June 13, 2023 - Soporte Coral - Costa Rica
Finding the magic in artistic realism.
Chilean artist Antonia Reyes Montealegre embarks on her inaugural journey into Costa Rica’s diverse ecosystems as she joins Hotel Belmar’s Art Residency program. At this critical juncture in human history, where the clash between civilization and the natural world intensifies, Antonia finds herself at the forefront. Her intimate portrayals of biodiversity skillfully capture visible elements while delicately tracing the invisible threads of the unseen. Immersed in her surroundings, her art becomes a conduit, conveying the effects of rain, wind, and scents on her subjects. With Monteverde’s cloud forest as an alluring wonderland awaiting exploration, Antonia harnesses her artistic voice to draw attention to the interconnectedness, fragility, and inherent beauty of nature. Her creations serve as a resounding call to understand the political implications that either foster or hinder sustainability, and by extension, our own survival.
Antonia radiates the energy of an adventurer and the unbounded enthusiasm of a consummate artist who wholeheartedly embraces various forms of creative expression. From an early age, she painted and envisioned herself as a painter, paving the way for her artistic journey. As a young adult, she pursued a degree in fine art photography, delving into the realm of visual storytelling. However, during her final year of studies, she veered towards design, discovering her true passion in illustration—a field that offered a direct connection between art and education.
In 2015, while participating in a residency program in New York City, the fellow artists around her yearned to “find their voice.” It was at this moment that Antonia had a surprising and empowering realization—she had already discovered her artistic voice. This newfound awareness granted her the freedom to wholeheartedly pursue a career in naturalist illustration, allowing her to merge her love for art and her passion for the natural world.
Another epiphany unfolded in 2018 during Antonia’s journey to a botanical illustration course in London. A fortuitous stopover in Iceland granted her the opportunity to immerse herself in its extraordinary landscapes, volatile weather, and the enchanting dance of the aurora borealis. In that magical night, a profound sense of connection to the sky, planets, and the infinite cosmos stirred within her. Within the swirling lights, she discovered the vast extent of nature and an insatiable drive to explore the awe-inspiring wonders of our planet.
Throughout Antonia’s artistic evolution, her photography, videography, written word, and illustration have all been shaped by her deep immersion in the great outdoors. Whether diving into the depths of the ocean, hiking mountain peaks, soaring above a pod of majestic blue whales, or strolling amidst a waddle of penguins in Patagonia, each adventure has left an indelible mark on her artistry.
Starting as a naturalist illustrator has paved the way for a remarkable journey filled with daring exploits, each one punctuated by creative expression. Antonia’s keen eye interprets the captivating world of Monteverde’s hummingbirds, butterflies, flowers, and other magnificent specimens. We eagerly anticipate falling under the spell of her realistic art.
At Hotel Belmar, we strive to redefine travel as a vibrant canvas for artistic expression. We firmly believe that venturing into new lands serves as a catalyst for bold and imaginative creativity. Through the inspired strokes of color, we aim to ignite our guests’ passion for revitalizing nature and fostering a more sustainable world.
“Ecosystems offer boundless wellsprings of creative inspiration for a nature artist like myself. After years of exploring and capturing the essence of my homeland’s landscapes and wildlife in Chile, I eagerly anticipate the opportunity to immerse myself in different environments, embracing the challenge of encountering fresh visual stimuli. The allure of the tropics beckons me towards a realm teeming with vibrant colors, diverse species, and untold stories—an uncharted domain for my artistic and naturalist pursuits.
The mysteries concealed within Monteverde’s Cloud Forest awaken a profound sense of curiosity and wonder. As I contemplate this enchanting world, I find myself captivated by its hidden secrets. The forest entices me with its myriad non-human inhabitants, each with their own intricate tales interwoven into the tapestry of this unique corner of the Earth. From delicate mosses and elusive wild orchids to miniature frogs camouflaged within the foliage, and insects gracefully dancing to the rhythmic symphony of hummingbirds, the forest offers a multitude of sensory experiences.
I wish to seek out the beauty and poetry that lies veiled within Costa Rica’s fabled forests. Through my illustrations, I aspire to reveal the invisible world and bring it to life for others to behold. My intention is to awaken a sense of wonder and foster a deeper appreciation for nature’s hidden treasures.”
Antonia Reyes Montealegre is a naturalist illustrator and artist. Born and currently residing in the native Chile, she draws inspiration from her homeland’s rich biodiversity and picturesque landscapes. She skillfully weaves imagery with education, crafting captivating visual narratives through her artworks, workshops, and digital content. Driven by purpose, Antonia has embarked on global travels, seeking adventures and diverse sources of inspiration for her projects. Her ultimate goal is to inspire individuals to reevaluate their connection with nature and advocate for the preservation of wilderness across the globe. Since 2017, she has been sharing her knowledge and passion for illustration as a gateway to fostering appreciation for the natural world. Her teachings have reached an extensive audience of nearly 16,000 students from various corners of the globe.
Visit Antonia’s website and Instagram: