An Invitation to an Amazing Oaxacan Adventure

Monday, December 4, 2017

Our Upcoming Oaxaca Art Making Tour

We are delighted to welcome you to our 

April 2018 Oaxacan Art Making Tour

and hoping you'll join us!

10 Days and 9 nights making art in an inspiring setting with a like minded group of art loving women!  (men welcome too, although it always is women who sign up)

What makes this tour special:  A small group (max 10), a focus on art and art making in one of the culturally richest areas of Mexico, an opportunity to study closely with Rogene and learn her  techniques, chances to have private visits with sculptors, painters, and printmakers in their home studios, spectacular meals at some of Oaxaca's best restaurants (seriously we take food very seriously and eat super well), plus an unusual, inspiring, soulful, and art-filled home away from home to make art, enjoy Oaxacan cooking, socialize, have fun, and rejuvenate. This year our art making will take inspiration from the rich textile traditions of Oaxaca. We'll make saint cards, prayer flags, and dolls. The itinerary is as follows and subject to change based upon changing circumstances, whims, and opportunities that might arise.

Friday April 6 - We'll gather at the Casa in the evening for a light meal and have a chance to get acquainted with each other and our lovely lodgings.

Saturday April 7th- Art making all morning. Typically we'll have studio time from 9:30 to 1:30.   followed by  lunch at the Casa and then head into town mid afternoon.  We'll visit the Beber Jimenez Museum, our favorite artisan co-op, and hopefully, Sr Sosa, an artisan tin worker will have his studio open. Welcome Dinner in Town

Sunday April 8th- Art making in the morning, where we'll continue to refine our projects. Late Brunch at La Catedral. Afternoon visits to San Pablo Cultural Center and the Textile Museum. Plus a spin around the zocalo.  Dinner at the Casa

Monday April 9th - Our morning art practice takes us into creating our own personal saint/guardian angel/goddess using  mixed media techniques.  Shopping in the afternoon for ribbon and fabric for our  projects plus visits to the 20 November Market, The Hall of Smoke, the chocolate grinders, our favorite huipile store and artisan market.  Dinner at the Casa.

Tuesday April 10th -  We'll continue working on our art projects  followed by a nourishing lunch at the Casa.  Out of town afternoon outing to the San Augustin Cultural Center and nearby paper making factory.  Dinner at El Criollo, IMO, one of Oaxaca's bests plus just a block from the Casa.

Wednesday April 11th - Today we'll switch it up and take the morning off from art making to get outside of the city and visit Huayapam and the home of the artist Jean Foss.  Jean grew up in Eugene but has been living and working in Oaxaca since 2001. She is primarily a painter and her husband Chucho works in paper mache, sometimes building big puppets.  A traditional lunch in Huayapam prepared especially for us featuring prehispanic drinks and four kinds of tamales. Free evening and dinner at the Casa should you choose.  

Thursday April 12th - More art making in the morning. Lunch at the Casa.  Afternoon visit to the Rufino Tamayo Museum ( a little 5 room Jewel box of a museum), printmaking collectives and the home studio of painter and sculptor Humberto Bautista.  Dinner at El Destilado.

Friday April 13th  - This is one of my favorite days on the tour where we'll visit the Ocotlan market where you'll find all manner of country folk selling everything from food to straw hats to homemade machetes. The Mexican markets are unforgettable.  We'll follow this up with a visit to the home of famous Oaxacan painter Rodolfo Morales. Last year we were super lucky to actually be able to go into his painting room where he painted until the day he died and all the brushes and canvases have been left in place. Very special. Then an awesome lunch and an afternoon of visiting weavers and carvers. This is one of my favorite days on the tour.  Evening in the Casa finds us having a show and tell of our work from the past week.

Saturday April 14th - packing up the studio and getting ready to go, plus a free day to enjoy at your leisure.  We can arrange a trip to Mt Alban, massage, cooking class or whatever suits your fancy. We have a final farewell outdoor fiesta on the grounds at the Casa. Always an awesome party!

Sunday April 15th - We'll arrange transportation to the airport and send you off with a big Embrazo. 

To find out more about Rogene and her special brand of artwork and teaching click here. 
To find out more about past trips to Oaxaca, art making and otherwise, click here.
This will be my 7th tour and I am not exaggerating when I say they keep getting better and better.

This tour runs April 6th to 15th
 Cost is $2,195 
Includes lodging in a shared room, all meals, transportation to and from the airport, plus in 
and around Oaxaca, all art instruction, most materials, tour admission fees and guide fees.
Basically all your expenses are covered except your airfare, your alchohol, your shopping purchases and optional tipping for the guides and hotel staff.
Optional single supplement is an additional $395  If your spouse or partner wants to come but doesn't want to do the studio art instruction piece deduct $295.

