Sunday, March 23, 2008

Fun from Costa Rica

Everyday Jan Yatsko had a
creativity exercise to get our juices flowing. This one was using a Spanish word that started with a drawn letter. I picked a "U"! I had already drawn the crocodile at the River Tarcoles and decided to go with "ultravioleta" and paint him purple. Without that "U" I never would have gotten a "cocodilla ultravioleta".
Diane and I went up to the cloud forest in San Gerardo de Dota and the Savegre River. While hiking we poured water on the rich soil of the trails and I painted the background of this page. Then I added bits of plants from the trails and around the hotel.
San Gerardo de Dota is very popular with the bird watchers. Large groups come to see the numerous
song birds, woodpeckers, hummingbirds and of course the Quetzal. It really is a spectacular bird but who could pass up sketching those "birders", they were almost as entertaining. Can you say, "zip off pants"?
Jan had a bandana on her list of what to bring. We had a great many laughs over the bandana and it's possible uses. I actually came to rely on that bandana in my pocket and have bought three more since returning home. I was enchanted by the silhouettes of the trees covered with moss, vines and bromeliads. These bromeliads are the epiphyte variety that attach themselves to the trees. They don't cause any harm to the host trees. I loved the different varieties.
Robert Bateman Sketchbook Pen and Watercolor.

Friday, March 14, 2008

More from Costa Rica

Here are a few more of my sketches from Costa Rica with Jan Yatsko . This one was a creativity exercise called draw your breakfast. It was a fun challenge. I don't think I have ever drawn sliced fruit. Do you know how many colors are in a slice of papaya? And how good in pineapple jam?
We spend a day with the Maleku, an indigenous tribe of Costa Rica. There are only about 600 in the tribe and they teach their children the Maleku language and Maleku customs in school. We took a walk through their rain forest. Our guide was very knowledgeable about the medicinal plants and we tasted and smelled many of them, most of them were not enjoyable! As we were leaving the rain forest we got the added blessing of being rained on. It was the best, I loved it!
After a very satisfying lunch made by our guide's wife, we were treated to their fire ceremony called: God, Nature and Man. It was a beautiful ceremony with fire, words, song and dance. Afterwards we all got the chance to dance with them aound the fire. It was a great experience.
Returning to our hotel, I walked the gardens and quickly sketched some of the flowers. At the fire ceremony we were given the words to the prayer in English. I used these two pages to write these words in my sketchbook. This was one of my most favorite days in Costa Rica. I will always remember the Maleku and their generous loving spirit.
Robert Bateman Sketchbook Pen and Watercolor

Sunday, March 9, 2008

Costa Rica - Sketch Adventure

I am back from a fabulous trip to Costa Rica! I
signed up for a sketching tour in Costa Rica with
Jan Yatsko and "Wow" what a great way to see the country. It was a small group of four participants and we had lots of fun, laughter and creativity. Jan does a fantastic job with setting up the tour arrangements and getting those creative and artist juices flowing. This page is the first day around the hotel before dinner.

There were creativity exercises for each day, they were fun and made you think. This page was the result of sitting for 10 minutes and really taking in your surroundings. I awoke one morning to the birds singing. Laying there in the early morning light I tried to separate each bird's song and then translated those sounds into words. Most times you can hear the birds but not see them. The songs seem to be coming out of the trees.
One day we took the tico "local" train to the beach from Atenas. It was a little over two hours and lots of fun on a rickity tickity train with the locals. There was singing and dancing as well as beautiful scenery. A pulperia is a snack shack. We also stopped by a fruit stand on the way back. Did you know you only get one nut from the fruit of a cashew?
Don't forget those postal cancellation stamps.
Jan has a wonderful driver, Adrian. He has been with her for five years and is a wonderful addition to her tour. This is my drawing of our van. I added stickers of some of the places and cities we went to. "ATW" stands for all terrain women as we were ready to go no matter the road! After the tour my friend, Dianne and I spent four more days on our own. We hired Adrian as our driver for our last day and were so glad to spend more time with him. What a gem of a man! Robert Bateman Sketchbook Pen and Watercolor