Friday, September 5, 2008

Plein Air oil Painting Workshop in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico

I am now ready to register participants in my March '09 Workshop.
March 9th through 13th, will be the dates for the five day plein air landscape painting workshop in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico.

Photo Frank Gardner © 2008

There will probably be one other 5 day workshop scheduled for Feb or March, but I am not ready to set dates for that just yet.
I want to go ahead and start registering participants for this first class, since I know that a lot of you like to plan a trip of this sort well in advance, and there are already some people that are ready to sign up. I will announce dates for a possible second week toward the beginning of October.

Photo Frank Gardner © 2008

In the workshop my emphasis is on trying to help everyone advance to their next level.

A strong and simple value pattern is key to a successful painting, we will work on getting values correct from the start and keeping them clear throughout the painting process.
We will work on seeing color and value then mixing color using a limited palette.
Premixing colors on your palette, and choosing the best design for your composition are a few of the things that we will focus on in this workshop.
An emphasis will be on getting a strong start to your painting so you don't need to waste time reworking the design later. Accurate color mixing is key to capturing the mood of a location.
I will do several demos, but the majority of the time will be for painting and individual guidance. There will be some quick painting exercises as well as time for longer painting sessions.
I feel that a strong start is the key a successful plein air painting and we will focus a lot on "starts" as well as how to bring a good start to the desired finish.

Photo Frank Gardner © 2008

The cost of the 2009 workshop will be $530.USD.
Included in cost:
DAILY TRANSPORTATION to and from the painting sites.
Any FEES needed for entrance to locations.

Each day we will be treated to a delicious meal prepared just for us by the owners of the beautiful properties where we will be painting. Past participants have always been very satisfied with what our hosts prepare for us.
The painting locations are on private property and there are always bathroom facilities available.

The painting day generally works out like this:
Pick up is around 9:30 A.M. for transportation to that days painting location.
There is either a quick demonstration or talk about the days goals and then everyone gets painting while I give one on one attention.
Break for lunch is usually around 1:30 or 2:00 P.M. depending on our painting progress.
The break for lunch lasts about 45 minutes to 1 hour.
Then everyone gets back to painting for the rest of the afternoon until around 5:00 P.M. when we will be transported back to town.

Photo Frank Gardner © 2008

This workshop focuses on landscape painting. However there are lots of painting opportunities in town as well, and you might want to consider spending a few extra days in San Miguel to explore what the town has to offer.
San Miguel has many lodging possibilities. There are many fine hotels, B&B's, apartments or houses to rent. Everyone will be responsible for their own lodging and transportation to and from San Miguel de Allende. The closest airport is in Leon, (airport code BJX), about and hour and a half ride from town. I can recommend a transportation service to shuttle you to and from the airport. Mexico City is about four hours from San Miguel by bus.

This workshop is for oil painters only. All levels are welcome, but you SHOULD HAVE SOME EXPERIENCE PAINTING ON LOCATION.
If you are interested, email me at with any questions or to receive the materials list.
The class size is limited to 9 or 10 participants for lots of personal attention.
For info on San Miguel and lodging visit
If you would like other lodging options or have any questions, email me at

Please do not finalize any travel plans or lodging until you have confirmed with me that there is space available in the class.
A $200. USD deposit is required to hold your spot in the class. I will give you information on how to send a check to me once availability for your participation is confirmed. The deposit is fully refundable up to one month before the start of the workshop.

Photo Frank Gardner © 2008


Anonymous said...

Oh, that sounds glorious. If only I were a painter.......all you painters out there, get on board, y'hear???!!!

: )


Frank Gardner said...

It would be fun just to have you around Solveg.

Marian Fortunati said...

I am SOOOOOOOO wanting to come. Let me check with my husband and the schedule...
I'll get back to you very soon.

Anonymous said...

A very alluring prospect and I'm sure your fan club is checking their collective datebooks. ( sheesh, do people even USE datebooks anymore?)

Your description of the workshop really demonstrates your method and gives me a good idea of what might be happening in another part of the globe, maybe... sometime.....

The pictures are great- that horse ( not burro, right ?) the light, the shadows, looks like a dream event for those lucky artists who'll be there.

Frank Gardner said...

Hi Marian. That would be great if you could come. I'd love to have you in the group.

Frank Gardner said...

Bonnie, what is a date book? I prefer scraps of paper that are stuffed around and lost all over the house.

Anything is possible.

Yes, horses in those photos. :o)

Anonymous said...

Hi Frank, Thanks, looks good down in San Miguel. See you next week in Maine - it's going to be great!


Michael said...

Frank, you have done an excellent job of explaining the value of a workshop as well as the attractions of San Miguel.

I host plein air, and other, workshops on the Greek island of Paros. You inspired me to get busy and update my site for next year.


Frank Gardner said...

Hi Eric.
Yes, lots to paint here.
See you soon.

Frank Gardner said...

Hi Michael, Thanks.
Paros looks like a great place to live. I hope to visit Greece one day.
Best of luck with your workshops.

Anonymous said...

Wow! This sounds like a really awesome workshop to take. I'm interested in it and I don't even paint. Perhaps, I'll start taking some art lessons and will be ready for your next workshop. Yup! I like the sound of that. ;-)


Frank Gardner said...

Hi Paz. You could shoot lots of photos and I know you would like the food :o)

Anonymous said...

LOL! I really like that idea. Yes, I know I'd LOVE the food. Hmmm...

Paz ;-)

Frank Gardner said...

Well, I wouldn't be able to charge you for the painting part of it.

Alicia PadrĂ³n said...

Wow this sounds awesome Frank!! What a great opportunity! Well now I just wish I were an oil painter.... :o( I think I'll just have to daydream about it.. ;o)

I'll help spread the word on my blog my friend :o)

Frank Gardner said...

I wish you were an oil painter too Alicia. I know you would have a great time here.

Rhonda Hartis Smith said...

This does sound like a good workshop and my passport is still good, it's been a couple of years since I've painted plein air I'm sorry to say! I really enjoy it.
Does Southwest fly to Mexico City?


Frank Gardner said...

Hi Rhonda.
I don't think that South West goes international.
I know that Continental and American fly to Leon, which is closer and a smaller airport. Maybe Delta still does too.
Airport code BJX.

Mary Sheehan Winn said...

I can't do this March as I booked a workshop in Jacksonville with Carol Marine, please put me on the workshop emailing list if you do one, Frank.
It sounds great and I would love to see San Miguel.

Frank Gardner said...

Well Mary, a workshop with Carol Marine is a good alternative. She can sure paint and is a real nice person as well.
I may end up with one in Feb. '09.
There are a few people interested that will only be here in Feb.
I'd be glad to put you on the update list.