Art Vacation in Paradise

Live aboard, sail, and paint in the US and British Virgin Islands.
We will pick you up at the airport.

Bring your watercolors, brushes, paper and a small folding chair.
You will learn various techniques, like wet into wet, dry into dry, sponging, pouring, and more. You will then apply these techniques to depict the beauty of the nature.

On this amazing discovery of art and nature, you will be instructed step by step by professional award winning artist /art instructor/Art Vacations organizer Katalin Papp, MFA.
VIRGIN ISLANDS: DATES: December,January, July, August :
$2,200 per person/per

6 people per boat, double occupancy cabins.
Includes boat accommodation, captain and art instructor’s fee, mooring fees, fuel and water for boat.

Provision for self is extra.
The islands visited are: St. Thomas St. John Jost Van Dyke

Tortola Virgin Gorda Norman Island

Other islands, like the Anegada and St. Croix are a possibility.
Each trip commences with the intention of visiting the six listed islands, but plans are subject to change.

The final decision is made by the captain following discussion with the group.water-chair-in-grotto200

Contact captain Gang for more information regarding boat and sailing.
Secure your space now and have a unique adventure.

Drawing and painting are adsorbing skills, which can be learnt on this luxury Art Vacation Cruise.


ART BUILDS self esteem and appreciation of diversity.
ART STRENGTHENS human cognitive and emotional development.
ART MOTIVATES learners by engaging and attracting interest.
ART STIMULATES memory and understanding by engaging the whole brain.
ART ENHANCES creative problem solving skills..
ART EXPLORES and reveals our humanity.

This short course in drawing, watercolors and acrylics is structured so that both beginners and advanced artist can benefit.water-lilike-vizbe-all200

Award winning artist, Katalin Papp, will be your instructor for this Art Workshop Cruise week.

Artist Bio
Katalin Papp is an award – winning artist who studied art both in the US and overseas, including Hungary, Germany and Italy.

She received her Masters in Fine Arts degree from the School of Visual Arts in NYC. Her teaching experience includes SUNY Farmingdale, Great Neck Arts Center, Nassau Community College, Hofstra University, Queensborough Community College and other.

Ms. Papp has exhibited her work both nationally and internationally and received numerous awards and honors. She is accomplished both in 2D (drawing, painting) and 3D (ceramics, sculpture) media. She enjoys working with students of all ages.


The most fundamental thing an art student needs to succeed as an artist is to enlarge the capacity to observe and translate the world.

Sunday: workshop cruise Day 1 – Visiting local galleries, drawing lessons

Monday: Art workshop cruise Day 2 – Painting outdoors

A picture can say more than a thousand words. Drawing is one of our oldest forms of communication and expression. Relearn to see to world around you. Katalin will explain and demonstrate the simple rules of proportion, perspective, shading and tonal values, which will allow anyone to sketch and draw.

After practicing and gaining confidence in using pencils, we will experiment with watercolors and acrylics
We will then take the dinghy out to shore and explore the surroundings of the Virgin Islands. There will be plenty to inspire and intrigue so that you will produce some wonderful paintings

Tuesday: Art workshop cruise Day 3 – Painting outdoors

Katalin will demonstrate the different ways that watercolors and acrylics can be applied and how to plan and build up, stage by stage your own pictures. We will play with wet on wet, basic washes and dry brush techniques giving you confidence to use these for your own painting. Katalin will explain the mysteries of paper stretching and will advise you on the vast range of selection of equipment that is available in the art shops. Followed by painting outdoors.

Wednesday: Art workshop cruise Day 4 – Painting outdoors

Today we will look at skies, water and foliage, with all the fabulous colors that we can see in them. Katalin will show some simple ways to portray these.
After a spectacular morning cruise we can explore the Islands.
Katalin will show you how to get different effects to depict the tropical Island weather.
We will also look at light and shade and ways to paint buildings.

Thursday: Art workshop cruise Day 5 – Painting outdoors

This morning, we enjoy the magnificent scenery, and we tie up to an island for some more art.
We continue on to the next island, where we can visit the local galleries.
We can walk around the village, and sketch in the streets.
Katalin will show you some of the ‘fun’ techniques that can be used with watercolors. We will play with salt, alcohol and toothbrush to produce some interesting effects.

Friday: Art workshop cruise Day 6 – Painting outdoors

We will cruise to a boat yard which gives some interesting subjects for drawing and painting. We can try and depict the craftsmen at work and the little nooks and crannies make superb subjects for paintings. We will then travel on to another beautifully VI destination, to see boats and oceanfront, all of which are wonderful to paint.

