Chemistry and balancePosted: February 8, 2020
I don’t know Mexico well enough to organize a workshop there, but I’m glad I met somebody who does. I got to know Meagan Burns of Art Leap Adventures when she interviewed me for an article in Drawing Attention, the monthly online publication of Urban Sketchers. Meagan is an American expat living in Mexico, and she’s a sketcher, which makes her the perfect person to organize a sketching workshop in a country that I had only visited for the first time a few months ago.
I’m just back from teaching two back -to-back workshops in San Miguel de Allende, with Meagan as my guide and expert organizer. And I’ve had a bit of time to think about what made my teaching experience memorable. I think it’s basically what makes any travel experience memorable, except that there’s lots of sketching mixed in. You have to have the right balance of local culture and history, great food, good weather and interesting sights. And you have to have great chemistry with the people you are with.
Have a look at the photos here and here on the Art Leap Adventures website. You’ll see that we sketched all the iconic sights, learned how to cook local food, toured a fascinating mask museum, visited the famed Mojiganga studio of Hermes Arroyo, AND ate tacos and Mexican street corn (something I probably wouldn’t have done on my own).
San Miguel de Allende is a beautiful place to visit, but when you’re with someone who has lived there, and who understands the culture and speaks the language, the experience is richer and more complex. I’m grateful to have had the opportunity to teach not one but two interesting and talented groups of sketchers, and to have had someone to guide us to all the right places, including into the bar where the Mariachi bands practice before going out into the streets at night!