San José, Costa Rica, since 1956

Austrian Artist Exhibits Paintings in Santa Ana

Colores fuertes – strong colors – are words Renate Bale uses to describe her paintings, which are semi-recognizable forms she creates in Costa Rica of Austrian and Caribbean influences.

Several of her oil paintings are on display through Dec. 15 in Santa Ana’s Hotel Marañón, southwest of the capital, and others will be exhibited starting Nov. 15 for one month at the Hotel Posada del Museo in downtown San José.

Most of her two-dimensional work is quite two-dimensional; curved lines separate primary colors both dark and bright that often hint at waves, plants, feminine forms and faces. Besides oil paintings, which she started making in 1998, Bale works in silk painting, ceramics, clay sculpture and ink drawings.

Her work is notable, says Lilly Edgerton of the Canadian Embassy in Costa Rica, as Bale “comes from a place where this color palate isn’t so common… She’s taken on a tropical color.”

Bale, born in Austria in 1962, has lived in Costa Rica for 12 years and has two children. She is self-taught, and has strong appreciation for Austrian painters Gustav Klimt (1862-1918) and Friedensreich Hundertwasser (1928-2000); Bale claims their influence in her colors, her “free” lines and her combination of abstract shapes with discernible figures. To see more of Bale’s art, visit her Web site at


Comments are closed.