with, oh, you mean the Kathy painting. I did not see it at first! After Myles pointed it out to me I thought: I was blind, but now I see:)


    1. Bob and Kathy Colman

      It is amazing how often children see things that are obvious to their eyes but not ours ! So lovely to hear from you !

  5. andrew sanderson

    1. Fish and fishermen. Free diving, spearing. How local fishermen live/survive.
    2. Ways for we winter residents to contribute to the community, financially or otherwise. Worthwhile local charities or non profit groups
    3. How you ,as established and concerned residents , view the island in say 5 years.
    4. Juxtapose life on Eleuthera against where we tourists come from. Everyday I am surrounded by cars. Cars are ugly, especially thousands of them rolling down the road in an angry pack.
    Just my thots.

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Kathy Colman

Writer, Interior Designer, Foodie, and Wife to Bob. Living in Eleuthera, Bahamas

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