Archive for April, 2014

Tom Hoffmann workshop – already Thursday

April 4th, 2014 1 comment

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.

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.

Categories: plein aire, travel journal Tags:

Tom Hoffmann workshop, San Agustin

April 3rd, 2014 1 comment


On the fourth day of our workshop, Tom took us to Etla, a little town in the hills. They were having a mercado, where we snapped lots of pictures. The women in particular were very winsome, most of the older women had two long braids with ribbons braided into their hair and then connecting at the bottom (in a U shape). This kept their hair out of their work.
I had the opportunity to try a sapote, a tropical fruit that I have never seen in Seattle. A nice woman carrying a huge basket of them cut one in half just so that we can buy lots of different fruit to try. Imagine more than a dozen banana varieties!


In San Agustin, we painted inside of a courtyard in monochrome. Then as the day got long, we were outside of a church where the unique available (natural) light made this white church look both pink and blue depending on where you looked. I did my best to paint it, but I was pretty frustrated. Among other things, as the sun moved, the colors changed… very quickly.

Categories: plein aire Tags:

Tom Hoffmann Workshop – El Mercado

April 2nd, 2014 2 comments

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.
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.

Categories: landscapes, plein aire, travel journal Tags:

Tom Hoffmann workshop – arches and Jacarandas

April 1st, 2014 2 comments

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.

Categories: landscapes, travel journal Tags: