Category: Hurricanes

Post Hurricanes Irma, Jose and Maria

I am so thankful to tell you all that the gallery exists, and will return to her old glory. The gallery is getting cleaned up, little by little. There is so much to be done, on every front, but we are accomplishing much on some days, and a little on others. Baby steps to get to the goal of having the studio structure reinforced with cement, steel beams, and then repainted. Same colors, it will just be brighter…again, and clean. Replanting, after we emptied too many 5 gallon buckets to count of rocks, sand, coral, and debris (as in dead sea creatures) from inside the gallery, and the yards, front, side and back. The gallery was afloat for a coupe of months. and we had a moat. The water has receded now, and we have started the removal, and refurbishing. I had hoped to be open for Christmas, and have the first party Jan 3, but that is not a possibility now. Hopefully, in January. But, if you are on island, please do come by! We are here!

I just had the phone transferred over to my cell number, so for the first time in three months, you can call me at the number on the web site and calendars! It will be years until the phone company is operational in the Virgin Islands. I also just got power for Thanksgiving (how appropriate!) and internet the following week. We can take any order now, and it feels so good to be back in business!
Many litho reproductions were lost to the storms, but all of the originals were saved in my closet.

All new merchandise is on order, and once I finish with my new creative endeavor with the gallery, I hope to get back to painting. Have not painted since August, and am really missing it. We have just revamped the web site, to include what is available.

Please know that I so appreciate everyones support, well wishes, prayers, and purchases.

Have a very Happy Holiday Season,


After the Storms Update

Hello to all!

I am ok, a bit bruised, scratched and dented, but physically and mentally in good shape after experiencing two hurricanes in a few days. Hurricane Irma, category 5+, a direct hit, and Hurricane Jose. A number of my originals survived, as did my home and gallery! A true miracle! There were fish swimming in the gallery, and everything took a salt water bath, some things do better in salt water than others!

I was as prepared as possible. Took refuge with my neighbors, Mares and Rob Crane, in a neighbors house for the storm. Three days later, went back for hurricane Jose. Once I had completed all I could to clean up the mess, and saw there was Hurricane María aimed at us… again, I made the decision to evacuate. Not an easy decision for me. Having lived on island through all of the other hurricanes, I know I am strong enough to do the aftermath. But in those earlier days, I was also a paramedic, and gave back to the community. Now, I’m older, and for the island, and myself, it was best to evacuate. I don’t want to use resources that someone assisting the recover would need, or be a burden. So, was evacuated out by Red Cross, of whom I cannot thank enough!

There was only community spirit on St John. I saw no divisions of people. It was neighbor helping neighbor. A beautiful community spirit. I made it to my son’s house in Satellite Beach, FL. My plans are to return as soon as there is power, and I can start cleaning all over again.

If you are wondering why no one could call, or write, there was almost no communication out! After the first five days, the entire island found one spot to get wifi, and then, only if you held your phone just so, turned in the perfect direction, if you could find it, crossed your fingers, toes and eyes, and had lots of patience…..then, maybe, you could send a text with one sentence. Usually to your closest family member, so they could let the rest of the family know. Things started to get better as I was leaving, I’m sorry so many of you worried. We all had plenty of time to pray, and I did often! I thank you all for your prayers and words of encouragement!

If you are looking for ways to assist St John, may I recommend donating to the St John Community Foundation. They are a 501c3 non profit organization and 100% of the funds would go to St John recovery. St John Rescue would be another one as well as Island Health and Wellness Center. If you are wanting to help me…. buy a calendar, or two. Most did survive in Tupperware tubs. I promise to get them to you before December 1, 2017. The post office is closed indefinitely. I will figure a way!

Regards to all,

Elaine Estern

PS Truffle is fine, and staying with friends.