The driftwood queen of Bonaire

We met so many fascinating characters while in Bonaire a few months ago. Germaine Nijdam is one of them. Born in Curacao (of Dutch descendent), now living and working on the most beautiful of the ABC islands. Germanie is well known in Bonaire and beyond for her charming driftwood art. At least a few times per week, she walks down the rugged East side of the island with her partner and dogs, in search for whitewashed bits of driftwood, fragments of old broken furniture or pieces of old sunken sail or fishing boats. Plastic toys, bottles and discarded remnants of island life washed ashore by the tides, they all are welcome attributes in her studio.

It struck me how incredibly romantic Germain's work is. How things that weren't meant to continue life in the way it was first set out to, is now being revitalized by her fascinating art and passionated interest in preserving what is found by the water. Her studio had such a winsome atmosphere. From the recently retrieved driftwood that has been washed and now drying in the sun, the many cases of collected plastic toys in all shapes and sunburnt colours to the completed artwork hanging on the walls. The lush green garden surrounding her house and the natural sunlight breaking through the jalousies bathing the studio in a crisp glim only enhanced the purity and realness of her work. 

Isn't that one of those few jobs that are so genuinely pure in a way to support oneself? Collecting what others abandoned while helping in cleaning up our nature, adding beauty through colour and an artistic vision and handed over to new happy owners who prolongs the life of the bits and pieces even further, all the while adorning their homes. Such a beautiful genuine circle.

Germaine might be best known on the island for the bright blue oil and watercolour paintings with driftwood frames and they can be found in many a restaurant and villa on Bonaire and worldwide.

Go have a look on her website for more info.