Be In the Know

Be In the Know. Sign up to have DesignDestinations delivered right to your inbox, weekly.

Guest Blog: Painting DesignDestination Grand Bahama

Guest Blogger: Linda Laughter

For a relaxing, sun filled vacation filled with lots of rich colors and experiences try Freeport, Grand Bahama. We were fortunate to share with friends one of the many private villas that can be rented.

Instead of taking photos, I chose a different way to commemorate our trip. My friend is an amateur artist also, so I bought us each a 5 x 7 watercolor paper notebook. We took our paints, in my case, gouache. Gouache paint is similar to watercolor but more opaque. At the end of each day we painted a small cameo of our experience.

After snorkeling, we ended the first day in the Port Lucaya Marketplace. We savored a wonderful seafood meal at The Med, with Conch fritters, my favorite new fried food. This area is full of “tourist” shops, a Straw Market and great restaurants overlooking gorgeous yachts in the marina. Wonderful colors.


Our next stop was Peterson Cay National Park. It is believed to be the smallest national park and is located ½ mile offshore. The active coral reefs around the cay are amazing. And the water: tourquoise, viridian, cerulean, ultramarine, cobalt.

Our pool attracted feathered visitors who seemed to enjoy the water fall. That evening we went to Freeport Harbor and had dinner at Pier 21. The Fisherman’s Platter was huge so we shared grilled mahi mahi, couch fritters, fresh crab and fried shrimp. Every hour they feed the sharks that hover nearby. As we watched an incredible sunset we saw the big tankers leaving port.

One day the men tried Bone Fishing. Off they went to try unique style of fishing. The ladies chose to paint local vegetation. The colors are so vivid and rich. I am not a wishy washy watercolorist….the more pigment and intense colors the better.


On our last day we went snorkeling, enjoying God’s underwater world in all its glory. We painted one last hibiscus from the front of the villa. The reds were purple and orange all at once.

That evening, we had dinner at the most incredible garden in the world. I’m thinking “Eden” good! It is called Garden of The Groves. Magnificent palm trees, ferns, tower above us to form lacy canopies. A small chapel completed the sense of calm.

Our trip was restful, lazy and above all, COLORFUL. I like this new way of making a diary of our trips…don’t be afraid to try it. These are not works of art…just quick images that to me, bring back a once in a lifetime memory. I loved having a bound book of our fabulous destination.



Linda Shelton Laughter is Senior Interior Designer for her firm Archetype+ in Grand Rapids, MI. She enjoys seeing colors in everything around her, using them in her interiors or on her paint palette.


Post Author
Susan J. Smith
Susan's career includes writing for newspapers, lots of community work and a wonderful family life. Now she is enjoying traveling, photography and writing for DesignDestinations and Grand Rapids Magazine. She welcomes you on her journey and appreciates your comments.


  1. posted by
    peggy depersia
    Jul 25, 2013 Reply

    What a neat and memorable way to respond to a ‘time away’ with all of the sensory delights that the experience evoked. The watercolors will be a rich reminder of the many ways the senses were satisfied during what appears to have been a wonderful time at an exotic destination.

  2. posted by
    sue kinsler
    Jan 27, 2014 Reply

    Yes I agree with Peggy, a perfectly paced medium for island time.

Leave a Reply