Tag Archives: antigua guatemala workshop

Birds of a Feather

It is early morning and we are greeted at the gate of a local nature preserve by staff most serious of purpose.

We purchase tickets into El Pilar, a well kept, multi-purpose bit of land and head off for a hike to see about seeing some birds….

Our gracious hosts are our friends Mari Gray and Leander Khil, who between them carry many labels such as designer, ornithologist, writer, photographer, artist and so much more.

They take us into the forest and invite us into their world where birds reveal themselves in ways previously unknown and we are delighted.

Mostly we see and hear birds alive and well.  Calling and chirping, flitting and flying.  Yet we also see signs of nature taking it’s course which gives us a way to study closer…

 

This is indeed a seemingly magical wood.  And I begin to wonder where we are in the world.

Up and up we climb, witnessing the world of the flying kind at their own level.

A glimpse of the valley below, and a cookie or two for our efforts, we marvel at the vista and rest a bit before heading back down where the birds have gone into hiding but there are still some interesting insects and flowers to behold.

We head into town for brunch where we revisit the names of all of the birds we saw this day.

Eventually gears must shift and we are back to the workshop scene where birds of another feather are gathering.

photo credit Julie Persons.

One by one, this upcoming week’s workshop participants arrive and are greeted with views of a volcanic realm where there is poetry hiding in the most unlikely places.

Like in the clouds…..

Or under a napkin holder on a silverware sleeve….

Days dawn bright and beautifully and some of us greet the sunrise with an early morning run up the hill for a view of the city….

These recent days have also given us surprise visits from some esteemed guests.

Claudia was here today for a photo shoot….

And she met her greatest fans...

photo credit Julie Persons

In between complicated scenes….

Mari stopped in to meet everyone today as well.  We are hoping she can finish her thesis this week and come to paint with us!

By evening, we are all getting to know one another and making plans for Day 1 of this week’s activities over dinner.

It’s been rich, and we haven’t really even begun.  Yet like birds of a feather, we have gathered to feel volcanic breezes ruffle our winter plumage.  Our sights are set on seeing the colors for what they are and exploring Antigua in the week ahead.

As the week gets started, I will be doing my best to update on the usual channels where I can, but my priority is, of course, being fully present for those who’ve come here to make art with me.  So I’ll catch up here when I can…. Til then…

 

 

 

 

Day two – Readying

A busy day of many good things workshop related – errands run, lists checked and re-checked, details double checked, last minute messages sent, plans solidified.  I am so grateful for the people who make this work not only possible, but gratifying and fun as well.

In which Rosemary and Hugo are asked to “look serious” for the “we are working very hard” instagram photo.

Though we managed to get so much done……….(swag packages readied? check!)

…. we also managed a little shopping, some lovely meals, and even a few hours sketching at a local ruin.

The mixing of work and play, art and vocation, self care and the tending to a job to be done.  All of it a beautiful balance.  Feeling the magic of Antigua seeping into my bones as we settle in for what will be two wonderful weeks of art-making with amazing people.

Who knows?  There may even be a guest appearance here and there by some special non-workshop friends…..

First night

A smooth day’s travel via winged chariots hailing from north and west and of course my little Ohio River Valley.  A few of us are landed, in our physical bodies at least, if not fully and completely just yet.

Antigua is mostly quiet, especially compared to years past when Easter time was nigh.  The breezes are warm, two of us here are from cold climes.  We are beginning to thaw.

These past weeks of grief and loss have been wearying, this is certain.  Traveling finds me weary at the end of an uneventful but rather long day as well.  But I am grateful for the thawing.  Grateful for this work which brings me to such beautiful places in the world.

Tomorrow is a fresh day.  With camera and sketching gear in hand, I’ll head into town to warm up the image making muscles with my fellow artists.

For now, it is time to rest.

 

And just like that

SOLD!!!!!!!!

At the beginning of this month, I alerted a few eager early birds that I was about to embark on registration for the Taos 2020 Travel Sketch class at Mabel Dodge Luhan’s.  Then just last week I opened up registration to anyone interested.  After a flurry-filled week of inquiries and emails, text messages and notes back and forth with old and new participants alike, I am pleased to say, the workshop is sold out!!  This is the earliest this phenomenon has ever occurred and I am thrilled.  Thrilled that this work speaks to so many, thrilled to be heading back to Taos next summer with a full roster of fellow artists – both seasoned and newly learning their craft.

I am simply over the moon!!

This sketchbook volume is about to come to an end. It’s been widely traveled and greatly loved.

June 2020 is in some ways, quite far off, but it comes around faster than one might expect and I’ll be ready with exciting new things to try in our sketchbooks by then.  I am already looking forward.  If you missed the call for this workshop, you still have some options.  First, reach out to me and get on the waiting list.  Plans can sometimes change for people unexpectedly which occasionally might open up a slot for someone else.  I am contemplating adding a slot or two extra but need to contemplate this and talk it over with my trusted advisors and the team at Mabel’s.  Those on the wait list would be the first to know if anything opens up for any reason.

Mabel welcomes you!!

You can also join me in Guatemala in early spring.  Details on dates and costs can be found here.  I have limited space in each of the two weeks being offered there and I believe it is only a matter of time before this trip too is sold out.  Antigua, Guatemala is a gorgeous, quite cosmopolitan city which carries color and beauty and an ancient magic all its own.  It is the perfect way to warm up during the depths of winter!  So consider this option perhaps.

Other teaching outings are in the works for California next spring, generally the Bay Area and environs, so if you are local to there, reach out to me and I’ll put you on that mailing list.  Right now we are looking at the first weekend in May and possibly some other dates around that time and in that general vicinity to make it that much more worth a trip to the Left Coast.

And so now, I get back to the making of things.   Back to tending the craft that allows me to teach these workshops in the first place.  I can smell an autumnal journey on the winds about which I am very excited.  I’ll be sure and write from the road.

This little guy was created for the Gulf Coast Cruinniú, a musical weekend in Houston full of workshops and performances which should be a lot of fun for all!

As always, consider getting on the mailing list to get all of the latest news from here.  Social media can be a lot of fun but those pesky algorithms do keep us hustling to get the work into the world.

Till next time…..