Saturday, November 09, 2013

A True Artiste in Les Saintes

Sometimes you meet a person who just makes you want to hug them.  Such was the case upon meeting Ulrich on the tiny Ilet a Cabrit in Les Saintes.  He lives alone on this small island, a mere dinghy ride away from the main town, a deal he made with the powers that be when he allowed his land on a nearby island to become a wind farm.  Born in Bordeaux, France he moved to Les Saintes in his early twenties and has lived here ever since.  He has resided on Ilet a Cabrit, alone, for the past seven of those years and fills his days living a very simple and sustainable life growing herbs and produce and creating dynamic clay masks from the earth he harvests from outside his door step.  His dwellings are modest: a simple concrete home and a small sailboat tied to a ramshackle little dock at the water's edge, but his life is no doubt full.

The thing that is immediately apparent about this man is that he is kind.  The sort of person who immediately makes you feel at ease.  If you set foot on this little island and he is there, he will most certainly greet you with a smile.  His face is warm and his eyes are gentle and in the constant half-moon shape of a soft grin.  When we approached him he was quietly working, painting one of his beautiful clay masks which he makes from molds and fires in a rudimentary clay oven in his workshop.  Once he saw we had little ones in tow, he immediately got up with a beaming grin and asked in his French accented english, "Would the children like to paint?"  Yes.  Yes they would.

What followed was an hour of painting and working with clay with our new artist friend.  He was so sweet and patient with the kiddos, helping them use a few basic tools (bottle caps, forks, marbles and what not) to make shapes and designs in the clay and assisting them in painting their little masterpieces.  All the while he continued working on painting his masks alongside them with a content smile on his face.

When we left with the art Isla and Stormer had created and our thoughtfully selected masks of Ulrich's to adorn our walls, he called out to us eagerly asking when and if we would return.  We assured him we'd be back, but that next time we'd have not one but three little girls in tow.  He laughed and smiled warmly as he waved us goodbye and resumed his painting in content solitude.

Isla's masterpeice
Our new mask, made and painted by Ulrich


Anonymous said...

Great story. I loved the Saints. An especially unique place, not on all cruising sailors radar. Love following your wonderful lives online, with an admitted big touch of envy @ times.

Anonymous said...

All that and he's handsome too! :)

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