Half Full or Half Empty? Day of the Dead Workshop in Oaxaca, Oct 25-Nov 3, 2016

dad_collage copy
                collage for my father

Half Full or Half Empty?

Day of the Dead Workshop in Oaxaca. October 25 – November 3, 2016

I’m thinking half full, because I am an optimist, but it all depends on your perspective. You may know that I’m giving a workshop in Oaxaca in the fall. There are 12 slots, and 6 are full. The workshop is based around The Day of the Dead, which is a time of great celebration in Mexico. It is also a time of great significance for me. It is around that time in 2001 that I became enchanted with encaustic, a medium which has been at the center of my artistic life since then. My current enchantment focuses on telling the stories of the people in my life, and how they have influenced and impacted me. For many years now my question has been, “Does wax make it better?” For this project it seems like wax won’t make it better, so I’m opting for telling these stories in other ways. Mixed-media is the vehicle for this workshop, along with story-telling, which can be oral and/or written, however you are inclined.

My current focus is honoring those in my life who are still with me or have gone to heaven (or wherever people go for their next phase). My process is to simply tell my story of them with an accompanying photo or altered photo. Sometimes my tribute to the person uses a material that was important to them. I might build a totem, sculpture, altar, sewn piece, or construct an object to honor them. I am working on a book right now. For an example see below, for the image and story about Janette.

I hope you will join me for this new-for-me, first-of-its-kind-workshop. Those of you who have taken workshops from me usually give me the “ka-ching” on day one, and say they have already gotten their money’s worth in the first few hours! Some of you know that Kathie Vezzani is such a pro at providing sacred spaces and special places for workshops, along with coordinating activities that enhance the experience. See her testimonials page here:

So I invite you to make this workshop full.  The registration concludes in June! Oaxaca is not only full of many art wonders, but it is the mole capital of the world. Just imagine If you are an artist and a foodie! You will SO be in the right place! Oh, and don’t forget there’s a spa. For a full description, daily activity menu and  and registration information, click here. What are you waiting for?

Here is a sample from the book I’m working on, telling the stories of people in my life.

IMG_5892 copyI met Janette in Australia in 2011, while teaching an encaustic class for Textile Artists. It was love at first sight. I loved her larger-than-life personality, hearty laugh, and the gorgeousness of her rainbow-hued, often hand-made outfits.  Everything about her screamed “ARTIST”. When Kim and I returned to Australia in 2014, Janette invited us to stay at her home in Melbourne. We had way too much fun together. She showed us all around her ‘hood, and took us from shop to shop to get our teaching accoutrements in order for Melbourne. We found out that she had a love of Irish Whiskey, so we brought her home a bottle, and enjoyed some of its deliciousness with her one evening. She told us the most hilarious tales of her life, like singing opera in London, and marrying later in life to a Vicar. They spent 10 lovely years together and, sadly, he passed away. She started answering the phone (to certain friends via caller ID) “Vicca’s Widdah”. On this whiskey-soaked evening Janette sat down at her grand piano and started playing and belting out operatic arias. We had goose-pimples as she revealed her immensely beautiful and powerful voice. The experience of her gift was something that I will never forget, and will always cherish. Janette has so many gifts and talents, and is the most generous and playful friend. What a lucky person am I to know her! Here she sits with her lime green iPad in her beautiful red leather chair, in her colorful home.

In addition to the week long workshop, here is what the trip includes:

• 10 nights at Casa Las Bugambilias

• breakfasts and lunch beautifully and organically made for us by the staff of Bugambilia’s (there will be one lunch and one dinner on your own)

•  welcome reception & fiesta

• visit to local cemetery

• special Day of the Dead performances

• visit to markets

• cooking class with specific dishes for Day of the Dead

• walking tour

• visit to museums

• free time to explore

• farewell dinner at Origen with a menu chosen just for us

• visits to local artisans

• a new art tribe

I hope you will join me for the fabulous experience! For more lots more info, a day by day description and registration.