Jungle Visitors

Manuel Antonio HouseIn order to try and convey what it’s like staying where we are in Manuel Antonio, I thought it would be nice to share (via a photo gallery) some photographs of the visitors we’ve had.

All the photos are taken from the house itself, of wildlife that just happened to be passing through. I’m sure a few will become paintings, but many are just extraordinary for what they are.  If you have the patience to scroll right to the end, I’m very impressed!

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Artists Do It Outdoors

Cy painting outsidePainting outdoors (or plein air if you want to be all posh about it) is something I’ve always wanted to do properly. I’ve dabbled a few times and have really enjoyed it. However, I was normally doing it either in the very cold or wet English winter. I think my choice of when to do it tells you something about my intelligence! Regardless, those experiences did not prepare me for doing it in Costa Rica.

As you can see from the picture above, this is a pretty unique place, in which to be painting outside, at least for me! I have to admit, I don’t think it really matters whether you are painting exactly what is in front of you. In the photo, I’m starting a Humming Bird painting. Animals are extremely unlikely to sit still for you to paint them, but you’ve got absolutely no chance with Humming Birds, I’m not sure I’ve seen anything move so quickly! It’s being surrounded by the smells, sounds, heat and wildlife, featuring in the art, that makes the experience so wonderful. Mind you, it can be more than a little distracting with monkeys, toucans, lizards and all sorts of incredible birds (including Humming Birds) passing a few feet away from you!

Mot Mot

I don’t want to be disingenuous here. I have absolutely no idea whether or not this will improve my paintings, but it certainly makes it all more enjoyable.

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Is Art Dull?


Maybe the answer to that is pretty simple: Not if you’re doing it right.

However, like everything, it’s bound to be more complicated than that! There are 2 aspects of art, at least as I see it: It’s creation (inspiration, preparation and execution) and then what people see (hear or read in the case of other art forms) at the end of the process.

The hope, of course, is that the latter is certainly not dull, I’d have to give up if that were the case, although I have no doubt many people do find my art dull.  Mind you, the diversity of taste is a whole other topic!

I guess, my main thought here is that, in order for the output to be good and interesting, does the creative process also have to be?

My instinct says no, is Hamlet any worse off for Shakespeare never going to Denmark? However, I find that my art comes from my experiences, that’s why most of my paintings show the British countryside, mostly seen on walks. If I haven’t seen it, I don’t paint it!


This picture, is of me gathering reference for new paintings here in Costa Rica, as we’re fortunate enough to have the opportunity for an extended stay in this incredible country.



This will give me experiences that are totally different to those I would have back in the UK. To see a new culture ShopsWrecked House





and a new side of nature, we’ve never seen before.

Cloud Forest

The hope is that all these new experiences will feed into the art I’m going to create whilst out here, and boy do I intend to paint out here! The great thing is that as we’re staying here for a while I’m going to be able to paint here. So, rather than take loads of photos and create the art back home in the studio, I get to paint surrounded by the culture and nature I’m trying to capture.

Only time will tell if this creates art any better, or more worthy, than what I’ve done before!

Watch this space…

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