Monday, December 15, 2014

Alan Starts Out from Michigan City...

At 8:43 am this morning, Alan got on the South Shore train at the 11th Street stop in Michigan City, Indiana. He had to wait on the sidewalk - there isn't really a station here.  In downtown Chicago, He connected with a Metra train that took him to O'hare International Airport.

He had to use his own money to get to O'hare, but he had his tickets from the New Island Ministry of Trade for the rest of the trip. In Terminal 1 he boarded a Qantas flight at 3:30 pm bound for Perth, Western Australia. Almost 33 hours later, after stops in Los Angeles and Melbourne, he arrived in Perth about 2:10 in the afternoon, and Alan didn't know what day it was.  From the airport in Perth, he took a taxi to Fremantle, where he had a voucher for the Orient Hotel on the corner of Henry and High Streets.

After spending a lovely and very restful night at the Orient (the corner suite, third floor), Alan had a leisurely breakfast, and then inquired about directions to the Rudyard Line office. The concierge smiled, and with a kind of blank look, replied, "the what"?

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Getting There

Alan was blown away by the letter.

All he could think about was how could the drawing he sold in Michigan City, Indiana get in the hands of this secretary on a very obscure island in the Indian Ocean? What really seemed cosmic was that he dreamed the subject of the drawing - he had never been further west than Denver! The coastline, the house, the "cargo trike", and the winding road were nothing he had actually seen, at least not in this lifetime.

Alan has made drawings and watercolors from his dreams for many years; and now this one seems to be of a real place.

The woman, Margaret, also sent Alan this map...

So Alan realizes he must travel from Michigan City, USA, HERE, (click this link) to New Island, HERE:

Alan wrote back saying, "Send me the ticket, I can leave tomorrow!"

Monday, November 3, 2014

Alan Gets a Letter


Office of Wainwright Stevens, Chief of Tourism, Ministry of Trade

Mr. Alan Faramond
671-B Willard Avenue
Michigan City, Indiana 46360

17 March 2012

Dear Mr. Faramond,
      I am Margaret Mullen, the Secretary-in-Chief to Mr. Stevens, Chief of Tourism. I happened to notice an excellent drawing of our southwest coast that belonged to a local man of my acquaintance. An Australian woman may have purchased it; we are not sure. It has your name and address on the reverse. I brought the drawing to Wainwright’s attention, and we both reviewed more pictures on your ‘Alan’s Art’ website. We decided at once to contact you, since you are obviously familiar with our island.
      We are creating a guidebook that shows the beauty of our island and that depicts the joys of being here. It is our pleasure to request of you, in the capacity of Official Depictor, to produce a series of pictures of our island-nation.
We would be pleased to offer transportation to New Island via Perth-Fremantle, Western AustraliaWhen you arrive we will arrange 
for accommodations  and transportation, and will provide you with a list of the places we would like depicted. We can offer you a stipend as well. In return, we ask that you produce hand-made pictures and tourist maps of our island,as requested. The number and completion date of these is to be determined by mutual agreement.
      Please reply via E-mail or telephone at your earliest convenience, and we will send airline and ship tickets in your name. Also, if you accept our offer, plan to be here for six months to a year to complete the number of images in question. 



Margaret Mullen, for the Minister

PS: I do hope you say yes. Mr. Stevens has been under pressure to get our island “on the map” to increase international revenue. Your pictures are by far the best we have seen -- you seem to know our island so well!


The Ministry of Trade15 Government Hill Mall, The Commonwealth of New Island 100512-334-2995 ▪

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Alan Tells Us How He Got Here

Lee here...

Alan sat with me at the Best Friends Coffee Shop in Hazel, and told me about how he came to New Island...

"I was once a middle-school teacher in Michigan City, Indiana, USA. All my life, or for at least the first 33 years of it, I followed other peoples' advice to go to college, find a good productive career, settle down, buy a house, have a family, etc.

I got as far as the productive job - teaching school. But with my student loans to pay off, I couldn't quite swing the house, and I wasn't anywhere near having a family. I had a girlfriend, Michelle, who I really liked, but for some reason we never made it beyond a day-to-day kind of relationship.

