Textures of Oaxaca Workshop with Lisa Pressman

4d0356f928fba51931e498869bfa988dLisa Pressman has planned a workshop in Oaxaca that will draw upon the textures, colors and patterns of the city that will be combined in visual interpretations using R&F pigment sticks, cold wax, and drawing materials on paper. Prior experience with cold wax or pigment sticks is desired but not a requirement for this workshop.

Lisa is one of the instructors at R&F so she knows the product well. She will guide artists daily through  exercises using these and other materials, drawing upon our visual information collected from our outings in Oaxaca.

Textures of Oaxaca

Textures of Oaxaca

Oaxaca is filled with color, from its textured buildings, to the domes of its churches, to the markets lined with artful displays. But what I admire most are the women who arrive from outlying villages wearing their colorful huichols and long braids twisted around their heads like crowns, lined with beautiful ribbons. And there seems to be a never ending parade of some kind going on whenever we visit.  It is a visual feast wherever you look

Woman with braids

Woman with braids





Lisa will guide us using these different visual elements to connect with our art using layers, mono printing, and mark making which will lead artists to discover their own personal symbols.

Lisa’s own work is rooted in a sense of play and discovery, an intuitive dialogue between the random and the deliberate that allows a relationship between intent and accident to develop. She says that if we listen our work will tell us a story.



The Journey by Lisa Pressman


Lisa believes that  images and experiences signify evidence of time and change. The colors of a wall, marks on the street, the colors of fallen leaves are just a few of the connections that will enter into our practice. Our process will be to make a mark, add a color or a word, a journal page, or a gesture.


DEPARTURES 5 (2015) by Lisa Pressman / 12″x12″ / Oil on panel

Then we will allow the relationship between intent and accident to unfold. Playing translucent and opaque layers of pigmented beeswax against each other, drawing, layering, covering up, sanding, and scraping will lead to the discovery of the image. At least 22 6’x6′ works on paper will be generated along with larger studies. This kind of experience will be the catalyst for more in-depth series in your home studios.



Though this video is from 2011, it is a great interview with Lisa and shows her work.

While in Oaxaca, we will stay at the family owned B&B, Las Bugambilias, led by matriarch, Emilia Arroyo Cabrera. Her son, Rene is our guide when we visit outside the city, his wife, Adriana greets us as we check in, daughter, Pilar runs the restaurant and makes our wonderful lunches. Together with their wonderful staff, they ensure that their home is our home while we are there. I guarantee, after they feed and take care of us, you will want to stay a little while longer.

www.kathievezzani.com; Paint Oaxaca

Emilia Arroyo Cabrera


Staff at Las Bugambilias

The workshop starts October 14 and ends October 22, 2016 in the city of Oaxaca in the state of Oaxaca Mexico. The trip costs $3200 and includes:

  • 8 nights accommodations
  • five days of class with Lisa
  • welcome reception
  • 7 breakfasts and 6 lunches
  • 4 dinners
  • two cooking classes, one at Susana Trilling’s Seasons of My Heart Cooking School on moles
  • outings to black pottery makers, colorful alebrijes village, the carved wooden animals from Oaxaca, a cochineal farm where you will be able to purchase some of this exquisite powder, and to a handmade paper factory
  • Final dinner at the celebrated Orijen restaurant with a menu prepared just for our group
  • a new art tribe and inspiration to take home for your art practice

The price does not include airfare to/from Oaxaca or transportation from the airport which is approximately $30.  A nonrefundable $1,000 deposit reserves your participation with the balance due June 1, 2016. Installments can be made for the remaining balance. There are no refunds or exchanges at any time for any reason. We wish we could compensate people for unforseen circumstances (injury, family emergency, etc., ) but we have costs already incurred to reserve the retreat venue. We strongly recommend you purchase travel insurance. To reserve your spot, click on the image below which will take you to PayPal.


PayPal Deposit

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me using the form below. Lisa and I hope that you will join us in Oaxaca for what will certainly be a thought provoking week of art.

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Making Art a Practice with Cat Bennett

My friend, Cat Bennett, author of The Drawing Club, Marking Art A Practice and the Confident Creative is teaching an online class through Carla Sonheim Presents network. Carla and her uber talented husband, Steve, a phenomenal photographer, traveled to Cat’s studio to tape Making Art a Practice which starts Oct. 6 and will be live for six weeks. To sign up go here.

Cat describes this class as a way to bring our whole selves into our art through our art practice and to bring art into the whole of our lives.


