In 1989 and 1990, I obtained field permits to work at ‘Finca La Selva,’ an Organization for Tropical Studies field station located in the Costa Rican rainforest. My work in 1989, focused on cryptic coloration in the understory of the rainforest. I followed a team studying the prey/predator relationships of pitvipers. In 1990, I followed a botanical team studying the light/gap dynamics in the Marantaceae family.
My field drawings and research informed the art installation: “Finca La Selva,” a tropical rainforest installation that depicted species at risk, ecosystem relationships, and field research by scientists from Washington University and the Missouri Botanic Garden.
Each of these pieces is part of my experience in Costa Rica. For instance, Corytophanes Cristatus is an amazing memory of a night in the field station. Several of the field station workmen showed up at my work table, where I was drawing. One young man reached into his raincoat pocket and pulled out an amazing corytophanes cristatus and asked me to draw him. I stayed up late and this little lizard climbed all over the wall, staring directly at me. In this drawing I tried to capture his intense stare, athletic movements and complex structure.