The world gathers at my table every week. I set the bed sheet covered table with pencils, palettes, paint, brushes, cups of water, and inspiring images. I greet and seat strangers at the table with a glass of wine and a hope they will become friends. I help each person individually express themselves and paint their souls on the canvas before them. They all have unique visions I help map out to bring to life. The group of people is always a travelers tapestry, an eclectic mix of people is comprised of students volunteering and studying abroad from the US, young entrepreneurs from L.A. and New York, classy Europeans from France, Spain, Holland, Switzerland, Germans, local surfers, teachers, business owners, moms, and expats. I have even had a pro basketball player from Israel, a rapper from Austria, and a film maker from Paris. There have been professional artists, gallery owners, collectors, and curators that I have learned so much from. It is such a gift that teaching others always teaches me. It is astonishing to see what we create and delightful to hear parts of everyone's stories. I feel like a tour guide through the creative process. Sometimes I feel like an art therapist helping the guests through complicated life issues or feelings. This experience leaves me feeling very fulfilled. There is nothing I would rather do at the end of the day, especially a rainy night in Costa Rica than sip wine, and spill paint on a canvas while sharing stories with people from around the world.
Art is a language all it's own. It is beautiful to gather people together, who all have different native languages, to express with color and image what cannot be expressed in words. It seems like a foreign language to some, but just as I teach English as a foreign language, I teach art. It is a language of the soul, of the spirit, of the heart. Everyone is an artist. It is my goal that everyone leave feeling inspired and believing that they are creative. Many come and say " I haven't painted since preschool!" or "My art looks like a child could have done it!" and to that I reply: "PERFECT! I teach preschool, and children's art is my favorite!" I think sometimes adults need an excuse to act like a child. It makes me very happy, and leaves me with a joyful heart to share the joy of painting with the world, simply by gathering around a table.
I like to imagine the journey of the paintings after they leave the table. I love to think they have been on flights and found homes on people's living room gallery walls, given as gifts, and hang as a fun memory of people's piece of pura vida found in Costa Rica. I would love to go visit them all someday. I would like to stay friends with everyone at least on Instagram and social media. I want to follow each others journeys to encourage and inspire each other along. It's like we are weaving an intricate tapestry with paint, canvas, and story. I like to think of all these experiences collectively as the masterpiece I am creating with my life.