It wasn’t overnight that the feeling of wanting to drastically change my life surfaced, rather it had been a long time coming. Exhausted by mainstream media and constant bombardments of negative reinforcement on the news, I knew it was time for me make a big change, and I doubted that this was possible in the US. Knowing how much of a change in life I was looking for, I knew I needed to make an impactful move to make that a reality. Some call it gut instinct, some call it intuition, whatever it was, it called me to Costa Rica. So, I sold my house and bought a one-way ticket.
“If you hear a voice within you saying ‘you are not a painter’ then by all means paint and that voice will be silenced.”
– Vincent Van Gogh
Being that I am a Professional Artist (I gained my fame via funky pet portraits), and that I am also a passionate Animal Rights Activist, it is no surprise that I am also a vegan. To my astonishment when arriving in Costa Rica, I was amazed with the availability and variety of fruit everywhere, and year round! To help seal the deal, with my fate in Costa Rica, the clean air that revived me daily during and after brisk walks, and finding friendly people with only kindness in their hearts is what made me stay. In two years, I have yet to see the all too common road rager, street sweepers, or even a mailman in my neck of the jungle. Heck, I live on a street with no name, as do most of us here. And I don’t miss any of it, the traffic, the pollution, the junk mail, or any mail for that matter. It’s an incredible feeling when you step into something that you can connect with, deeply, and that resonates with your core being and values. Costa Rica is a place so beautiful, so alive, and filled with bountiful abundance, it is no wonder it is the place where I have found peace.
After two years of living in Costa Rica and wanting be become more self sustaining, as well as wanting to create a space where I can rescue animals, I slowly began looking at properties. And then it happened, I fell in love with a property that is authentically Costa Rica, complete with a river and small vivero! As an artist I have never been a fan of time, watches, clocks, or keeping track of dates, and now when friends or family come down to visit, the first thing I make them do is take off their shoes and watches. Take a walk in the grass barefoot and reconnect. And take off that watch that ties you to the clock. When someone asks what time it is, I am the first to say – “It’s right now!”. It is my hope that my guests who come, take back with them a piece of what I have found in Costa Rica. Pura vida!
About Julia McClurg
An East Coaster by birth, most of her adult life was spent in Denver, CO, where her Lulu Bella designs and chic pet portraits allowed her to bring her passion for animals to life. “It’s important to me that I catch the spirit of the subject I am painting. I enjoy being able to capture the essence and personality of each animal through their expression.” Her advice for the aspiring painter – paint, paint, and paint until something breaks through, and that is when you will find your signature style.