Adventure, Wildlife and the Artists LIfe

Golden-Hooded Tanager

At the end of Summer, I felt a swell of desire to reconnect with Nature Gods. I wanted to shake off my status quo, and open my eyes in a new landscape. I was thinking about birds, adventure and escape… I sat down and thought, where can I go, to make this “Wild Nature God” Pilgrimage, I thought about Costa Rica, and Iceland as places that immediately came to mind. One of my knees is half way shot, so I looked to see if there was a flatland jungle reserve in Costa Rica, that might work for my friend Burnell and I to get a way and bird watch, Nature watch, soak up the sensory experience of standing and walking in old and second growth wet forest every day for 11 days. 


My husband Craig is a morotcycle adventurer, but is willing to travel some other way if necessary. He was still recuperating from a serious motorcycle accident at this time, so had to skip this Adventure. However we had just returned from a car trip to Vegas, Death Valley, Grand Canyon, Canyonlands, Arches, Monument Valley, The Loneliest Highway(50)  and other places I had never been to before. He was given permission to drive the car after months of having me drive him around... he was so happy to take off after so many months of couch time.

giant rock formations

Beautiful, curious Raven.
My nose was pressed to the window mile after mile, and when we could find short and flat hikes you could do on crutches, we would check out pictographs and traces of ancient dwellings, pose under giant red arches, and feel like we are tiny bugs at the feet of Giants.
I came across a post about “La Selva” Biological Station in the Caribbean lowland forest, Eastern Costa Rica. I was so excited about what I read about the place, I really hoped Burnell would like the idea as much as I. We both decided it was a great fit, and proceeded in researching what you need to wear in the Jungle and gearing up the best we could. Burnell made most of the travel and accommodation,  reservations (Thanks Burnell!). Burnell and I have traveled together on and off for over 20 years. Mostly, we take day trips or weekend trips to wetland or other Nature preserves to bird and Nature watch. We have also taken day kayak trips looking for birds and enjoying the water side view. We both use Cameras to help see and ID what we see, and also document.

Juvenile Honeycreeper

Dining hall (Temp. Studio) La Selva
Some the the pics I take are also used as source images in my art. I have a few pics that I use over and over, becoming symbolic and acting characters in my paintings.

Burnell on path through La Selva

Rio Puerto Viajo
I also occasionally use landscape images as source in my painting. One day, we were taking a walk down a dirt road that ran by our room, located on the very edge of the Station land. The road was used by locals to reach one of the rivers that flowed through the Preserve. When we got to the sandbank that lead into the water, a whole new feeling hit me. Oh my! This is what the Hudson River School Painters saw when they were crossing Central America, sketching and painting the Wild World, on their way to California. Although not a location used in any painting, it looked similar enough to send my heart into my throat.... This is really why I'm here. I could imagine how those guys felt.... as well as they captured the look of the place, you can't imagine the total experience, the smells, the sounds, and the feel of the humid air around you. The density of life. After that I started seeing the place in a whole new way, and could feel how it changed me and my perception of my place in the world.


Popular Posts