With glimpses and impressions of reality, artist Susan Adams captures the essence of Costa Rica,  creating poignant and dramatic scenes for viewers to enjoy. Letting them see the country through her eyes is what drives the artist’s relentless zeal for putting her brush on the canvas.  


“The fabulous panoramas, wildlife and the gorgeous unimaginable colors, and the people with their unique culture and traditions, gives me endless energy,” she tells us. “If I can spread a little light or uplift someone’s spirit, then I am pleased.”

Stories that are deeply meaningful to Adams are the inspiration behind her paintings. 


In her recent series, “Waves,” Susan connects the feeling of her time on the Gulf of Mexico with the Pacific Ocean coast near Tamarindo, where she has lived for more than 25 years.


Amazed at how the vivid details of the water’s features and colors are so different — depending on the time of day — and how the surfaces change with the weather, wind and seasons, Adams paints her waves just like she would a portrait.  

First making her palette with rows of different shades of blues and greens, she begins her painting ritual. She starts with a red mark in the center of her canvas and begins to line up one area after the next. She finishes, while continuing her quest for the perfect wave, with the perfect light and texture.


Wildlife inspiration


After moving to her Tamarindo area home, Adams suddenly began to see a few macaws flying overhead.  


“I thought I must be crazy!” she recalls. “But after doing some quick research, I learned that there is a program in Pinilla and in another area of Guanacaste that is reintroducing them to this area, so “We’re Back” was created in honor of these majestic birds.”

During a trip to Savannah, Georgia, Susan was passing by numerous gift stores, dressmakers and millinery shops. Catching her eye was the window display of a hat shop. Loving all of the fabulous designs, Susan quickly became distressed when she saw the jaguar fur hat. “Jaguar at the Hat Shop,” shows the large cat coming for his revenge!

Adams’ techniques include stucco, gesso, acrylics, metallic paints and oils, and her images come to life on canvases and banana papers, among others. She was first featured in a January 2019 Howler article

You can see Susan’s permanent exhibit at the Hidden Garden Art Gallery, located five kilometers. west of the Daniel Oduber International Airport.


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