Experience in my Art Studio in San Jose

With increasing frequency tourists come to my home/studio. Known guides, friends, bring their passengers to see my art studio in San José, and by the way, Morazán from another perspective. It is always a satisfying experience, whether they buy or not. And when they buy, phew! They help me a lot!


Sometimes it also happens, that a guide calls me punctually because there is a passenger who wants to buy art.

This painting has a very unique history, however. Events, people and situations came together so that those involved could live it with an open heart. And I don’t think any of us know the full extent of what happened yet.

I’m going to tell my version, because that’s the one I have. The version in which Natalie, Jorge, and even my friend Noelia, -who was visiting when I gave the play to Nat-, we were touched by this string of coincidences and the ineffable connection that happened there.

The Story:

Jorge Montero is a very good guide. I saw him start more than a decade ago in Golfito, and from then until today, I have been observing him, improving himself, looking for answers, investigating, learning as if it were his life. Fiercely passionate about this job that sometimes feels like a condemnation, but which in retrospect is a marvel, Jorge is one of those “Rara Avis” who gives blood, sweat and tears so that his passengers experience magnificent journeys.

A few days ago he sent me a message saying that he had a passenger who wanted to buy original art from Costa Rica and that he could bring her to the studio. I answered in the affirmative, of course. I asked her in passing if there was anything on her trip, or in Costa Rica, that had a greater meaning for her. It is and is not, a “sales push”. It’s simply that if we find something more meaningful, and the passenger buys, everyone wins. It often happens, however, that they come for the sloth and leave with a monkey, or similar.

Then Jorge told me that Nat, (English, for context), came to Costa Rica to leave a part of the ashes of Ollie, who was her life partner, her best friend and her love for years. He also added that he knew she liked the color orange, and that he was going to find out if there were any animals or anything she wanted.

But as soon as he told me about the circumstances, what came to my mind, crystal clear, was a Fenix. At the time the thought had no justification, but I have learned to follow my intuition almost blindly. I told Jorge what I was thinking of doing and he passed me a heart and a “No words” face.

The paint came out effortlessly in record time. I was very surprised to see it in neon. It has an intense quality of true inner fire. On the chest an 8, the symbol of infinity. This Phoenix is devoted to its transformation, and deeply confident in its resurrection, you observe an indefinable peace in it. It is a symbol of rebirth, of new beginnings, of letting go and restarting.

I made it on unframed canvas, ready to be packed.

Nat and Olga at Peace and Art Studio in San Jose
Nat and Olga at Peace and Art Studio in San Jose

Friday finally arrived, Transitarte was starting and there were a lot of people and noise in the Morazán. The party atmosphere reverberated in San José.

Natalie and Jorge came to my art studio in San Jose.

As we introduced ourselves, I noticed that Nathalie had a small feather hanging around her neck. Anyone who knows me a little bit knows that feathers have always had a personal meaning. I let it go.

We talked a bit about her trip and so on. She told me about Ollie, who had recently died, and how she had left part of his ashes on one of the bridges in my beloved Monteverde. Second match, and we’re counting.

The painting rested on the easel in plain view.

And I told her that Jorge had told me the story and that what had come to my mind when he told it to me was a phoenix. I told her it wasn’t a “sales push” because in reality, if she didn’t want it, there were other paintings I could show her and, well, “the talk of non-commitment”.

Ave Fenix in art studio in San Jose

The moment Nat saw the painting, tears welled up in her eyes. She told me that a few days ago, an alternative therapist had spoken to her about rebirths. And how this therapist had put her hand on her chest, telling her that she saw an infinite, an 8.

I took her to see it under the UV light, the infinity symbol glowing on the bird’s pointed breast. The light envelops her, full of warmth. The Phoenix closes its eyes and the eyelids are filled with the glow of flames.

My signature is an O, like Ollie’s initial. Its color was blue, like that of the Phoenix bird. His number was 4, like the day I was born. My signature, in fact, is 024, at least this year. I told her what the feathers meant to me, and Monteverde, which is the home of my heart.

I know that if you look for coincidences, you will find them. But in all this there was an air of ineffable mystery.

I told her the cost of the painting, however, I also told her that she could pay me whatever she wanted for it, or not pay me at all. I really felt as if Ollie himself had ordered that painting for Nathalie, customized down to the last detail so that she could be reborn freely.

As I write this, tears well up in my eyes. There was a connection there that dwells in The Mystery (with capital letters). Stronger than any words, beyond coincidences, somehow, Todo united several of us complete strangers in this hymn to Life and Love for real.

Today Natalie sent me the photos of the painting framed in her home outside London. Here they are.

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