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Tynan Island

Somewhere off the coast of Central America is an island. Right now it's uninhabited, besides some monkeys. Long beaches reach from the palm trees to the ocean.

The island is many acres in size, so big that if you were in the middle of the jungle you'd forget that you're even on an island. If you looked out from the hills in the middle you'd remember it instantly.

One day that island will be Tynan Island.

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Between hearty chews and pensive pauses, artist Sir Roland Richardson quiets his voice, furrows his brow, leans in and tells us that something enchanting would happen during our jaunt; a rebirth of the senses perhaps, an awakening even … if we were open to it.

I’d encounter the Impressionism artist in a wash of color and fine etchings long before I would officially meet him. As La Samanna Hotel’s resident artist, his work serves as the keystones for each of the resort’s newly renovated suites and grounds now crowned with his still life creations and on location renderings of French St. Martin’s vibrant essence.

Gauzy whites, all kinds of blue, the flora, the food, the people. Indeed, art imitating life.

His canvas for that night: An open-air barbeque at one of La Samanna’s five, double-decked and Moorish inspired villas perched on a cliff at the property’s edge and backed by a sea and nighttime sky which, save for the faint lights of a yacht that had docked in the distance and the late-night cabana trysts that pulsated on the periphery, had turned from St. Martin’s signature daytime blue to an inky onyx.

Though the muted tones were a departure from his kaleidoscopic splashes of color — St. Martin, at night, suited him well.

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