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

El Tremor in Oaxaca

Thank goodness for the internet, for social media, for all those thousand and one ways that we can stay in touch with one another and know that people are OK or people need help and that we can reach out and support them in the midst of natural disasters.  I mean it's been flood in Houston and fires here at home in the Pacific Northwest and now an earthquake off the coast of Southern Mexico.
Well not any old earthquake, the biggest one in 100 years.

I remember reading (I think maybe in Diana Kennedy's tome on Oaxacan cooking) that  in Oaxaca people believe in an animating force that makes our heart beat, that makes the foam froth on the tejate, and that makes the earth tremble. Earthquake -  they call it terremoto in Spanish, the earth that moves or el tremor, the little trembling. Thankfully most everyone I know in Oaxaca (with one nagging little exception whom I have not heard from) is OK. I think this is code for we are fine physically and our homes are intact (but maybe we just went through something literally earth shattering and are a little freaked out). My friend Jane Robison said she never felt anything quite like it in her 25 years of living in Oaxaca. So there's that. Plus over 1,000 aftershocks since Thursday.

Hardest hit was the city of Juchitan down in the Isthmus of Tehuantepec, famous for it's floral embroidery, it's muxes, it's wind farms and more. Thousands without electricity and a thousand homes destroyed plus lots of damage to schools and churches.  The artist Francisco Toledo has set up a donation fund to help Juchitan. Click here to find out what you can do to help. Our thoughts are with the people of Oaxaca.

(top photo from ruins of Mitla bottom photo weaving by the artist Annie Albers)

I'm Giving a little Talk

Very much looking forward to giving a slideshow on Textile Traditions of Southern Mexico in conjunction with Lane Arts Fiesta Cultural.  The Fiesta is a three month extravaganza celebrating Latin Culture in Eugene. And some exciting things are happening - besides great music, dance, and arts  -  Maria Hinojosa, host of radio show Latino USA  is at U of O on October 5 talking about "We the People" and the incredibly brave 'undocumented' author and filmmaker Jose Antonio Vargas is speaking at U of O October 24. Click here for a more complete link to The Fiesta Cultural offerings.

In between those two powerhouses, on Tuesday October 17th at 7 pm,  I'm doing a little slideshow over at Lincoln Gallery (at 4th & Lincoln) about the various weavers I have encountered in my travels through Oaxaca and Chiapas. Super psyched as it was a great opportunity to gather my  photos and videos from 8 different trips all into one place. And also to gather my thoughts about what I have learned.

I am by no means an expert on textiles or Oaxaca & Chiapas  but I have seen a few things that have moved me to share.  I am hoping those of you who have traveled here, those of you who love textiles, those of you who weave and those of you want to learn more about our neighbor to the south will come. Wear your favorite piece of clothing! Some food, some drink, some merriment, and a little show and tell are also on the agenda.

Sunday, July 2, 2017

The Church at Teotitlan

The church in Teotitlan de Valle is one of my favorites.  It's a a very active church and there's always something going on. 

Flowering Cacti

Sometimes I get a little claustrophobic in those tiny rooms at Mitla so I let Pablo go inside the ruins with the group and amaze them with descriptions of the acoustic, architectural, and optical illusions that the Mixtec builders created.  And, for the record, describing the palaces at Mitla as ruins might be a little misleading as they are remarkably intact. 

 Meanwhile, I draw or take pics of cactuses.  These photos are from September and lots of the cacti were flowering. Enjoy.

Monday, June 26, 2017

Why go to Oaxaca?

Everyone seems to have their own muse calling them to Oaxaca. Some go for the mezcal, actually many go for the mezcal.  Others are searching out the magic mushrooms of Maria Sabina or a smoky hot chili found only in the northern hills.  Some go for yoga and surfing and the sun.  Some are grieving and want to know more about this land where the dead come back every year.   And there are those who go to eat or dance or make art or buy art.  Others find themselves scouring the mountain vistas in search of something ancient and authentic.

Old ways and new ways, tourists and locals all seem to be immersed in one constant dance known as Oaxaca. Whatever calls you,, I urge you to follow the voice. I'm just now finalizing dates for a 2018 tour in the fall and would love to have you join me.  Email me at and I'll put you on the mailing list to let you know details as they arise.

Where to Eat in Oaxaca

Here's a link to a fun article about the restaurant scene in Oaxaca - People were raving about the restaurant El Destilado last time I was there. It's definitely on the must go to list.  Ah Oaxaca, so many restaurants, so little time.