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Posts Tagged ‘culture’

Maria Estela Yamaguchi

It is so exciting and gives me true joy to share another story with you.  I wanted to talk today about the first person to purchase my book.  Maria Estela Yamaguchi who lives in Japan.  I meet Maria 35 years ago while attending the Valley Baptist Academy in Harlingen, Texas.  Maria migrated from Matamoros, Mexico and I from the U.S. Virgin Islands.  As previously stated, when I started at the Academy, language was a barrier for us all.  Luckily for me, Maria had a real desire to communicate and we bonded.

We lost contact over the years; Maria earned a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Education from MHB University and subsequently met and married Shojiro Yamaguchi and moved to Japan (where she has resided for the past 30 years).   A mother of three children:  Mayumi Teresa, Hideyuki Alan and Naoki Kevin Yamaguchi.

Maria and I rekindled our relationship on Facebook in 2009 and began talking like no time had gone by since our graduation from the Academy in 1975.  When I produced my book and published it on June 6, 2010, Maria was the first person to purchase A Journey Into My World of Art.  That meant so much to me and made the publication so special to have someone that I met at the beginning of my development and appreciation for art to be the first person, again, to embrace my creation.  Also, my purpose for producing the book was finally realized!  Sharing my artwork with a larger population…   the world!

Thank you Maria and I look forward to many more years of sharing each other’s passion.

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The Caribbean is a beautiful, colorful and exciting place to live – the opportunity to have had such a backdrop or canvas to create small pieces of life and share with others makes me happy.   I remember years ago (actually in the early 70’s) I moved to Texas to attend high school with a variety of international students, I was immediately faced with questions about my homeland.  What do people do on a little island?; how do you get around?; are there cars there?; what do you eat and finally describe life on your island.  It started my thinking – how do I explain it to people from another country or even the Americans?    With language being a real barrier and my having a heavy accent, at the time, the idea came to me…  why don’t I draw pictures in order to describe my life on a tiny island (St. Thomas is 32 square miles) and share my story.   Before I knew it, I had quite a large volume of drawings; people walking to the market, standing on the Waterfront looking at the fishermen sell their catch, days at the beach, cultural events, costumes, traditional head dresses, clothing, etc.   The more I described my childhood, the larger my collection became.   One day while sitting in my room, I flipped through my drawing pad and realized that I had recorded my life and told a story on paper.

I later went back and filled in some of the drawings with color – added backgrounds to some scenes and expanded the story.  Before long I had begun to add watercolor to some of the drawings and the idea of telling a story through art was born for me.

I received a note two weeks ago from someone online telling me that I gave to him a painting approximately 1977.  It was quite a surprise to me as well as a pleasure.  I, of course, would love to see that early painting and reflect on my progress.   I am still hoping that I will be given the chance to see it; even if just online.

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