Cat, Steve and Carla Sonheim in Cat’s Studio

Here’s a beautiful quote from Kurt Vonnegut that says it all:

“Practice any art, music, singing, dancing, drawing, painting, sculpting, poetry, fiction, essays, reportage, no matter how well or how badly, not to get money or fame, but to experience becoming, to find out what’s inside you, to make your soul grow.”

See you in class!

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Traveling as an artist with Michelle Allen and Sunny Carvalho


Michelle Allen is in Barcelona traveling with her family for a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for her daughter. While she is there, she has been posting pictures that you know are going to be reflected in her artwork. How could it not? The colors and lighting of Barcelona and the surrounding area is magnificent. You can already see the colors in the pictures she is painting in her journals like the one above.

When she returns, I know that she is going to have a new respect for artists who travel. It changes who you are, in what you see and feel, right into your soul. I know that both Sunny and Michelle are going to love Oaxaca, the colors, textures and the food, oh my, yes the food. There is still room on our trip scheduled for February 20-28, 2016. Be a traveling artist, and join us for a once-in-a-lifetime experience with two exceptional artists.


For more trip details go here.

If you would like to sign up or have any questions, please use the contact form below.

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Journal with a Circle of Friends in Catalonia, Spain

The second week of our Spain adventure takes us to the charming Catalan village of Bordils where we will stay in our own villa, Can Tallada for Journaling with a Circle of Friends, September 17-27, 2016 with Judy Wise and Katie Kendrick.

What better way to enjoy and experience Place then spending time playing in our journals together. We’ll start off the week making a journal that we will fill with color, line, and fun over the coming days. Judy and Katie will use daily prompts and themes to guide us and give certain tools and supplies for emphasis on varying days. This will be an opportunity to experiment with all the “what ifs” and “I want to try this” thoughts, and whole-heartedly engage with our creative energy, the place and each other as we gather a Circle of Friends.

We will meet in Barcelona on the evening of September 17 where we will stay overnight in the Hotel Cram. That night after introductions, we will go on a very special Devour Barcelona Evening Tapas Tour, guaranteed to make you fall in love with the foods of Spain.

The next day, we will check out of the hotel, then walk around the city visiting the various neighborhoods before being picked up for the one hour drive to our villa.


The villa was built by a Spanish family who made its fortune in Cuba. The turrets, high ceilings, terraces, old water tower, classical fireplaces and Art Noveau floorings are surrounded by beautiful gardens and a swimming pool designed by the famous Dutch landscape architect, Peter Lubbers. We’ll have time to explore our new home before gathering for our first dinner.

On Monday we will begin by creating a journal with Judy similar to this.


There are nooks and crannies throughout the house to spread out and spend time getting lost in your journal. If you know Judy Wise, you know that she is an avid journaler, creating in her journals daily. Here is a page from a former trip to Barcelona.


Judy Spain Journal page

On Tuesday, journaling will continue with Katie.


Katie, Journal Page

The beautiful coast of the Girona province is known as the Costa Brava and is home to some great beaches and beautiful coastal towns and villages. On Wednesday, we will travel the beautiful, rugged stretch of Costa Brava with its rich medieval history, beautiful scenery and artistic heritage. Turning inland, we will venture to the medieval village of Pals. We’ll enjoy a menu al dia and also visit a local cheesemaker. That evening we will cook dinner together in the gorgeous Can Tallada kitchen.

Thursday we will continue journaling with Katie and Judy, with a lot of down time to just enjoy our surroundings and our Circle of Friends. You’ll have some free time to walk into town, go for a bicycle ride, hike or whatever strikes your fancy.

Friday we will visit the nearby walled city of Girona that sits on the edge of the River Onyar. We will walk the walls of Girona, peering down on the narrow streets and buildings painted a range of colors. There is a notable landmark a red metal bridge that was designed by M. Effiel, who built the Eiffel Tower and there are beautiful medieval buildings throughout the city. And a little more notable in modern times, this “City of 1,000 Sieges” will be the backdrop for parts of the the sixth season of Game of Thrones, and from a foodie perspective, this is where the triple-Michelin-starred restaurant El Celler de Can Roca is located, crowned the World’s Best Restaurant in the prestigious San Pellegrino awards.


Colourful houses line the Río Onyar in Girona. Image by Gonzalo Azumendi / Getty

That evening we will gather for our last meal in the villa.

Saturday morning we will head back to Barcelona where some participants who have been on both trips will leave us. The rest will stay on to explore Barcelona for three days. We will visit the Miro and Picasso museums, and visit the famous Antoni Gaudi designed Sagrada Familia and Park Guell. The trip is over on the 27th and everyone is free to stay on or leave for other parts of Spain.