Later in the day we will have an exhibition of the work we have done over the week and Katalin will talk about framing and mounting your work. This will conclude our one week Art workshop cruise.

My Journey

face_nagymama_200I defected my country, Slovakia in 1984. I was convinced that I was going to live in one of those beautiful Bavarian houses that have geraniums in each window. I sat in the waiting room, all excited, waiting for my new “western” life to start enfolding. Smiling ear to ear, I stepped into the office of social services, when my name was finally called. I started reciting “Asylum, Asylum”, the only word I knew how to say in German. To my surprise, the clerk didn’t share my enthusiasm. He didn’t get up to warmly embrace me, to welcome me, and didn’t utter the much expected words of :”my country is your country” or any other grandiose phrases people usually say to each other in western movies. With a slightly annoyed expression on his face he handed a set of keys over to me together with the address of my new home.   mama-_lilikevel_200

Nothing could spoil my happiness. I immediately set out to find the place, to find my – Pension, as they called it.The word sounded mysterious and luxurious – Pension, Pension. I kept repeating it, tasting the sound of it, expelling an exaggerated P sound, so it became a Ph a Phension, emphasizing the N at the end of it. Playing with it, playing with it.water-color-tibor-esztike_2
Then I found it, a 10’x10′ cubicle that smelled of smoke and bad breath. A disheveled man stood in front of the main entrance with his worn suitcase in his hand. He gawked at me with curiosity mingled with resentment in his eyes. I later found out that he had been evicted as the new refugees had arrived and needed accommodation. I walked up the stairs and straight to the window to open it wide even though it was February and freezing cold. I held my child in my arms not wanting anything to touch her. I looked at the greasy wallpaper pealing of the termite-infested walls, broken furniture, filthy beds. I lifted up the corner of the worn rag to see the dirt that accumulated there for years. Days of scrubbing and cleaning followed to make the place livable. I felt depressed. I regretted leaving my nice home behind. With the meager finances I had, I bought inexpensive watercolors and started painting beautiful images to help myself forget the misery that surrounded me.

Summer Serenade

The sand on the beach was particularly black that day. What was it that the strong waves kept washing out to the shore? Did the sand turn black in mourning of the dark fisherman they found the day before, laying there motionless with his protruding belly full of water? They stood above that, which used to be a man, staring at the white chart-marks of the dried up sea salt on the surface of the tightly stretched skin of his abdomen. His loin cloth washed away, a small limp piece of flesh rested on his contorted left limb. His eyes, two bulging black cherries, open wide, blood – shot, yellow whites. The eyelids slipped up tucked tightly under the arch of the eyebrows, as if the ocean wanted to look into the fisherman’s eyes reall bad. As if it didn’t want to allow him to close his eyelids at all. It was pushing and pulling against the two little flabby skin curtains, till they receded from the eye balls, back into the head itself, covering, protecting the inner eye from witnessing the horror that was happening to him.

Somebody should call the police, the distraught woman called out to the passing by Indian man.
No, no , madam, police is trouble, answered the man walking away with haste, avoiding looking into the direction of the drowned man. You call the police, madam, for us, big trouble, he said, hurrying his way. Strange behavior, the woman thought and ran to the nearby hotel, to alert the receptionist about the drowned man.

It was seven a clock. The sand was still cool, so they went out to walk barefooted on the shore before their breakfast. They were looking forward to the nice day, they had before them. Foamy waves kept sneaking up their calves, just to tosse and brake with a splash, encircling their ankles with silver foam anklets.

My little cicada, you were so brave, running inside the surf, deeper then I liked it, or could stand, without getting frightened for your beautiful young life.Your copper hair brilliantly shining in the august morning sun, you laughed at my anguish.

We stayed at Mammala Puram, I remember, it didn’t have a restaurant. Next year coming, madam, the servant said. He could have ben thirty at most, dark complexion, slim, in a blue checkered shirt tucked into the matching blue dhoti, wrapped around his waist, folded in the middle and tucked in again somewhere under the dark hole of a navel. He used to come in our room without knocking.

Breakfast coming , he exclaimed, stepping inside the room, his bear feet leaving moist footprints as he was thumping on the light green stone floor,while holding up a beige plastic beaten up tray, with both his hands.In the middle, something lifted the blue fabric, as if he wanted to utilize yet an other arm, to support tray. He never looked straight at me, or you, but I sensed his burning coal monkey eyes branding my body.

