What’s Going on this Dry Season at Casa de Corazon?

Summer. Guests. Students. Morning Magic and a Look Ahead

Summer here in Costa Rica is December through March – otherwise known as the Dry Season. And this was my busiest ever!


December, 2015

Nancy, at the beach

The Dry Season started off with a bang – two Intensive students Nancy and Joanne, who wanted most to study light, shade and shadow – and – the dancing stroke used in the backgrounds. They loved the sunrises – and the sunsets – and the beach wasn’t at all bad either!


New Years Eve

One of the best ever with my Tico family – Anita, Carlos, Siñia, Sophie, Alberto, Ronaldo, Melany and a few others – I only lasted until about 11, but the party was just getting going when I drove up the steep incline to my place! And the fireworks over the city didn’t wind down until around 1.

Anita and me NY 15 Fireworks NY 15 Carlos woman NY 15 Carlos as woman

Nothing quite like a rural Tico New Year’s celebration – in our makeshift rancho and barbeque with a view over the city fireworks and entertainment by Carlos!


Sandra and BazDear friends, Sandra and Baz came for a few glorious days in mid-January. We go way back – Sandra and I have been friends since U of O, 1982 – 86 – Sandra in Landscape Architecture and I finished up in Architecture. Beautiful times on the infinity deck and so many birds we lost count! Painted a sketch at the beach and it felt really good!

1 Jan 7 9 Jan sky road 7 Jan 8 rose color

Seurat-singing-1.23.16There were some glorious early mornings watching the sunrise with Peggy, who came to stay with me whenever there was a break in my schedule. Peggy is a long time friend of Frank’s who came to Costa Rica yearly to be with Frank – and hasn’t been back since 2009. She loved staying in Frank’s house and look forward to it next year as well. The dogs always accompanied us in our early morning sunrise watches. One morning Seurat was surveying the city below. And suddenly he heard something! A siren. What is a part hound to do but howl.

And howl he did!


2 Students in class

February Workshop (Feb 1 – 8)   Nine women attended my Exceptional Colors in Costa Rica February, 2016 workshop – from places afar, all in the US this year. States represented included Washington, Oregon, California, New Mexico, Texas, Massachusetts, New Jersey, Rhode Island, New York. We covered the periphery! We were also joined by Patti Lawrence who lives here in Costa Rica and was able to also help me. A lot of great painting time and wonderful camaraderie among women watercolor artists!

 4 Claudia sketching 8 Reina de la Noche, Papas

Us,-Ric,-Alice,-Brenda-and-meValentine’s Day, 2016

brought my sister, (who is actually a former sis in law), and brother in law and their great friend, Brenda for a reunion/visit. It was Alice and Ric who were my very first guests here in Costa Rica when I moved into my bare and barely livable Tico house to start my adventure in 2009. Ric, as a master builder asked me seven years ago resplendant quetzalwhat he could do, construction wise – to help. I replied that I’d love an outdoor shower. Ric looked around and said, ‘Hm. I think we’d better tackle the wiring first…’ What? He pointed to the exposed wires across the kitchen that doubled as an indoor clothesline and expressed some concern. And so we first tackled the obvious. This time they enjoyed the more safe electricity, watching for birds, relaxing on the infinity deck and exploring the market and beach. Ahhhhh. Billy took them up the mountain to see the Resplendant Quetzals which topped off their bird lists!



in studio 2Early March Intensive, 2016 brought two more students to Casa de Corazon. Joy and Sally kept me busier than ever. Boy did we paint! They wanted to know all about color, pigments, color schemes, light and shadow as well as several techniques including ‘the dancing stroke’. So we did it all!  Below our critique  of the white pigeons we painted to study light – with a dancing stroke background to boot!  Great work with these two!

Pigeon Paintings critique_edited-1

12 painting the slothsMy first ever Family Painting Intensive happened in late March with the family of Nancy Rottle and Paul Olson, their daughter, Anneka and her boyfriend, Blake. Take a more detailed look here.

What a wonderful group of family troupers – some who were quite accomplished in watercolor and some who had never before painted! We painted, critiqued, studied and painted some more! And still found time to shop at the farmer’s market, visit the bamboo factory and Liliam’s gardens and go to the beach where they body surfed and we painted en plein aire. I do love this family of intrepid painter travelers.

At the beach….

 9 family painting at beach 9 Paul, painting 10 Blake and my ptg

A few of our paintings…..  we all began with the orchid to understand the paints, color and how the paints worked together.  During the week we painted plein aire at the beach and also some fast sketches (from 10 – 20 min ea.) to warm up and loosen up…

2 orchid paintings Leonor Breeze, jh 3.16 14 fast sketches

We finished off with a sloth on a vine…and each person’s sloth painting represented the painter, perfectly.

Looking ahead I’m wide open for Family Painting Intensives as well as regular two and three person Intensives! I’m finding that with Anita providing gallo pinto, ensalada russa and arroz con pollo plus more and the dogs and parrots doing their share, I can focus most on teaching and painting! Win win wins!

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