Palmar Lodge Mural, 2021
1.2m x 1.2m acrylic on cement board
In June of 2021 after 15 months of automatically extended visas, Costa Rica reinstated the requirement that visitors renew their 3 month permissions. So I crossed the nearby border into Panama with the intention of spending a few days in the Bocas Islands, before returning for a fresh stamp.
I did some island hopping for a few days, and wound up on the outer island of Bastimentos at a wonderful eco-lodge with a couple of dorms, called Palmar Lodge. I'd booked 3 nights but almost immediately extended. The lodge was situated on Red Frog beach on the outside of the island, and so it had waves rolling in and a view out across the Caribbean. There's no real traffic on Bastimentos, no cars, just a few golf buggy's, so almost all travel is done by taxi boat.
The lodge is beautiful, with lots of accommodation options for different budgets, it's beautifully landscaped, they've clearly minimised the removal of mature trees, leaving a wonderful, tall, green canopy, with some of the biggest leaves you'll see anywhere.
The manager noticed me drawing in my sketchbook one day, had a little look through my pictures, and soon enough I was sitting down with her and the owner, discussing a drawing and mural of their lodge. I spent 3 days gathering images, brainstorming a design and drawing a mandala for them, followed by a further 9 days painting it as a mural on a 1.2m x 1.2m board. It was such a fun project, and the lodge itself was the perfect office for 3 weeks of my life.