The trip starts and ends in Barcelona, Spain. The cost is $3,600 and is based on double occupancy at both accommodations. Single rooms are available at Hotel Cram for an additional $326. The trip includes:

  • Ten nights accommodation
  • All meals except for 3 breakfasts in Barcelona
  • Transportation from Barcelona to Bordils and return trip to Barcelona
  • Five days of creating with Judy and Katie
  • Some art supplies
  • Visit Costa Brava, including the medieval village of Pals, and a local cheesemaker
  • Walk the walls of Girona, tour the city
  • Devour Barcelona Evening Tapas Tour
  • Visit the Miro and Picasso Museums
  • Visit Gaudi Sagrada Familia and Park Guell
  • Lots of tapas!
  • A new art tribe

The trip does not include airfare to/from Barcelona. A $1000 nonrefundable deposit is due upon registration. The final payment is due March 1, 2016.


Click image for PayPal Deposit

For more information please use the contact form below.

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Painting Big in Spain Workshop with Katie Kendrick & Judy Wise

Painting big is so much fun and really, not that different from working small, you just use your whole body and a lot of paint! When Judy Wise, Katie Kendrick and I made this video, we had so much fun we couldn’t wait to share our trip with you. People heard about our play date and before we could launch the trip, started signing up (expressing gratitude here), and now there are only two spots available for our Sept. 8-17, 2016 trip to Spain.

Password is paintbig

The trip starts and ends in Barcelona, Spain. Thursday, Sept. 8 we will meet for our welcoming dinner, then spend three days in Barcelona where we will visit Gaudi’s remarkable sites, the Picasso Museum, and experience the wonderful food that Barcelona has to offer with a Devour Barcelona Food tour. The Hotel Cram will be our home base as we walk throughout Barcelona.

Watch this incredible video of the building of Gaudi’s Casa Sagrada.

Late Sunday afternoon, we will be picked up and driven south 45 kilometers to El Bruc in the Monteserrat Natural Park to check into Can Serrat, a rustic farmhouse that was developed for artist residencies. Judy spent time here a couple of years ago and you can read about it on her blog. I remember vividly how happy I was for Judy when she posted about her trip and now we get to share it with 12 artists.


After spending five glorious days of painting big with Judy and Katie, we will head back to Barcelona on Saturday and people will either depart or continue on to our second week of Journaling with a Circle of Friends. This trip is guaranteed to seep into your heart and stay there for a lifetime. I’m already having heart palpitations as I write this.


Judy’s current BIG painting (her 30-day project)

The trip ends on Sept. 17 in Barcelona. The cost is $3,000 and is based on double occupancy at both accommodations. Single rooms are available at Hotel Cram for an additional $326.

Trip will include:

    • three days in Barcelona
    • tour of Picasso museum
    • tour of Gaudi’s Sagrada Familia
    • Devour Barcelona Food Tour
    • tour of Miro museum
    • Five days of painting BIG with Katie and Judy
    • accommodations at Hotel Cram in Barcelona
    • accommodations at Can Serrat in El Bruc
    • all meals except for two breakfasts on your own in Barcelona
    • transportation from Barcelona to El Bruc and return

a new art tribe

Trip does not include transportation to/from Spain. A $1,000 nonrefundable deposit is due at time of registration. To make your deposit, click on the picture below and it will take you to PayPal.


If you decide to join us for the second week, there is a special price.

If you have any questions, please use the contact form below to reach me.


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Celebrating Day of the Dead in Oaxaca with Daniella Woolf

Honoring friends, family and ourselves and those that have gone before us

Have you been downsizing? Are you in the de-acquisition phase of your life? Thinking about what you will leave for your family to sort through? Looking at boxes of old photos and wondering about the stories that went with them? Do you wish your departed loved ones were still here to tell you the stories?

www.kathievezzani.comDaniella Woolf has. In the midst of her own recent downsizing, she has been looking through lots of photos, clothes, and mementos. One of the things she misses the most about her long-departed Mom and Dad are the stories they told, which are now gone. She can no longer ask them about the farm they grew up on. She can’t ask them “who is this person in the photo, how did you know them and what was their relationship to you?”

This has motivated her to create a book that contains photos of people who have made an impact in her life. Someday, her stepchildren or nieces and nephews may be curious about her. They know that she is a colorful character, but they don’t know her stories or the significance and influence others had on her life. Unless she does something about that now, when she is gone her stories will go with her.  Her project includes a photo (or collage) of each important person in her life, and writing a paragraph or two about them.

