The Ocean Blue
Your letter arrived in Antwerp by courier on Tuesday morning. It was very fortunate as I left that very morning with Nicaise and a Mr. Henry Cleenewerck on a boat to Cuba! My daughter will be beside herself when the news makes its way home to Culcreuch. We are on quite an adventure. Henry is anxious to see the countryside and I believe Nicaise has spent much of the ocean voyage discussing the growing of sugar cane with a Sr. Andres Gomez-Mena who boarded in Spain. He has large holdings in Havana. It was determined over dinner last night that we will be his guests on his plantation in Havana. It is quite a voyage for an old man, but there is no work involved, just a grand adventure. I suspect while Nicaise courts the baron families for portrait work, Henry and I will jaunt the countryside in search of primitives. I thought I had mentioned my profession to you earlier, but perhaps I was remiss. In my early years I served as an assistant to the master Gustaf Wappers at the academy in Antwerp, primarily in the design of the scene (developing a great many skills to both the realms of art and needle). I continue to work mostly as favors to my many colleagues – although I think it they who do me the favor! We land tomorrow and I will transfer these scribblings to proper form. I hope they find you well.