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As most Caribbean islands now have a mixture of African, Asian, Middle Eastern and European heritage the resulting art is a hybrid of all of these diverse influences. Caribbean artists now combine and adapt all of these influences to create their own unique and distinct styles, but they also all share a unity in their art through their portrayal of the physical, social and cultural elements of the Caribbean environment. The following four artists are the perfect example of this fusion.


Kate Spencer – St. Kitts & Nevis


Although she was born in the UKKate Spencer has made St. Kitts her home since 1978. Living and working in an old sugar estate on the North of the island for years, she is now considered one of the most prolific artists in the Caribbean. Returning to the UK for a few years, Spencer studied Interior Design in London and then moved to Florence, Italy where she studied Figurative Art at the Cecil Graves Studio. In 1990 she returned to St. Kitts, but found it difficult to make a living from painting, so she set up and ran a design business where she designed and sold fabrics, paper products, prints, mats and other gifts. Throughout this, though, she continued painting and soon enough interest in her work increased. Now she is a full time painter, and sells a range of paintings depicting the Kittitian landscape, lifestyle and people in boldly tropical colours.


Heleen Cornet – Saba


Originally born in Holland and obtaining a Fine Arts degree there, Heleen Cornetmoved around the Caribbean teaching art. In 1986 she moved to Saba, where she was also an art teacher, eventually making the island her home. Along with her husband, she opened a gallery and drew the illustrations for publications related to the region’s marine parks. Cornet’s work shows an experimentation of watercolour and oil paints, eventually discovering that ‘advantages of watercolour canvas’ and adapting her work to a less realistic and more colorful style. Heleen is inspired by the rainforests, religious symbolism and underwater world that are found in the environment of Saba. She has spent a lot of time painting outside, for some pieces even camping in the forest for weeks, and resulting in works that capture the dramatic movements of nature and the reflection of light around her.


Sally Stryker – St. Barts


Having lived a diverse life in the arts, Sally Stryker is now an accomplished dancer, singer, actress and painter. It was 2001 when she started exhibiting her work and travelling between her studios in New Yorkand St. Barts. Her style is described as impressionistic and abstract, using predominantly oil colours to portray natural Caribbean scenes of the seascapes and water; she also paints some portraits. Her paintings reflect a very magical light, capturing the natural aquatic colours in the waves that are the subject of most of her art. Her other paintings share a similar quality in their soft and blurry complexion. Stryker paintings have now been exhibited around the world.



Wendy Collins – St. Eustatius


Wendy Collins is an American ex-pat living a quiet life of painting on the island of St. Eustatius. After obtaining a long art education, she began her professional career as an artist in the 1970’s when she started painting portraits at a hotel in St. Martin. Collin’s paintings, many of which are portraits, are straightforward in their style and capture faces and personalities. Her nature scenes, on the other hand, are quite euphoric, conveying deeper spiritual elements in the still life portrayals. Collins’ work often contrasts natural colours with bright ones, making each stand out in its own respect.

Via Theculturetrip.com

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