Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Frank Gardner Painting Workshop in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico. March 2012

Evening view over San Miguel.
Image Frank Gardner ©

Dates are set for my 2012 plein air painting workshop in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico.
March 10-16
Class size 8 -12 people

Being a resident of San Miguel for over 20 years I'm always excited to offer my Mexico workshops each winter.
This one is going to be my best yet.
March is one of the best months for visiting. The weather is almost always perfect for painting. Warm sunny days of around 75F and cool nights about 50F. Located in the mountains of Central Mexico, San Miguel de Allende is rich in history and colonial architecture.

One of my classes painting a landscape.
Image Frank Gardner ©

For this years class I am arranging a very special week. Approximately half of the week will be spent painting on the streets of San Miguel, or around the mansion where the group will be based. The rest of the time we will head out of town, to nearby private ranches, where we'll paint landscape and or rustic old chapels and buildings. As special guests we'll paint comfortably all day and be treated to full gourmet lunches by our hosts. We'll return to town around 5:30 on those days. There will be plenty of time in the evenings for exploring the historic center of San Miguel or relaxing on the rooftop terrace of the mansion where you'll be staying.

Lodging will be provided at a luxurious historic mansion in the center of San Miguel de Allende. Located less than two blocks from the Jardin on Calle San Francisco, its ideal location puts you exactly where you want to be to experience the most San Miguel has to offer.

With 4 bedroom suites with full baths, two standard bedrooms, a grand dining room featuring 20 foot vaulted ceilings, and a full colonial library, it is the pinnacle of colonial luxury.

Built in 1752, it has been home to many prominent people including President Santa Ana during his fifth presidency in 1833, during the fated Alamo. In 1985, it was beautifully renovated to its past splendor, and has since been a frequent stop on the Homes and Gardens tours, and featured in magazines such as Vogue for its artful interior design.

One of the interior walkways around this magnificent mansion.

Courtyard where you'll stay.

Class description:

We will paint from around 9:00 or 9:30 until about 1:00. There will be about an hour for lunch then we will paint until about 5:00.

This workshop is for oil painters only. All levels are welcome, but you SHOULD HAVE SOME EXPERIENCE PAINTING ON LOCATION. I have a materials list that I will email to all participants.

- In the workshop, my emphasis is on helping everyone advance to their next level.

Some of the topics we will concentrate on are:

- Values: A strong and simple value pattern is key to a successful painting, we will work on seeing and mixing values correctly from the start and keeping them clear throughout the painting process.

- Color: We will work on seeing color and value then mixing desired color using a limited palette.
Premixing colors on your palette to get proper relationships is one of the topics I'll discuss.
Accurate color mixing is key to capturing the mood of a location.

- Strong Starts/ Block In: An emphasis will be on getting a strong start to your painting so you don't need to waste time reworking the design later. 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.

- Demos: I will do several demos, but there will be plenty of time for painting and I will walk around and give individual guidance. There will be some quick painting exercises as well as some longer painting sessions.

A typical street in San Miguel.
Image Frank Gardner ©

An old chapel where we might paint.
Image Frank Gardner ©

One of the bedroom suites.

The following rooms are available.
- 5 full days painting instruction: painting demos, group and one on one instruction. Powerpoint discussion on painting influences, composition and design, plus other possible topics.
- 7 nights lodging at one of the most historic homes in San Miguel.
- Welcome cocktail and dinner, to be determined by when participants will be arriving.
- Light breakfast each morning.
- 1 Special Group Dinner at the house.
- 2 Gourmet Lunches at Private Ranches
- Transportation to and from painting locations outside of town.
- Satellite TV and WiFi
- Lodging taxes and tips for house staff.
- Odorless Turpentine will be provided to those traveling by plane.

$1,650.USD (4)
-Rooftop bedroom with Queen bed. Amazing views on 3 sides overlooking rooftops and the church spires of town. Wake up with a view of the Parroquia each morning. 1/2 bath.

-Master Suite with King bed. Walk in closet. Full bath with oversized tub.

-Suite #2 Queen size bed. Oversized tub. Plenty of closet space. Window view of street. Room connects to library with fireplace and comfortable leather furniture.

- Suite #3 Four poster queen sized bed. Sitting area, walk in closet. Full bath.

$1,550. USD (1)
-Suite #4 Cheerfully decorated double bed. Connects to library. Street view. Full bath- shower only.

$1,450. USD (1)
-Ground floor room. Single bed, 1/2 bath.

The 2 rooms with 1/2 baths will need to share showers in one of the other bedrooms.

Non painter sharing a bed is an additional $500. We'll be glad to arrange activities for any non painting partners. Spanish classes, spa/massage, horseback riding, cooking classes. San Miguel is a very safe town for anyone who just wants to wander around and explore.

Email me at with any questions or to see if there are available spots.
Occupancy is limited. If more lodging is requested I can arrange a similar option close by.

There will be a few spots available for people who don't need lodging.
Non Lodging Tuition only for the 5 days is $680. includes 5 days painting, the welcome cocktail and dinner at the house, the special group dinner, 2 gourmet lunches and transport to and from the private ranches, plus any extra discussions or critiques in the evenings.

A deposit of 50% is needed to hold your spot. There are limited rooms available at the main house that we'll be based. Room selection is on a first come first serve basis. I'll give you a mailing address to send the deposit check. Or you can pay with Paypal (additional 3% for Paypal transaction fee)
The remaining 50% is required 60 days prior to the start of the class.

Not included:
Airfare to and from Mexico: The closest airport is in Leon, (airport code BJX), about and hour and a half ride from town.
Mexico City is about four hours from San Miguel by bus and a private driver can also be arranged.
Transportation to and from Airport: I'll be glad to recommend and arrange round trip transport from the airport. There are several different options and costs.
Other meals not listed in description above: Grocery shopping can be arranged upon arrival. There are many good restaurants nearby. I'll provide a list of some of our favorites.

In front of the one of San Miguel's Many beautiful churches.
Image Frank Gardner ©

On the main square, just a block and a half from where you'll stay.
Image Frank Gardner ©

At one of the ranches we'll visit.
Image Frank Gardner ©

Nearby landscape at one of the ranches we'll visit.
Image Frank Gardner ©


Marian Fortunati said...

I highly recommend Frank's workshop!! I've been twice and it was fabulous both times.... both in terms of learning, painting locations and a wonderful adventure!!!

Frank Gardner said...

Thanks Marian! I'm hoping this winter's class will be the best yet. By having a house for lodging I'll be able to add all sorts of neat stuff. I'm always looking for ways to take the group just a little further with the limited time we have. Wish I could do 6 month classes.

Dean H. said...

All of this looks extremely inviting, Frank! Unfortunately, I cannot be there.
But never take for granted how much God has blessed be in such a beautiful spot on earth and with so much painting ability!

Mary Sheehan Winn said...

On the bucket list is the best I can do for now but I would love to do this.