June 21, 2019
We love nothing more than finding a guest that loves sloths as much as we do. So, when we met Dee Jay Sturrock and found out that not only is he obsessed with sloths, but he is also a wildlife artist, we knew we were in for a treat!
Dee Jay has visited Costa Rica many times in hopes of seeing a sloth in the wild and he was delighted when he learned of Tulemar and the Sloth Institute of Costa Rica. Dee Jay was so excited to show off all his sloth knowledge on the Sloth Walk. It was then that he fell in love with The Sloth Institute’s very own “Destiny”.
Destiny had made her home right outside where Dee Jay was staying at Villa Mot Mot. Every day, Dee Jay made a point to try and spot Destiny, and quickly he became inspired to create a painting of her.
We asked Dee Jay about this experience, and this is what he said:
Hi! My name is Deejay(Darren James) Sturrock. I have loved(been obsessed with) Sloths for as long as I can remember.It was my absolute dream to see some in the wild, and couldn’t wait for my first visit to Costa Rica. I went home disappointed though, after doing three tours that week I had seen zero Sloths. On our families second trip, we decided to spend the week in Manuel Antonio, to guarantee some form of contact with some. While I spotted two in the national park with the help of our guide, they were really high up in the canopy and sleeping. I could barely get a glimpse of a fur ball in my zoom lens. My life changed on my third trip, when I discovered The Tulemar Sloth Institute. I was so excited the first time I visited! Tulemar exceeded my wildest expectations.Our first day, we took the Sloth walk. That was when we met Destiny. She was “living” in one of the smaller Royal palms not far from our room at the Villa Motmot. It was instant love. For our weeks stay it became a constant daily activity to “find” our little Destiny. If we couldnt find her, one of the helpful volunteers would give us a hand, as she was under 24hr supervision. I was fortunate enough to catch a few moments with her while she was active, and was super happy when I saw I got some decent pictures of her to use as reference. As a wildlife artist, I couldn’t resist painting her.My focus in art has always been orchids. My wife and I have been hobbyist Orchid growers for over twenty years. One of the things we love most about Costa Rica is the amount of orchids you can find clinging to the trees everywhere you go. We certainly don’t have that here in Canada! There are huge clumps of Epidendrum orchids in bloom on the big tree at the restaurant, so thats where I decided to painted Destiny.After our second trip to Tulemar, I have more great memories of another week in paradise. It has become more than just a vacation, it was like going to visit family. I cant get over how absolutely amazing everyone at Tulemar is. Sloth-wise, Pocahontas and Simon were the stars this time, almost within reach low in the branches and posing for the paparazzi (me). I have only been back home a few days and am already so inspired to start my next piece!I paint watercolour on paper, 22 x30”- when I am not busy tattooing at my tattoo shop/art studio in Montreal, Quebec. “Destiny” took me roughly four months to paint, or around eighty hours. I loved every second of it.Thank you Tulemar, hope to come home soon!DeejayFacebook @tatouageblackorchidInstagram @deejaysart
Thank you, Dee Jay, for the loyalty, enthusiasm, and the amazing painting! We can’t wait until we see you again.