After he left we ate the soggy toasts with butter and jam, and drank a large jar of Darjiling tea.

And you said:We should have brought our bathing suits with us, and you were right, we should have, but we didn’t. So, you put on a pair of white shorts and tied a tee shirt across your chest. How much I enjoyed looking at you that summer. We strolled along the beach, exposing our pale legs to the flagellation of the sun.

When I tiered, I lay down on the sand, near the water, so that the waves could come up my legs, stroking my belly, flooding my breasts, and tickeling my neck.
Sometimes the water splashed across my face burying me completely under itself, taking me in, enveloping me in a cool salty embrace.

And you played in the waves, waiting for the surf, jumping on it, or bending down, hiding under the water, letting the surf slide over your suntanned little back. When we couldn’t stand the heat any more, we covered ourselves with our dhotis, and ran on our burning soles toward the restaurant called Golden Sun.Every day we sat at the same table, ordered the same food, talked to the same waiter.
The pury was crispy, hot and fresh, the potato masala greasy, spicy and delicious, and so was the young Indian waiter from Bombay, who served us every day.

“Your daughter is so shy,” he said, “very unamerican”. It was a compliment, and I took it.

He was standing there for a long time, talking to us, to me, about Bombay, about his family, and about the evening swimmings, they organized with the other waiters after the dusk. “We strap some bottles of beer to our waists, he said, and we swim deep inside the ocean. It is complete darkness, and we stop and talk, and drink beer where the water is calm. Then we swim again, sometimes we don’t know where we end up, because we see only one light, the one of the tower of Maha Bali Puram, and we swim toward it. Sometimes we have to walk for miles to get back. But we like it, it’s nice.”
The waiter smiled, showing a row of healthy white teeth.
He was looking into the woman’s eyes, his lips curled up, exposing dark pink gums. Whenever he opened his mouth, she noticed the soft pink tongue surging inside as he formed his words. He had a little scar above his right eyebrow. His curly hair oiled, his complexion chocolate brown, smooth and soft, standing there, smiling at the woman, with his hands behind his back, politely, in his unbuttoned white shirt and black pants, quite unfit for the heat of the Indian sun.

“Would, you like to come?” He asked the woman.
“Would you like to swim with me one evening?”
“I wouldn’t dare,” the woman laughed, covering up her excitement.
“I would take care of you,” he said.
“I don’t trust my body. I am too weak,” the woman said.
“I wouldn’t let you drown.” The man promised.
“I know, I know,” the woman answered lowering her eyelids, covering her face with her left hand. Her long slim fingers ran up her cheeks into her dark brown hair. Then her hand ran down her neck behind her ear, down to her shoulder, and across her chest, to the right shoulder. And there it remained.
She didn’t want to tell him, what she was afraid of. So, she just laughed, and avoided his warm black eyes, and immersed her hot summer lips in the cold ice – water he brought her from the kitchen.

The water was filtered. She was safe to drink it.
The man bent down to take the plate with the remains of the hearty lunch she and her daughter just enjoyed. He moved slowly toward the back of the palm garden.
” Nice man,” she said to her daughter. “Yes,” the girl agreed.
“Do you want us to go to our room to take a nap?” The woman asked her child. “Yes, lets go,” the girl stood up from the red plastic armchair. Her tee shirt was still wet on her, and her curly hair still dripping with water.

In the hotel room, you found a little lizard on the wall, and above that an other one a larger one. You thought it was the mother lizard with its baby trying to reach her. You wanted to help the little one to get to its mother faster, and you pushed it up higher. You thought the mother would be happy, when it turned to what you thought would be welcoming it. What terrified surprise altered your exquisite little face, when you sow the big lizard swallowing up the small one.
You couldn’t sleep that night, so, we sat on the balcony until early morning,me, drinking Fisher King, you,eating mangoes.
Listening to the strong throngs of the ocean, I told you about my life. You listened with shining chocolate eyes, to stories unheard of. Perhaps I repeated myself sometimes, but you didn’t seem to mind, as long as I was willing to share.
“Let’s go to sleep,” you said, and we slipped inside the room, really fast, opening only a scar of a door, to keep the mosquitos out. The room was warm in spite of the fan running on high. We laid down beside each other in the king size bed. You kicked of the hot sheets in your sleep. Your little mouth open, your thin legs spread, you slept. The wind caused by the fan kept lifting a strand of your hair. You were my little angel. I wanted to kiss you for your surrendering beauty. But, I would have waken you, so, instead, I picked up a book, and started to read. I have read about a miracle man. His name was Sai Baba. Suddenly a loud thunder cracked the silence, disturbed the peace. You remained unaffected, you didn’t seem to hear it at all. And an other thunder followed, shortly after the first one, accompanied by bright lightening. I heard the trees weeping in the strong wind, that twisted them unmercifully. Then I fell asleep too, completely surrendering my life and yours to the miracle man.

