top of page

A Circle of Magpies

During the winters of 2018 and 2019, when travel was still feasible, I spent a good deal of time in Costa Rica. I stayed in a house on the beautiful northwestern coast, perched above the Pacific Ocean. There were all kinds of monkeys, iguanas, crocodiles... but most of all the sky was filled with birds. They would swoop down in the morning and late afternoon, calling to each other, drinking from the pool and foraging for crumbs. Great kiskadees and brilliantly feathered parrots, flycatchers, starlings, and tiny hummingbirds all greeted us, but the blue ring-necked magpies were our true friends, coming when we called, tilting their crowned heads, eating out of our hands.

For my third 16" square painting, I returned to the islands on the Guanacaste coast. These are actually more like outcroppings in the sea, framing the glowing sky. Magpies circle over the water, drifting ever closer to the woman in the foreground. The model is Adriana. She has such a peaceful, Madonna-like presence. The added arm tattoos give her some edginess and echo the etched pattern in the sky of the distant birds. Her dress will be the salmon color of the setting sun in the sky.

This is the scene. Don't you wish you could be here now? As you can see in the drawing, I have enhanced the right-hand island with trees. I look forward to sharing my progress on this painting in the New Year. Perhaps we'll even get to travel again in 2021!

I wish everyone a safe, healthy, and creative New Year. Cheers!

Recent Posts

See All


bottom of page