Samantha Rochard

My creative process.

Monday, November 23, 2015

EARTH SHIPS- Perfect Green Homes

Meet Michael Reynolds.....considered "crazy" by his peers at one time; that ridiculous architect who had this stupid idea to use garbage to build homes for people to live in!

Not only has Reynolds' "crazyiness" given him the ability to do just that- create a model of a home built with garbage, but he has also managed to extend his 30 years research to include sustainability in each home. Imagine living in a home with no light bills, no water bills, and a lower food bill!

Individuals who choose to live in houses such as these usually already have a mindset of lowering their carbon footprint, and tend to consume less. Many have claimed that the homes are comfortable, practical and that they appreciate many aspects of this type of low-cost living.

The houses are built from tires, dirt, glass bottles, and cans...with concrete and wood frames here and there.  The simple, semi submerged abode will be perfect for the tropics as the interior is naturally cooled because of the design.

The building also boasts a water collection (rain water) and recycle system in which washing and bathing water is recycled to water the indoor greenhouse ( you don't forget to water your plants), and then gets filtered again into the grey-water system as water to flush toilets. That toilet water is collected in a cesspit designed to filter and release water back into the ground; which waters the plants in the garden. The outside filtration system is further assisted by natural filtration that takes place with plants. These homes were developed in New Mexico, which has only 12 inches of rainfall per year. Imagine in our climate which has 1000 mm  of rainfall per year!!! WATER FOR ALL SOLVED!!!!!  Reynolds has also developed models for Tropical buildings in which the main structure is round (better able to withstand hurricane) and battery systems for storing solar and wind power.

Indoor looks pretty...and pretty comfortable.

The homes can be customized to suit any sized family. The indoor greenhouse situated always to the entrance of each model; acts as a further barrier to cool the inner house. There is also an "airtube/ skylight" system which lets in more light, and creates a current of air circulating into the home to cool the rooms.

Reynolds and his team have also set up a school for students to learn how to design and construct these homes. His aim is to teach the technology to the world. His belief is that power and water systems no longer need to be centralized, and that the homes no longer limit the choices in which people are able to live. Then homes are perfect for persons wishing to live in remote areas.

For more information, you can check out
Homes are not cheaper...but cost around the same per square feet as a regular home. Keep in mind however, that future running costs are considerably less, and the initial cost still makes this a cost effective option, especially for persons who have a lower income. If our government will subsidize these types of homes, many low income persons and persons in rural areas will be able to have a better standard of living.

Hope for the future I think. I would love to live in one. Would you??

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

What exactly is "Ideal?"

After a recent mail-out; I realized that some people who follow me wanted to know more about the "real me".  Or should I say get some perspective on how I think and what drives me to create. I will attempt more personal posts to try to portray that.

I have found that many people idealize and romanticize the artist's life. It certainly is not a bed of roses....but whatever it is I would rather lay here than anywhere else.

Tips for younger artists?  Yes....if you really want to do this, then start early. Find other sources of income that are art related and DO NOT take up too much time. Live as cheaply as possible. Know that the parties and restaurants and missing those fetes and carnivals if you have to; will be worth it in the end. Because you will find contentment, and that contentment will be there even when bills are coming, and the cash hasn't gotten to you yet. :)

Before I proceed to romanticize the profession more, know that it is HARD WORK. A painting CAN drain your energy. Working on commissions can also drain your energy. Some days your brain and the painting will not mesh. Some days NOTHING will come and the lack of vision and direction can be exasperating to tears! Sometimes a week will pass.....and the anxiety of not producing can step in and snowball.....causing even less focus to produce........and then there will be NOTHING to sell and then no bills would be paid that shade of purple!
Know too that your cash flow will be erratic, and if you have gotten into that mode of expecting money every month you had better snap put of it and make sure those bills are payed in advance to compensate.

Artists do not make much money, at least in the early days. My bills are covered.....and believe you me that's all I focus on. The sense of peace doing what you enjoy and looking forward to EVERY day is so fantastic, I do not mind cutting back on luxuries and enjoyments; because all my enjoyments can be found at home.

But then, an artist loves to create...I love to create.....that sometimes includes creating a comfortable home space.....creating delicious meals.....creating a new garden (although paying rent can seriously limit those efforts). These things give us much pleasure.  For me, I realized that the satisfaction I get from creating CANNOT be replaced by shopping or partying or liming..... buying things gives a very short-lived burst of happiness which is gone the next day. BUT continuous creating??? Well....that satisfied feeling is there often.

What I enjoy most is the moments of happiness are truer, more frequent. Contentment is present more often. I no longer have to juggle responsibility to a boss and to family. My work IS responsibility to my family, which brings a "whole" sense I think.
Contentment is now found in a simpler life. Less bills, less stuff, a more refined life which has been trimmed down to only what you enjoy and what is still necessary for your children. Your goals get refined to what is REALLY important.

If you are looking to make lots of money.....don't be an artist.
But then..... I never knew ant artist who focused on the money...... even though it came for some eventually.  :)

But back to the question : " what is ideal?"  We seek the ideal life. A friend of mine will say " To what end.
Much like the quote above, we can reach a point....and then that point will be the launch pad for some new venture.

And the journey never ends......but do we really want it to???

Blessed Be.

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Stollmeyer's Castle Trinidad

Stollmeyer's Castle - Samantha Rochard - Acrylic on Canvas - 16" x 24" TT$5000
Stollmeyer's Castle is the last of the Magnificent Seven, some beautiful old buildings around the Queen's Park Savannah.
I won't repeat the history etc etc, which can be found on several sites already.

Just know that I still dream of being able to go inside.... :)