When friends moved to Panama a few years back to surf, work remotely, and enjoy a quiet, expat life, I knew I would visit them someday. Although I kept in touch over the years and witnessed (through Facetime and Zoom) their home and gardens coming together, I didn't know much about where they landed except that they lived by the beach on the west coast where the power tends to go out. It sounded remote, wild, and well, if my friends could make a go of it, I wanted to see it all for myself and document the visit with paintings.
It was a long, rugged journey from Panama City to my final destination, and I was in the back of a pickup truck, wincing over every pot hole, but it was a fabulous adventure and my lack of knowing what to expect made the trip better than I could have imagined.
To get to Cambutal, I traveled in the ever-popular Toyota Hilux, complete with my luggage, a month's supply of groceries (because it's that remote), the mail, and ....coconuts for water and smoothies, of course!
We drove through mountains shining in the afternoon sun to get out to the coast.
My friends have a great set up, and painting the cove from their bluff became a daily ritual.
This place has a signature rosy peach sunset. It happened every night like this :
On one night, I went down the street to a beach where the surfers were catching some late afternoon waves. The sky started getting its golden hour glow and it was a toss up for me whether it was more fun watching them or painting.
I was bummed I wasn't more exercised for figure paintings because it would have been amazing to make some surf paintings. But I will save that challenge for my next visit.
On my last night, we had a full moon shining over us and the waves as we walked home after dinner down the street. I tried to remember the colors on these quickie sketches so I could capture the moment in a paint.
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