Friday, October 30, 2015

San Miguel de Allende

John and I left on the 9th to join our friends in San Miguel; from our damp and darkened home in the Pacific Northwest to sunny Mexico.

Katie Kendrick was waiting there, we were both ready to teach and play for a week with a group of women who would quickly become fast friends and confidantes. It is magic what happens at these retreats. Making art projects is only part of it. There is a camaraderie, food, celebrations, connection. Community. It's phenomenal.

 Lost in our private worlds. In flow. Blissful. That's how the days pass. And then we eat!

Kathie Vezzani and Ane Elena take such good care of us. They know the in's and out's. Where to eat. What's happening in town.

One unexpected surprise for me was how much I loved and was inspired by the mojigangas. Paper mache. That we got to paint and decorate. I learned a new recipe for paper mache that will make it much stronger than what I used in the past. Bug resistent. Now I can't wait to try it.

We got to work in the sun. Wear our summer clothes. 

We got to have two cooking lessons. Michael Coon had us in his home where he teaches cooking classes. Gosh he fed us course after course of food; I finally had to throw in the towel before the dessert came. It was so delicious we couldn't stop eating.

We had a bumpy ride out to Pozos and learned about the history of silver mining in the region; got to see the desert and meet an old miner there, the last of his kind.

On our last night we visited the home of Paco Cardenas who prepared us a 4 course meal with paired wines and showed us how to make the dessert; chocolate on chocolate - swoon!

Here he is showing us the dessert.

A delightful chef who owns a bakery and coffee shop in town.

He had a special treat for two of our attendees who had Birthdays; a beautiful cake that we shared on top of the meal!! What a night that was.

This shot was taken at the rooftop of the Rosewood Hotel; stunning views of the sunset and the entire city.

Friendships forged. Kathy lives in my town and I didn't even know her. We have a play date planned.

Of course the city is full of amazing art. We visited numerous galleries and got lots of inspiration.

These are some of our finished projects. Floorcloths in one of my classes. 

Soft spirit dolls in one of Katie's classes.

All while San Miguel smiled on us.

Katie's second class was cardboard books (I'll try to show you mine in the next post) and my second class was gum arabic printmaking.

After my art people left John and I stayed on an extra week with friends who live in the city.

They made us welcome with nightly meals, toasty fires when the weather turned cool (hurricane Patricia, remember?) and introduced me to this painter.

His name is Joaquin Pineiro and I fell in love with his work. 

He invited me to work with him on a large painting. I was thrilled. We painted all day.

His media included enamel paint, cement, milk paint, wax, gasoline, paint thinner, oil paint, pigment, blanco de espana, fire to melt the wax and set the combustibles on fire and more. It was revolutionary.

I came home and started a canvas with some of his less combustible media. This is what it looks like now and I intend to do a 2nd panel to add to it. I'll show you as soon as I can; our family is preparing to head out for another get-away so I made not get to it for awhile.

Thank you for visiting. Life is sweet when it is not terrifying or sad. I try to make the most of the good times, knowing nothing gold can stay. Art keeps me alive. It is my lifeline and my connection to spirit. I know how lucky I am. I want everyone to be well, content, at peace. Namaste.