The festive Day of the Dead week in Oaxaca, is the perfect time and setting to work with your personal artifacts and create meaningful new ways to display them. Experience the beauty, caring and humor with which the Mexican people celebrate their rites of communion between the living and the dead. With the backdrop of this vibrant culture surrounding us and filling our free evenings, we will celebrate our own history and traditions, while learning more about this very colorful and meaningful tradition in Oaxaca.

Day of the Dead

Woman sitting vigil at the gravesite of a loved one during Day of the Dead

Using paper, photos, fabric, and thread as primary art materials we will make our own ofrenda (altar) and a book of our friends, family and those who made a difference in our lives.  We will tell stories both visually, orally, and in writing and honor our loved ones (and ourselves). Some might be inspired to make wearables that honor our ancestors, for example cutting and weaving your Dad’s favorite painting shirt or the apron that he wore for barbecuing. Your creation may bring laughter and tenderness, as you remember events and anecdotes from your personal history. Working with photos of people who have been in our life and sharing the stories we remember, we will create a living keepsake of family treasures.

In Daniella’s own work as an artist, she has used family artifacts to create art pieces and installations.   Some things she has made as memory keepers include:

  • Just Checking – an installation using her mom’s bank checks
  • A necklace of her mother’s shredded credit cards
  • Core Sample – a 13 foot column composed of 2” squares of her mom’s bank statements and checks
  • Her mother’s sewn recipe cards

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You may have noticed that there has been no mention of encaustic wax. This is a new workshop for Daniella, one that she hopes will intrigue and excite you.

About the organizers: My amiga, Ana Elena Martinez who lives in Puebla, and I have been taking groups to Mexico for over 20 years with Culinary Adventures, Inc. so we know a lot of people in Oaxaca with whom we have developed long standing friendships. We will visit some of them, enjoy their food, and stay in our friend’s lovely B&B.


Ana Elena and moi

Las Bugambilias, a family owned and run B&B led by the beautiful matriarch, Emilia Arroyo Cabrera is our home base. Seeing what Emilia wears each morning is a visual treat for a bunch of artists as are the place settings at our breakfast. The motto of Las Bugambilias is that “we do not receive hosts, we receive friends.” Emilia and her family and their staff truly do make you feel as though their home is yours. Here are some pictures from our last trip.

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This trip starts October 25 and ends November 3, 2016 in the city of Oaxaca, Oaxaca, Mexico. The cost of the trip is $3200 and is based on double occupancy (two beds/room) and limited to 12. It includes:

  • workshop with Daniella
  • hotel accommodations at Casa Las Bugambilias
  • breakfasts and lunch beautifully and organically made for us by the staff of Bugambilia’s (there will be one lunch and one dinner on your own)
  • welcome reception & fiesta
  • visit to local cemetery
  • special Day of the Dead performances
  • visit to markets
  • cooking class with specific dishes for Day of the Dead
  • walking tour
  • visit to museums
  • free time to explore
  • farewell dinner at Origen with a menu chosen just for us
  • visits to local artisans
  • a new art tribe

The price does not include airfare to/from Oaxaca or transportation from the airport which is approximately $30.  A nonrefundable $1,000 deposit reserves your participation with the balance due June 1, 2016. Installments can be made for the remaining balance. There are no refunds or exchanges at any time for any reason. We wish we could compensate people for unforseen circumstances (injury, family emergency, etc., ) but we have costs already incurred to reserve the retreat venue We strongly recommend you purchase travel insurance. To reserve your spot, click on the image below which will take you to PayPal.


If you have any questions, please use the contact form below. We hope to see you in Oaxaca for what will be truly a once-in-a-lifetime experience.

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Making your own paints with Guerra Paint and Pigment Company

In Bed with Mona Lisa, a blog written by Sabine is dedicated to exploring art supplies, how they are made and the people who make them. This recent post, In bed with Art explores the Guerra Paint and Pigment Corp. in New York City. It’s an interesting read and man do I want to go there with Judy and Katie. What an educational day that would be.


Art Guerra founded his company in 1984, mainly to help artists become more acquainted with the raw materials of their trade.

Here are a couple of videos on how to make your own paint.

Guerra Paint and Pigment Corp. 510 East 13th Street
New York NY 10009
Mon to Sat 12-7pm

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Corsets, Rust and Encaustic Wax Workshop with Pam Nichols

Recently, in a Dyeing to Rust Workshop with Pam Nichols, several of us made corsets inspired by Pam’s corset series. Here is mine enhanced by Jeanne McLaughlin’s eco dyed paper as the base. It lent itself perfectly for the body, don’t you think?www.kathievezzani.com

Here is the one Pam used as her demo in class. I love her colors. It’s for sale (cradled 8″x12″ board–$200, includes shipping).


