I just got back from 2 weeks in sunny, hot, Colombia! I was doing an artist residency at the Blue Apple Beach Club, a boutique hotel located right on the beach on Tierra Bomba Island, which is just a 15 minute boat ride from central Cartagena. (for those of you who are artists, writers, photographers, musicians, etc. check them out! They offer a free place to stay in exchange for some art) https://www.blueapplebeach.com/residency
I spent two weeks painting, swimming in the ocean, and exploring Cartagena. It was amazing. I went in not really knowing what I would be painting, but for those of you who have been anywhere in Latin America you know that generally there is no lack of inspiration when it comes to colors and plants.
My first painting was of the notorious bougainvillea plant, something I have been wanting to do for years now! I’ve been to many cities where bougainvillea grows and had the urge to paint it, but I have never actually been in painting mode when I’m around it. Usually when I’m on vacation I want a break from art/painting, so it just hasn’t happened. And alas, it’s a really funky looking flower, so painting it from images off the internet just isn’t appealing. I’m really happy with how it turned out.
Next I painted some fruit, which was what I was REALLY excited about. I like to treat my tropical travels as unofficial fruit tours. In Colombia my favorites I found were dragon fruit/pitaya, lulo, tree tomato, and tiny baby mango. Of course that’s only a start, I guess I’ll just have to go back sometime soon to paint the rest…
Agave plants were covering the property at the Blue Apple, so I had to do a painting of them. These were really fun to sketch out.
Piles of coral were everywhere and had the funkiest little patterns on them. I thought it would be a fun thing to try for a change.
And lastly, orchids. Colombia is known for their orchids, but there weren’t any in the areas I was in. I went on a major flower market/florist mission to find some and came up empty handed. So I did some serious googling to find my favorites and get some inspiration.
The folks who own the Blue Apple Beach Club have a sister property in the city of Cartagena, which is where I painting my orchid mural. Their upstairs rooftop bathrooms needed some love, so I gave them some serious color and funk with two orchid murals.
Other highlights include beach dogs, restaurant cats, Cartagena city scenes, and sunsets.
Prints and some originals from my trip are available for sale in my online shop and in person at the Shu Store!