“Deep peace of the running wave to you.
Deep peace of the flowing air to you.
Deep peace of the quiet earth to you.
Deep peace of the shining stars to you.
Deep peace of the infinite peace to you.”
A Gaelic Blessing.
It is a liminal time. Alone with my thoughts and a well earned glass of wine, I straddle two weeks of this travel journaling workshop process.
It has been una semana mágica – a magical week, indeed.
Together we glimpsed enough of the city to capture our hearts and imaginations. Those new to this mystical city found themselves captivated by it, and those of us returning, renewed our love affair with color, light, a vibrant, smiling community of people of all walks along with rich history, sound and beauty.
A great deal of work was accomplished in our sketchbooks and within our eyes and minds which were opened to places previously untapped. Of course this was not possible without spending time out in the city itself. Walking, dining, shopping, meeting new friends, observing the comings and goings of people, light, color, tuk-tuks, motorbikes, vendors, joggers and fellow tourists.
We came to this trip not without our own troubles, this is to be sure. The world has some really hard stuff going on just now, and the hope was we might delve into the beauty here for a respite. A refill. In order that we might better serve others upon our return to regular life.
“Lovers find secret places inside this violent world where they make transactions with beauty.”
I wish the fellow artists of week one fair winds and following seas in their journeys back into their work-a-day lives. That they might bring some color, slowness, and beauty back home with them.
One of our kinds hosts here in Antigua is Hugo Espinoza, manager at Posada San Sebastián as well as a brilliant photographer. We commissioned him to give us a tour of his Antigua, the city he was raised in. He thankfully obliged.
Hugo, accompanied by his camera showed us around Antigua, complete with intoxicating samples at the local chocolate museum, glimpses into the back courtyards of some of the higher end hotels, meetings and greetings with local artisans….below is a glimpse….
And so the week flew along, at once fleeting and expansive. So much work. It is a wonder we hadn’t split ourselves into multiple selves to get it all accomplished. Such is always the case with these magical places, is it no.
All in all it was a tremendously successful week. And now I am part celebrating, part resting, part readying for week two which I am sure will find it’s own brand of Antigua magic.
It’s fun toward the end of the week to begin doing occasional “throw downs” where we all share our work. This can be intimidating of course, but with such a small tight knit group, sharing was fun and inspiring.
We all learn so much from one another. I simply provide a container of space and place in which to foster it all. Art doesn’t have to be a competition. We all begin some where, do we not?
There is a sacred quality to the creation of something which wasn’t there before. Even if it’s “just a sketch”. There is a special magic to spending time, real, slow time with a scene, a place, a person we find inspiring, and following the bones of it with our pens, pencils and paints.
It is this slowness in the travel experience which really shines in this process. I am deeply grateful to facilitate this amazing work in a small way here in Antigua, Guatemala. Dates are set for next year. Let me know if you are interested.