I just had to do it. I had to schedule a research trip for my upcoming Paint Costa Rica Art Adventure in February. Such a sacrifice. 😉
To arrive in paradise and spend five days meeting new friends, living Pura Vida (pure life), planning painting lessons, dining on beautiful local food, and practicing yoga? Yep. That’s the goal.
But in all seriousness, this time is well spent planning and finalizing my retreat for February. Not only am I figuring out our schedule, but I’m beginning to understand more about Costa Rica; what to expect, how to navigate, what the culture and wildlife is like, but also, what, where, and when to paint.
Since I arrived last night late, today was my first chance to see the area in detail.
I love the fact that we are staying at a yoga school. Yoga and painting are very symbiotic. How much more centered could one get, doing both each day?!
I can see why Vida Asana has been given glowing reviews. Sean and his staff are fabulous hosts. Breakfast was fresh and delicious: a super smoothie, rice and beans, eggs and guacamole. So so good.
After breakfast, I toured the property.
Then we did an hour and a half of yoga in the Shala.
The birds were singing, insects were humming, and a moist, perfumed breeze softened my Central Oregon skin. So peaceful.
We headed out for a hike before lunch. Although it was a short hike, it was fairly steep, very close to our lodging and packed a visual punch. When we got to the top, there was an old uncompleted hotel where we could look out onto Jaco and the ocean below.
We saw dolphins jumping out of the surf!
After an AMAZING lunch of fresh vegan kale salad with avocado, tomatoes and lemon dressing, mystery vegan soup (mystery only because I cannot remember what Adriana said she put into it, lol), and a mango smoothie (seriously, all simply done and to die for), I took Turquoise Bessie out for a ride to paint and explore the beach (my name for her, not theirs; but it seemed to fit).
Riding the bike on the road was a little dicey, as the road was fairly narrow with drop offs on each side as well as traffic coming and going, but it wasn’t far. And I felt like a kid. And it was fun, so…
When I arrived at the beach? Yep, Playa Hermosa, translated: Beautiful Beach. And it is so beautiful. Mostly empty, except for a few surfers and a guy on horseback, it was the perfect place to paint. Perfecto.
Now, I gotta tell you, since I mostly paint the Pacific Northwest, I really had to concentrate on exactly what the foliage was doing. It’s structure, color, and branching weren’t automatic for me. The ocean and beach are different colors than our Pacific NW coastline. Crazy. I’m going to go back tomorrow and work on it again.
I’m told that I should always be on my way back to Vida Asana before 5:45pm, as it gets totally black and is hard to see once the sun sets. So I didn’t watch the sunset today, and besides, the clouds were getting heavy and thunder began to rumble.
On my way back, however, I had to stop and take photos of birds with my zoom lens camera. I have a policy that I won’t paint a bird unless I’ve seen it in person. Plus, my bird app won’t download, and I need to figure out what they are when I get my hands on an actual paper Costa Rica bird book. Taking photos will help identification.
As I write this, it is 6:19 pm and completely dark. Although thunder boomed off and on today, it only just now began to rain. Hard. Love it!!
Until tomorrow, my friends. Namaste.