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When we think of painting in the tropics, we imagine palm trees, perfect sandy beaches and turquoise sea. Jamaica offers all of this and much more, but the practicalities of living and painting in Jamaica are not always what you might expect. On the one hand, there is inspiration at every pass: the lush vegetation, the magnificently beautiful people and their colourful outdoor life, the stunning land and seascapes. On the other hand, life on a developing tropical island can present challenges to a painter. The suffocating heat, for one thing – it’s often too uncomfortable to paint outdoors or in. For another, it’s not really possible to set up an easel in the street without attracting attention of the wrong sort – and the struggling economy makes art a long way down the priority list for the powers that be. So how do you make a living as an artist in Jamaica, whilst still being true to your ideals?
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