Coming up on 1 week here in Costa Rica so I thought I would do a little recap. The colony is pretty secluded; and it takes about 20 minutes to walk to town. So far most of my time has been spent here. I have ventured out to town a couple of times for groceries, but that’s about it. It’s a small town about 8 square blocks. It has all of the essentials, markets, pharmacies, a few small restaurants, church, etc. Money and the language have been a bit challenging. Most people only speak Spanish, but there is the universal hand gesture language that usually works. As for the money, they have Colones and 10,000 is about $20 USD. So it can throw you off a little bit when you see that a loaf of bread is 1,825 C. Which brings me to another observation, prices here are equal to and sometimes more expensive than they are in California. For some reason I was expecting it to be like when I went to Peru and everything was significantly cheaper.
Eating and cooking has been interesting, while the food markets have a lot of stuff they don’t have everything. So I kind of wander the isles trying to figure out what the packages say, the pictures usually help a lot. Also, there is only a 4 burner gas stove to work with. So I have been trying to get creative with meals, lots of beans, rice and bananas. So far I have made fried banana chips, and a sort of banana ice cream concoction, put banana in my cereal and on my peanut butter sandwiches. Bananas are everywhere around here.
Currently there is an oil painter for New York, a watercolor artist from Rhode Island and a poet from Tennessee. A couple more artists will be arriving in the coming weeks. We had nice dinner Monday night at the colony owner’s house which is on the property. We all got to know each other and then went back to the poet’s apartment for evening drinks and talk. It is nice to hear about everyone’s creative process and what they do.
So now down to the nitty gritty – the art. To be quite honest it has taken me some time to adjust. I would love to say that I have jumped right and have been creating feverishly since I arrived. Unfortunately that is not the case; creativity can be a fickle partner. I have been a bit unfocused an anxious. I start something then walk away and start something else and never really get into anything. I know this is only the first week but I was hoping for more. I am trying to just be present and not worry about expectations or time, but it is easier said than done. Time can move very slowly here as well, there are no mind numbing distractions like TV, work, phone or anything. While that can be a blessing it can also be quite oppressive when you are not feeling creative. So I have started a little routine of waking up early (mainly because the sun is soooo bright in the morning) having my coffee on the porch listening to the birds. Then I try to do some yoga or take a walk before going into the studio, of course I always have an afternoon siesta too. The rest of the afternoon is open to what may come.