Corset by Pam Nichols

We had a wonderful group of artists for this last workshop and while they were here we were finalizing our next Dyeing To Rust workshop. This time it will involve picking!! Slated for April 15-20, 2016 in Bend, Oregon, we will be staying at a beautiful home on the Deschutes River.

We will pick two days at McCormick’s scrap yard (be still my heart) before rusting and waxing our beautiful creations. This is a chance to build your own rust collection for your practice.

The cost of this inclusive retreat is $1250. It includes lodging, 4 1/2 days instruction and all but one meal.  It is limited to 8 artists. The trip will start and end in Bend, Oregon.

If you are interested in either Pam’s corset or the workshop, please use the contact form below.

Posted in Assemblage, Encaustic, Encaustic Mixed Media, Mixed Media, travel vacations, Workshops | 1 Comment

Indigo Dyeing Workshop with Judy Wise, hosted by Kathie Vezzani in Gig Harbor


Join Judy Wise and me for a beautiful weekend of dyeing with blue indigo September 11-13 in Gig Harbor. Years ago, Judy was a batik artist and silk dye painter. She also studied yuzen dyeing in Japan.


We will learn how to make a dye pot, that scrumptious bucket of indigo, that will transform fabric to be used in a myriad of creations. Tying, folding, scrunching, we will create designs in our fabric as well as bags, and paper, with no two creations turning out the same.

We’ll use some of this fabric to build a book like the one below made by Judy.

I’ll be dyeing some of my rusted papers like the ones below.

Update:  This workshop is full.

This 3-day workshop begins at 4 p.m. Friday, September 11 and ends 3:30 p.m. on Sunday, September 13. The cost of $400 includes two dinners, two lunches, and the following:

  • 4 yards muslin prewashed in Synthrapol
  • paper to dye, 2 different weights
  • pages for your books
  • Davy Board for book covers cut to size
  • Waxed linen bookmaking thread
  • One needle with a big eye for book binding
  • Glue Stick
  • Cotton String

Students bring:

  • rubber gloves
  • scissors
  • pencil and eraser
  • awl
  • bone folder
  • cutting mat
  • ruler
  • exacto knife with a new blade
  • one bristle brush for spreading PVA glue

The class will be limited to 10 students. There are many beautiful B&B’s available in Gig Harbor as well as a Best Western and the Inn at Gig Harbor. Here is a link for more information.

If interested, please use the contact form below to sign up.

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Jeanne Oliver loves Van Gogh


Jeanne Oliver

In Studying Under the Masters, Jeanne Oliver chose the very prolific Vincent Van Gogh as her master. She studied his paintings, painted like him and then created her own art in his style. The upcoming Living Studio Amsterdam workshop is a dream trip for Jeanne as she takes us to the Van Gogh Museum where there are over 200 pieces of his art.


Portrait of the Postman Joseph Roulin by Van Gogh


Some interesting facts about Van Gogh:

  • Vincent shot himself in a wheatfield in Auvers, France but did not die until 2 days later at the age of 37.
  • Vincent’s brother Theo died six months after Vincent and is buried next to him in Auvers, France.
  • Vincent’s brother’s wife collected Vincent’s paintings and letters after his death and dedicated herself to getting his work the recognition it deserved.
  • In a short period of ten years Van Gogh created 900 paintings.
  • Vincent only sold one painting during his lifetime and only became famous after his death.
  • Vincent van Gogh did not cut off his ear. He only cut off a small portion of his ear lobe
  • www.kathievezzani.com
  • In the self-portrait shown right, Van Gogh was looking in a mirror so the bandage is actually not on the correct ear.
  • Van Gogh created his most famous work The Starry Night while staying in an asylum in Saint-Remy-de-Provence, France.
  • Vincent’s earliest career aspiration was to be a pastor in the Dutch Reformed Church like his father.
  • Van Gogh wrote over 800 letters in his lifetime, the majority written to his brother and closest friend Theo.

Van Gogh first painted portraits using peasants as his models, but soon found that he could not afford even them so he became his own model, painting over 30 self-portraits. Here is a short video.

In this Living Studio workshop, we will meander in the countryside on a leisurely bike trip, float along the canals, visit Rembrandt’s House, visit flea markets, and have many opportunities to create art with Jeanne in both a studio and as we explore this beautiful city.

There are only a few spots left for this May 10-17, 2016 workshop. More details are here.


Use the contact form below if you would like more information or would like to join us.

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