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copra shack: calm before storm

copra shack: calm before storm

This is a painting of the copra shack which was our home for a short spell during the spring of 2000.

The shack is tucked away in a coco-palm grove carved out of the hardwood forest on a small island in an area of the Mentawais Islands known as the wave park. The Mentawais (that would be pronounced men-ta-whys) are the island chain which runs parallel to the west coast of southern Sumatra, Indonesia.

Most folks who travel through the Mentawais these days do so as clients on western-luxury surf-charter boats with western-style food, air conditioning, and video players. Their typical experience gives them about as much insight into the essence of the Mentawais as does a trip to the local KFC in Padang, Singapore, London, or Des Moines.

Much like our kerosene-lantern-lit accommodations, our food and island transportation were more along the lines of being high-end local than western-luxury. We made the 60 mile open water crossing in a 40 ft. dug-out canoe with three 40-horse outboards. As it can be seen in the painting, we left one of the outboards at the shack for intra-chain travel. Our local-style food was cooked over open fire in the room though the opening which can be seen behind the outboard motor.

The small dug-out seen in the lower left is a personal water craft.

As is often the case, especially in that part of the world, a lot has changed since we were there.

This painting was used for our 2000 card which was the first one we produced in concert with our friends at In to Ink in San Diego using their patented, dual-sided, translucent stock, printing technology.
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