This scene is from a long, warm evening in laid-back Puerto Viejo, Costa Rica. Still a few more layers of paint to add, but the “bones” of the painting are set!
Throwback Thursday Art
The other day I was thinking that I have a fairly extensive body of work from the past several years, and I’m going to start sharing bits of it every Thursday on my Facebook fan page, on my Twitter page, and right here on this blog!
As many of you know, from 2006 to 2008, I was a Peace Corps Volunteer in rural Costa Rica, working in Community Economic Development. In my spare time (there’s plenty of spare time in rural Costa Rica), I enjoyed, you guessed it, painting.
Over the course of a few months, I sketched and painted a detailed world map onto the side of the local elementary school, where I taught Junior Achievement and English, and was a soccer star (until I played with other adults). The map had every single country on it, with the names in Spanish, as well as some inspirational quotes on the sides.
The quotes read (translated):
“The more we know the world, the more we love it.”
“The Earth is ours, let’s take care of it!”
“Almost always, the creative and dedicated minority has made the world a better place.”
“An individual has not started living until he can rise above the narrow confines of his individualistic concerns to the broader concerns of all humanity.”
Once the map was finished, we used it to teach geography through trivia games. The kids really enjoyed it. Most of them learned a lot, although one boy already knew the name of every single country in the world, where they were located, and some information about each country! He showed me his book one day that he studied to learn all of that. It was pretty impressive.
Since then, the school built an additional room, which enclosed the map inside.
We definitely had a good time at the school, both learning:
and having fun!
Lastly, I recently donated to the National Peace Corps Association and got this cool bumper sticker artwork to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Peace Corps!
I’ve been going through my photos from the Peace Corps a lot lately and finding inspirations for paintings. In 2008 I took a little weekend vacation “with the boys” to Puerto Viejo, Limon, on the southern Caribbean side of Costa Rica. This is may favorite place in Costa Rica. The Caribbean coast of Costa Rica seems to be less visited by tourists, yet I find it much more appealing. I think it’s prettier and enjoy the Caribbean culture more. Reggae music, jerk chicken, coconut rice and beans, slow pace, patua language (a mixture of English, Spanish and French)…
Anyways, we were hanging out and walking along the water one evening and I got this picture of a boy kicking his soccer ball along with a big fish in his hand. I think this shows a slower-paced lifestyle; go fishing, walk along the beach, play a little soccer…
I just finished it today –
It’s an acrylic on a 6″ by 6″ Ampersand artist panel.
I came across this photo on Facebook last night of my former students Brad and Itxel, in traditional Guanacaste dress, standing in front of the mural I painted of a Guanacaste man and woman in traditional dress! A few months ago several of my former students got on Facebook all of a sudden after the school was able to get a computer lab. I can’t hardly believe it…before that, only a few families in town even had a computer, never mind the internet. I painted this in 2007 when I was a Community Economic Development Advisor with the Peace Corps in Costa Rica. I lived with Brad’s grandmother’s family my first several months in La Cruz, so we saw each other often outside of school. Itxel lived down the street, and was in my English and Junior Achievement classes (and soccer games). They look like they’re ready to go to a fiesta típica and dance to some marimba! Except for the mean faces. People don’t seem to smile too much in pictures in Costa Rica….in reality, these kids were smiling and laughing all the time. I think Brad is trying to imitate his grandfather Hernan, who always looks like that. The camera incorrectly dated the picture 2003, it was actually taken in 2010.
…and I’m done! This oil painting of the whale’s tale formation in Bahia Ballena (Whale Bay), Costa Rica.