The Graduation of Doctor Boothby

thegraduationIt was a lot of fun to attend the graduation ceremony at Simon Fraser University in Burnaby, Canada. A very close family member graduated with a PhD in Mathematics, the first PhD in my family. So many deceased relatives had to have been there, thrilled and cheering to see this happening.
Since it was in Canada, there were people wearing kilts playing bagpipe music and we all sang “O Canada”. The regalia donned by the graduates was interesting, the PhD students got to wear fancy de Medici hats, fresh out of medieval times.

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In Georgia O’Keeffe’s shadow – Pedernal

pedernal
I had the opportunity to sit and paint surrounded by the landscape that Georgia O’Keeffe loved, at her Ghost Ranch. We sat under a big tree in Adirondack chairs and the mesas lay in front of me, clothed in brilliant light and shadows. The clouds all by themselves were an incredible show. This mesa is called Pedernal.
This painting is not for sale.

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Tom Hoffmann workshop – already Thursday

palmtreesTime flies when you’re on vacation. Especially when you are painting all day. There was so much to see, so many beautiful corners of Oaxaca and its surrounding that Tom showed us. Tom Hoffmann leads several workshops every year. I wish I could do more of his workshops!
On Thursday morning, we walked to a church yard, Soledad Basilica. To the strains of harmonica music; and later, a wonderful chorale from inside the church, we sat in the shade and painted. We learned how to paint palm trees without making them fussy. And we attempted to paint mountains in the distance. This clearly was going to take more practice from me. But we made pretty pictures.
twowarriors

After siesta, we went to the Rufino Tamayo museum where ancient statues were preserved from the Inca, Tolmec and Zapotec cultures. Tom told us to paint them. This was really fun! It was hard for me to choose just two of them to show you.

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Tom Hoffmann Workshop – El Mercado

mercadosanchezpasqua
On Tuesday morning of the Tom Hoffmann Oaxaca Workshop, we got up early and headed up the hill, in a direction we’d never gone. Our landmark was a tree. We found a Mercado easily enough, and the sign even said “Mercado Sanchez Perez” but when we asked people where it was, they all pointed in other directions. Finally, after almost a half hour of waiting around, Tom rescued us, we’d found the right Mercado, but the wrong tree. The rest of the class was waiting for us near a different tree. The subject of the lesson once again was simplification. Tom painted a wonderful demo of three pots full of flowers. He painted the entire picture in light blue and while the paint was still wet, he dabbed other colors all into it. So of course, we all tried to do the same, with varying results.
day3fountain
When it started getting close to lunch time, Tom led us to a park, where we found a street vendor who made the best chili relleno any of us had ever had. We sat there in the park facing a fountain. One of the students wondered how you painted a fountain. And we were off. I watched as Tom experimented with ways of making water look like… water! I decided to join the fun and painted the fountain too.

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Tom Hoffmann workshop – arches and Jacarandas

day2archOn the third day of Tom Hoffmann‘s workshop, we rented a van and headed out to Cuilapam. This is an abandoned monastery, which is now an archaeology site. It was an impressive place, with lots of columns, arches and jacaranda trees covered with lavender flowers.
I did painting after painting of arches. Tom told us to simplify, which is hard to do, but I did, but even the arches had arches in them! The scene was amazingly complex. Slowly we learned to think in bigger chunks and shapes.
twothree At the end of the day, I sneaked off and painted a tree.

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