It was seven PM, rush hour, the subway station half lit by cool white neon lights. Rolling their baggage, they entered Time Square. “Home, sweet home,” the woman laughed. She never felt this subway station to be so protective before. Never rejoiced so much in the security derived from the old walls and the solid ground under her feet. After sixteen hours in air, tired in body and mind, they descended the staircase to the platform of the 2/3. They hoped to catch the express to 96th , and from there they would transfer to the local 1/9 . The heat and the humidity were unbearable. The air was sultry and suffocating. The woman pulled out a cotton handkerchief, she purchased in Bombay, and offered it to her daughter. The girl took it, lifted it to her face. At the same time a terrible rumbling sound trembled the air. The girl looked at the handkerchief in bewilderment. She held it up to her mother, showing her the red splatter of blood that splashed out of her body.

The tremor of the killer sound kept echoing through the station.

“Call the ambulance,” somebody yelled out.
The girl looked at the woman in surprise. Her slender body sank slowly to the ground. Her soft warm limbs hit against the dirty cement floor. The woman crouched above the girl, touched her face, held her chin, caressed her hair, took her slim brown arm into her hand, put it gently down, laid it beside her body. She ran her fingers through her own hair, over her own forehead, covered her own mouth, that was opening wider and wider, until a grotesque grim overtook her face. No sound came out of her throat. The girl’s eyes remained wide open, scrutinizing the peeling paint job of the ceiling. Her cotton summer dress slipped up, revealing two delicate suntanned thighs.

The woman stared at the flowers on her daughter’s dress trying to count them. They were yellow with green leaves, lots of green leaves. They looked like little dandelions, with tiger teeth. She noticed a thread hanging loose under the right armlet. The woman tried to tear it of. The thread cut into her finger. She bent down, and tried to bite the thread off. Her forehead touched the warm armpit of the child. The woman sat on the ground, took her daughter’s head into her lap, kept caressing her hair, and caressing her face, and caressing her arms, her neck, her chin, her mouth, her nose, her ears, looking into her eyes, and her own mouth opened so wide, her lips hurt. But she couldn’t do anything about it. She felt the sweetness of her own blood on her tongue, resulting from the corners of her mouth. But she couldn’t change anything about it either. Just like she couldn’t change anything about her young daughter laying motionless on the dirty floor with her brown curls on her mother’s lap. And she noticed two small gray mice between the tracks, and then tears started gushing from her eyes.


I- Doll” Is a transition between a doll and a goddess.

The image of the doll is derived from Central European folklore.

In villages of Central Europe dolls dressed in pink are placed on the hood of the cars that transports the newly weds and the same doll is later placed on the bed.

There is no awareness in these villages of the fact that this doll represents the fertility goddess. The doll is perceived of as a simple embellishment of the bedroom. As is often the wife.

The marginalization and oppression of especially Roma women are prevalent in these countries, not only by the white society but also often by the chauvinist Roma men.

The image of the Goddess is derived from Indian folklore.

Roma having Indian ancestry has not been known for centuries.

As more research is done more is understood about the Roma. In Indian culture the Goddesses are worshipped but the women are often mistreated.

There is a prevalent discrepancy between the perception of the “real” and “unreal” in both cultures.

I address this by projecting faces of Roma women onto the blank face of the doll /goddess.

By this I take the project to another level, which is the fact of projection. We often don’t perceive the objective reality as it is, but rather create our own subjective projections.

The ” I-Doll ” is supposed to challenge the stereotypes and evoke intellectual inquire and reevaluation of who we as people are.

Welcome to my website!

I hope you enjoy both looking at my art work and reading my fiction.
Your comments are welcome.

Art work is available for sale.

Should you wish to take art lessons, feel free to contact me, using my e mail address. I teach classes in watercolor, color pencils, basic drawing, figure drawing, pastel, oil pastel, acrylics, mask making, and sculpture. My classes are small, this way everybody gets personal attention.

Mural and portrait commissions are accepted.
If you like to both travel and paint, sign up for my Sailing and Painting in the Virgin Islands, Art Vacations program.
Have fun and don’t be shy to drop a line.