To join me on a virtual sketching trip, download a travel sketch-journal here.
I add tutorials to them so you can learn the techniques and details you see in the sketchbooks.

My former workshop students asked me to upload my workshop workbooks to make them available to everyone. So you can also download a workbook and give yourself a workshop! Enjoy!


Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Nature Journaling/Sketching Workshop in Costa Rica

Mom always said if you make a booboo it's best to 'fess up and get it off your chest right away, then you can get on with life.

Even if it's really embarrassing? Particularly if it is.

So here we go with the embarrassing booboo, and it's a hummer. But before I do that, I want to report that the workshop was terrific. The weather was perfect, the workshop attendees were A-one super people, our rooms and the surroundings at El Remanso Wildlife Lodge were awe-inspiring, we were looked after by a great staff with superabundant grace and good humor, and we all had a wonderful time. After the workshop, I gave a mini-workshop for two of the Costa Rican staff (Gerardo and Elyer). Then I took a trip to the Monte Verde Cloud Forest (more later), which went even better than expected. I'd estimate that I took 500-600 absolutely terrific photos. My best ever. It was a great trip.

So what's the problem?

In my defense, (weak, but it's all I have) let's say that the day before catching my plane I traveled five hours in a local bus across Costa Rica (3 of those hours on a dusty, bumpy dirt road), then stayed up later that night than usual. Then I got up at 5:15, still sleepy. I packed up my little carrybag with my sketchbook and pen and watercolor pencils, a couple of things to nibble on, and not much else, then Joel left me, my suitcase, and my pack off at the airport in San José, Costa Rica, for the trip home. I checked both my bags through, so I wouldn't have to carry so much. I was a little concerned that airport security won't let us lock or seal bags. But hey, what's the choice.

And I put my camera, containing the memory card with all those wonderful photos, in my little travel pack, zipped it up and checked it. Duh. Do I really have to finish this, mom????

If I had been smart, or even present inside my skull, I would have at least removed the teensy memory card and tucked it into my wallet. Or I could have transferred the contents of the memory card to a light-weight CD the day before and carried THAT with me -- I had an opportunity to do it.

That way, whoever pilfered the camera (a nice little Canon PowerShot A540 worth about $225 when I bought it a couple of years ago) would have gotten only the camera, not the pictures, too. [Hey, can I get a do-over?]

But still, it really was a perfect trip, and I have a journal full of sketches, poems, notes and ephemera to prove it, but the photos you see in this these workshop blog entries will be those of Marilyn, Jocelyn and Kathy, my generous students, who have given me permission to use them.

And PLEASE, learn from my stupendously addlepated mistake [she sighs and wipes her hands briskly, glad to be finished with the nasty task of confessing her blunder].

[brightening, with a sheepish grin] So now, tomorrow, come back and I will show-and-tell you what transpired during our four-day Nature Sketching/Journaling Workshop (and other related adventures).
See you then!

4 comments:

Mai-Liis said...

Oh, what a terrible thing to happen to you! But, tell you what, I could share my Costa Rica photos with you!!! Oh, please?

By the way, I left my camera in a taxicab in Spain. See, it happens to EVERYBODY.

Irene Brady said...

Mai-liis, what a lovely offer! I would dearly love to be able to show photos of the Monte Verde Cloud Forest and the Costa Rican countryside between San José and Monte Verde. Do you have any of those? Other than that, I will probably just go with what I have.

If you do have some, and I use them, I would be happy to give you the same credits I have given my students, as on the ones I used already.

Also, thank you for your reassuring comment about leaving your camera in a taxicab. While I hate to think someone else lost their camera and pictures, too, it's nice to not be the only one in the world to booboo.

Cheers,
Irene

Katherine said...

You're not along Irene. I'm the sort of person who loses a cinema ticket between paying for it at the front desk and getting to the bit where they check it to let you in to see the film - so I'm a total liability when travelling!

It's good to remember that most of us have probably done silly things while travelling. The alternative to your experience can be all the stress experienced and the constant checking to make sure we've STILL got all the things we didn't check into the hold! More than once I've left something sitting somewhere while getting from the check-in to the gate - last time it was my coat!

Given my propensity for losing things I now have a little velcro tab pack that hangs from my neck inside my shirt which I use for my passport, tickets, boarding card and some money which reduces my stress levels enormously. I've also found it very useful for storing my camera's memory cards.

The worst 'loss' I ever experienced was my partner leaving my beloved globetrotting sketching chair sitting on the baggage trolley at Heathrow - and he didn't even have jet lag as an excuse!!!

Irene said...

Hi Katherine -- Ouch! I'm SO sorry about your sketching chair! Those are treasures indeed!
Yeah, I'm hopeless, too. About twenty years ago after locking my car keys inside the car for the umpteenth time, I got a carabiner clip (you know, one of those aluminum rings with one spring-loaded side that pushes in) and attached it one of those plastic spiral-coiled key chains. Thus I have fastened my keys to my belt loop (or a pocket or pants edge) ever since. The carabiner/keys get transferred to the next change of clothes along with nail clippers and comb, and when I don't want to carry my purse, my wallet attaches to the carabiner, too, and slips into my pocket.

Everything I travel with gets fastened to me. Alas, I have to remember to attach it in the first place! Irene

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