Thursday, 5 March 2009

I'm Back!


Yes, home again. Costa Rica was wonderful but, sadly, we couldn't stay forever. This is the very plane that carried us back to the real world:


We saw all sorts of exciting animals: howler monkeys with babies on their backs (they do howl - like a bear or big cat), spider monkeys swinging by their tails, timid white-faced monkeys that hide in the centre of palm trees. Also crocs, sloths, turtles, bats and massive iguanas (4 - 5 foot long with heads the size of small dogs). Plus of course loads of birds, including humming birds by the dozen and vultures, constantly swooping overhead.

We SO wanted to come back to England...


I'm afraid the animals weren't up for posing, but I did try out my new watercolours on some landscapes. Above is Arenal: the most active volcano in the Western Hemisphere, erupting continually. I painted this from our hotel (pictured below) - the perfect location to watch the action, if it hadn't been cloudy the whole 3 days!


We walked near the volcano's base one afternoon, on the spiky, heaped-up lava boulders and, rather eerily, you could hear the occasional distant 'bang' as it spat out fresh rocks. Then we eased our weary feet by bathing in the volcano's hot springs, at a rather plush spa hotel. I know: you hate me.


This is the first location we stayed at, in the mountains (spot the vulture
). It was the only place where it got chilly, but only in the evenings.


Next we went to the southern Pacific coast, to Drake Bay (after Francis: he of the cigarettes) a place so remote, we had to get there by a 2 hour, motor-boat trip. It was very humid, but we solved that problem by snorkelling off the beach above. I'm not very happy with this painting: I tinted it after the event, so there is no sense of the sunlight. I might work on it some more.


I painted this one during a hike in the rainforest. I got very angry with it, as I haven't learned yet how to prevent the paint getting 'fussy', but it's not quite as bad now as it seemed at the time. I didn't know it, because there were no visible flying things, but I was being bitten to blazes: I counted 35 bites that evening!

I did lots more sketches and paintings, and of course took hundreds of photos - I've posted more in the Picture Gallery, as this post is becoming a full-length travel feature!

Also, if you want to hear more about how I work in my sketchbooks, take a look at my short video or check out the sketchbook section of my website, to see drawings from my other travels, like China, Namibia, Vietnam, Australia and all over Europe.

17 comments:

granny grimble said...

Looks like all the aggro was well worth it! I can't wait to see all your sketches and photos in person.
Hope you bought me back an iguana to keep in the garden! XXXX

cassia said...

dunno what you're on about. that last one is a corker! but I love, love, love the one of the plane. Brilliant piece of drawing, that!
Glad to have you back. cxxx

Felicity said...

The plane sketch is amazing and then to see the others - they are incredible, so beautifully done. I hope you will post all you have - I'd love to see a full length travel feature!

Ira Robbins said...

these sketches are stunning. What color!! I would love to visit there as well now.

Doda said...

Welcome back.
Sounds like you had a fabulous time.
Your sketches are amazing!

Jessie Lilac said...

I really love drawings and paintings that were done in situ much more than photos don't you? It brings your memory of it back so vividly and these are stunning! How lucky you were to get such an amazing view from your hotel!x

Lynne Chapman said...

Gee, thanks Guys!

It is funny how drawings do seem to improve magically, given a few days on their own - I must admit, none of them look too bad to me either now, but I was so ratty with them at the time! I was huffing and tutting and John said: 'I thought you were supposed to be doing this for fun?!'

I will certainly put more on as soon as I get some time. Bit of a crazy period at the moment.

Joanna Dover said...

Amazing sketchbook! so much work - and on holiday too!

Look forward to seeing more.

memi said...

Just gorgeous, Lynne!

You've really brought us along with you-
love the panoramas....

gabi campanario said...

wow, the panoramics are like a window into the jungle, beautiful!

Liz Steel said...

wow! lynne, your watercolours are totally amazing! they are all great but the second one caught my eye on first view!

THEARTBRUSH said...

What a good Blog to brush up on your memories.
Happy brushing.
Pete,Theartbrush

Stephen Gardner said...

These are just great, My wife just book us to go to Mexico, these sketches have really got me excited. Great work.

Genine said...

these watercolors are absolutely georgous!!

Tomás Serrano said...

Terryfic drawings. These are fabulous! My favourites are the top images, but everyone is wonderful.

Lynne Chapman said...

Thank you so much for your lovely encouragement everybody!

Jane said...

I really love drawings and paintings .amazing!