Monday, November 30, 2009

Costa Rica: Last and Favorite Pages

These are my favorite pages from Costa Rica. I had so much fun walking and sketching in the botanical gardens. I really enjoyed overlapping flowers, plants and vines. It was also great fun adding all the lush colors.
This page is from the Corcovado Nat. Park. All the flowers are so interesting and beautiful. The hanging white flowering vines were fascinating. Too bad my camera focused on the trees behind it. Oh well, I guess the sketch will have to do.
In this photo my camera did a great job, focusing on the flower and not the background! It is a type of hanging hibiscus. So delicate. There are so many spectacular plants and flowers.

This is the fruit of the "Lipstick" tree. If you flip the open seed pod over it looks like big old lips. The outside of the pod is spiky but soft not pokey and the inside is hollow with seeds that are full of a red staining liquid. I used it to paint a little in my sketchbook.

Robert Bateman 6" x 9" sketchbook
Pen and Watercolor

Friday, November 27, 2009

More from Panama and Costa Rica

We spent two days in the Coiba National Park. We walked along a very muddy trail and saw some wonderful plants, birds and animals. We also spent two great afternoons swimming and snorkeling.
My favorite was Islote Granito de Oro; the little grain of gold. It was a very small beautiful little island. There were thousands of hermit crabs and interesting things to sketch. While snorkeling I spotted a silver tipped shark. Sorry, no time for a sketch.
Pieces of the forest on a hike with Roger and Rudy. More mud and more fun! No, the pelicans were not in the forest, I added those later on the beach at Manuel Antonio. As I swam they were diving and feeding all around me. More fun!

Robert Bateman 6" x 9" sketchbook
Pen and Watercolor

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Panama-Embera Village

One of our stops was at the village of the Embera. They welcomed us with music and many smiles. This is a sketch of the shaman's house, he is 105 and looking great! As I worked in my book a little boy came up and was watching me. I gave him the pen and asked him to draw me a flower.
He had just started school and had a little trouble to start but soon got used to the pen and finished his flower. Then I gave him the water brush and my paints. When he finished I had a group of the village children around me so I quickly drew the bar of triangles and circles.
It was interesting that 3 of the 4 children picked the circle to paint but looking at their body paintings I realized most of the designs were lines and geometric shapes so maybe the circles were appealing to them. Unfortunately we had to leave before the page was filled.
I got a band painted on my forearm by one of the village woman and it has faded away after about 12 days and I am sad.

The Embera are a lovely, beautiful, friendly and very happy people. It was an honor to spend the afternoon with them. Something I will remember always.

Robert Bateman 6" x 9" sketchbook
Pen and Watercolor

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Panama and Costa Rica

Just returned from a great time in Panama and Costa Rica. I went on a cruise with Cruise West. It is the second time I have cruised with them and it was so much fun. We stopped at the Miraflores visitor center which is one of the locks of the Panama Canal. One of the rooms had a display of wonderful insects. I wish I'd had more time as they were fabulous.
Our first stop after boarding the ship was in Portobelo. Tons the gold and silver for the King of Spain passed through this tiny port. It has tons of history as well. There is new music school and these guys were added recently. The town also is host to a large vulture population.
The next day we went through the Panama Canal. Wow, what a wonder that is! It took us about 7 1/2 hrs. to transit the canal. We were lucky and got to start the trip in the afternoon so we saw the workings in the daylight and the dark. We were the 24th transit of the day and traveled with the Ulusoy-9 out of Istanbul. What a way to start our adventure!

Robert Bateman 6" x 9" sketchbook
Pen and Watercolor