I had grown up in South Bend, Indiana, and moved to Michigan City for my job. I rented an old backyard cottage in town, where I slept in the living room, and I used the tiny bedroom to do my drawings and watercolors. I met Michelle at a local art club, the Harbor Lights Art Assn.

Yes, I tend to live in my own world - and have always loved to draw places that I imagine, and that are usually far away from Indiana. The art club invited me to put up some of my landscapes at their annual show, and one drawing, of an imaginary coastline, sold! All I knew is that the buyer was visiting from Australia...

About six months later, I yelled at a particularly obnoxious 13-year-old kid. His parents complained, and I was asked to get counseling, though I was kept on as a teacher. This led me to realize I wasn't really cut out for teaching. In fact, I was, according to my counselor, 'excessively depressed'.

This is the drawing Alan sold at the Harbor Lights Annual Membership Show.

And then I got a letter!"

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Alan Faramond Wanders New Island

Lee Here...

Alan's story will reveal New Island a little bit at a time! 

Meet Alan Faramond...

Alan emigrated to New Island some years ago and has found a life for himself there. His posts have appeared sporadically, and there have been long silences, but now Alan has agreed to record his experiences on New Island on a more regular basis. He will be taking journeys around the island and sharing the essence of the landscape, the people, and what goes on here.

Alan also works part-time at the New Island Land Office in Hazel. The Land Office happens to be next door to Lee's art studio and gallery. Here is a sketch:

The blue scooter was left by someone walking the path, at left,
which goes to the Hazelhurst ruins. The town of Hazel is up the road, at right.
Alan lives in the apartment above Lee's gallery.
Next post: We'll see if Alan will tell us where he emigrated from...

Monday, March 24, 2014

New Island Featured in Lee Mothes's Retrospective Art Book, "An Artist's Journey to Nevermore"

Our wandering artist has put out a new art book which tells all about how he discovered New Island.

Lee Mothes tells us about growing up by the ocean, and how he learned to draw waves, explosions, floods and earthquakes, (How do you draw an earthquake?) and then houses, beaches, and coastlines of his own devising. He calls the book An Artist's Journey to Nevermore.

192 pages, 340 pictures, and the story behind it, New Island included! 

The most important chapter in his book, of course, is the New Island chapter. Lee is offering two beach house properties on New Island, as well as maps and other artifacts from New Island In something called a Kickstarter Campaign, that allows artists and innovators to connect with their fans. Cool idea!

In Journey to Nevermore, Lee has shared some pictures of our island that even we haven't seen in a while. He tells us there are many more in his book:

Route P-1, near Boomer Head - one of Lee's first New Island depictions.

Route 6 in the Highlands, near Falk, with local cats

Bellingshausen's Discovery of New Island, 1819-20

Mystery place -- we don't know where this is, 
maybe somewhere north of Putney, since that looks like 
Gottfried Island in the distance.

Deep Bay and the Goodhope Pier

The locals call this Rusty's Beach, near Albion on Putney Bay.

Up near Gay's Asylum in the highlands, the sky sometimes 
opens up with a glorious display of stellar nebulae.

New Islanders can get a hand-signed copy of Journey to Nevermore with their names printed in the book by pledging two rogers ($45. US) to Lee's campaign on Kickstarter.

If you want to get the background story about New Island, and a lot more, check Lee's Journey to Nevermore project here.

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Tropical Cyclone Guito sending high surf to New Island's south-western coast.

Tropical Cyclone Guito has been tracked on a southwesterly course from Madagascar into the south Indian Ocean. This morning huge waves from Guito began to hit New Island's southwestern coast, and similar surf is expected slam into the Putney suburb beaches about noon, say West Putney lifeguards.

Cyclones rarely hit New Island, but they sometimes generate high surf, especially on the west-facing coasts. The venerable Russian-built lighthouse at Roaring Cape often catches brutal storm waves far ahead of the actual storms...

Storm waves hit the Roaring Cape lighthouse
 far ahead of Guito, which is thousands of miles to the west.

 Today, 20-foot high waves from Guito also damaged the pier at Irian, about fifty miles up the coast from Roaring Cape. The surf is expected to continue for several days.

Ocean-energy enthusiast Leslie Kraft dances to this morning's waves at Irian.

Of course these waves attracts big-gun surfers from around the island and from Australia, and they should be showing up by tomorrow.