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Explore natural arts in paradise

Art Therapy By Donna Hope Blas

Take a hike!

No seriously. Let’s take a hike.

When I was first introduced to other local artists through my friend, Annie Flores, I remember they would meet up at a site to do art together. This was in the 80s. I had the honor to be invited. They met weekly and then would sketch or paint together but separately.

Guam is truly a paradise that we take for granted. There are plenty of art subjects at different sites around the island. I’d like to invite you to take a hike with me.

Photo by Layla Sibetang

Mushroom Rock Beach: If you ask me, this rock looks like a flying fish. No matter the name, this is a popular art subject. Bring your canvas and paints. This hike is a short walk to Mushroom Rock. I’d say about 10 minutes if you go at a slow pace. I usually cut through the roadway,which is much easier than the beach walk. I’ve also been here at sunset time. Worth it for art mediums such as photography and videography. The water is a beautiful turquoise. Plan to bring your vibrant ocean colors.

Photo by Mar-Vic Cagurangan

Two Lovers’ Point: This is one of my favorite legends. But rather than see it from Ypao Beach, which is the typical angle, why don’t we change things up a bit. The meeting point will be at Gun Beach. We will hike to FaiFai Beach. Imagine seeing Puntan Dos Amantes from the bottom up. It’s a different perspective. Mind you, this is a hike that needs planning. Expect to get wet. We need to check the tide schedule but it’s worth it. I guarantee it.

Photo by Victor Consaga

Sirena: The Sirena statue is located in Hagåtña, across from the Marina. The only strenuous hiking here is finding a parking spot nearby. Bwaahahaaha! Sirena is the mermaid from our Guam legends. She is half fish and half human. She was cursed by her mother for being lazy and disobedient. If it weren’t for her loving, patient and understanding Nana saving her, she’d be a full fish. Read the story to learn more.

Photo by Victor Consaga

Chief Gadao’s Cave: This cave, located in Inalåhan, has over 50 ancient CHamoru pictographs. Human stick figures are drawn on the cave walls using coral lime and tree sap. I once taught students how to make natural paint if we lived in ancient times. Who would’ve thought to use limestone and tree sap? Well, we now know it is a tried-and-true formula since it’s lasted all these years.

Bear shaped rock over the ocean
Photo by Victor Consaga

Bear Rock: Also located in Inalåhan, Bear Rock is another famous Guam landmark to draw or paint. Through the years, the shape has somewhat eroded, but you can still see the bear shape. It’s located near the Inarajan pools. There is a point where you can park and paint. No strenuous hike here.

Photo by Katsumi Fujita

Merizo Pier: As we come around the island, we will hit the Merizo Pier. This is just a magnificent subject to paint. We can draw away all the stress of the week, plank by plank, then the crystal-clear blue water will wash away any worries. With Cocos Island in the background…ahhhh, I just love Southern Guam.

Follow me on Facebook at Art Therapy. I’ll post the dates and times of the hikes I’ll be going on. I’d like to invite you to come along with me and my friend, Reed Topasna who will be our hiking guide. Let’s Meet. Hike. And Art.

Come discover paradise with me.

Donna Hope Blas is an Artist and Certified Therapeutic Art Life Coach. She is also an entrepreneur. Send comments to:

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