Amazon river journey. Day one

20120324-161001.jpgHardly slept last night through excitement and anticipation of the journey ahead of us today. Information about our river trip was gradually becoming clearer and clearer. It was going to take us up to 30 hours heading east on the Amazon to the Municipality Maues (apologies for the lack of accents etc.), where our destination was the Vila (village) Nova on the Lago (lake) do Marau. We had to have a special permit to access the village reservation, which is usually impossible to get, however, our group had connections with the chief or the Pastor of the village, both highly positioned individuals within the community. Very, very few outsiders have visited this particular village and it’s people and so we are both privileged and a little apprehensive about being the first. Even the local members of the team haven’t been this far down the river.

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Fish and Flipflops

20120317-232824.jpgStomach ache wearing off, I wrote my post while the team again had their devotions, then it was off to do a mix of sight seeing and last minute supply shopping.


First up was a really nice outdoor market full of Amazon related trinkets, jewelry, clothing etc. We spent an hour wandering around before the brief storm had us running for cover.

Next was something I was looking forward to ever since seeing Anthony Bourdain film a show from here – the fish market! Just an amazing mix of smells (mostly nasty), characters and noise.


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Supplies. Soaked. Stunned… And Stomach Aches

20120317-084004.jpgFirst full day in Manaus started with a great breakfast in the hotel including some very good coffee (everything is fine after morning coffee!) The team found a quite courtyard spot to hold their devotions’ which gave me the perfect opportunity to sit and reflect for these posts.

After loading up with my daily necessities of bug sprays, money, shades, cell (habit because the hotel is about the only place I can actually get a wifi reception), we met up in the lobby and headed into town. As we weaved through the tapestry of old colonial architecture and street stalls, several supplies were needed. First stop was to choose/buy our hammocks for the boat journey. Beautiful colors, great choices. About $20 each.

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Heading to Manaus, Brazil

20120316-085850.jpgSo after waiting forever, getting funds in place and getting to know the wonderful team I would be accompanying, the day finally came for us the meet up at Peoria airport and begin this adventure of a lifetime.

My only initial disappointment was finding out I probably wouldn’t need to dress like Bear Grylle for the trip. T shirts and shorts were sufficient. Not even a cool pair of CAT hiking boots was needed. I really fancied the opportunity to dress the part 🙁 However, that disappointment was put to the side when I realized I would need to take my Adidas Sambas because this is Brazil, and everyone is passionate about soccer, so there is a make shift soccer field on every empty strip of land. I’ll show these locals how we won the World Cup in ’66 😉

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‘Barfly’ final prints

Here is ‘Barfly’. A series of four. Editions of twenty for each. Hope you enjoy them as much as I did creating them. The people are not specific individuals but are rather a composite of characters observed over a (long) period of time.

Barfly - Wisdom


Barfly - Humor
Barfly - Knowledge


Barfly - Denial

‘Barfly’ linocuts finished… finally!

Number four finished (Wisdom)… finally. This final image of the series took a lot longer than I was aiming for due to a variety of unforeseen ‘obstacles’, but now I can put them all aside for a few days, hopefully printing them next week sometime. Really looking forward to seeing how they turn out, but also concerned that I may have to cut into them some more/deeper as there is a lot of pretty shallow gouging on all of them and the ink may pick up on areas not supposed to be printed as well as miss details that are too fine to hold ink.

Also, I’m only planning a print run of maybe five or six editions of each one in the series… watch this space.


‘Barfly’… Three of four

Well, I was pretty much on track to complete one a week until a wonderful cold bug swept through the household. Consequently I had to take a day off last week for myself, another for my grandson, and even when I was in the studio working it’s hard to cut detail between coughs and sneezes! Anyway, pretty much over it all now, but the third of the series, ‘Humor’ (below) has run into this week to complete. It didn’t help when the inner monologue in me suggested giving one of the guys in the piece a striped shirt!

So, one more to go (Wisdom) and then hopefully the fun part of printing over the next week or so – although my paper hasn’t arrived yet 🙁

‘Barfly’… still going strong!

Two of the four ready to print and the third in the series about a third cut. I want to print the whole set together to ensure a consistency, so another week or so and they should be good to go – exciting! Still an issue with my over detailed compositions. I really should have reduced them more than I did, but as I’m over 50% through them, I’ll just persevere!

Nothing really new to show here, although the angle and light of these two shots of #1 (Ignorance) and #2 (Knowledge) does really emphasize the gouge marks nicely.