The colours of the Caribbean inspire many an artist and Caymanian artist Miguel Powery is no exception.
More than simply the colours, it is the natural wonders of the Cayman Islands, in its many forms, that serve as subjects for his artwork, be it flora, fauna or the surrounding seas. Although he never received any formal training, Miguel has been painting for more than 18 years, learning from other local and visiting artists.
He was among the first Caymanians to pursue a passion for art and, in 1995 – along with Wray Banker, Al Ebanks and Anthony Ramoon – he became one of the founding members of the Native Sons.
“Native Sons are a group of professional Caymanian artists who work together and produce art works that represent the Islands’ history, culture and tradition, but each artist has their own style of expression. We also strive to educate the Caymanian community of the importance and value that the arts can have on our lives,” he explains.
Today, the Native Sons has grown to include some 20 artists, all of whom aim to raise the standard of Caymanian art.
Miguel paints in oils or acrylics on canvas in what he describes as an impressionistic style.
His father’s tales of adventures on the high seas have been a constant source of inspiration for him and he has painted many seascapes and boats over the years.
“I’m still working on catboats and schooners,” he says. “I can’t seem to get those out of my system.”
Some of these paintings will feature in the National Gallery’s forthcoming temporary exhibition on Maritime Heritage.
More recently, he has also experimented with local flora, painting the iconic silver thatch.
Although he still paints, Miguel says, “Now I’m mostly working on my jewellery designs in precious metals and stones, along with Caymanite and black coral.”
He continues to draw inspiration from the sea for his jewellery, creating pendants in the form of catboats, stingrays and other maritime themes.
Some of his paintings and jewellery designs can be seen and purchased at Artifacts in George Town, and jewellery pieces are for sale at 24K-Mon Jewellers on West Bay Road and at Morritt’s in East End.