Welcome to Puerto Vallarta
I had only ever been to Mexico on a cruise, for my honeymoon we visited Cancun and did some scuba diving. I must admit, the fish were cool but THIS colorful hacienda that is hosting me this week is really making me happy.
Color, color, color!
In case you missed it, I have a Paper Paintings Birds and Blooms Retreat here in Puerto Vallarta this week. My students and I are staying for five days and six nights at the most beautiful and colorful tropical resort I have ever laid eyes on. Everything here is artfully decorated and full of vibrant, happy color.
We’re truly in Art Heaven!
The grounds here are lush and green, there are stone paths that wind and wander; around every corner is another artfully decorated sitting area, common kitchen, or garden. It’s been fun just exploring here. Every morning the paths are swept, you can get out of the pool and walk back barefoot–your feet will still be clean when you arrive at your room! All of the colorful common areas are beautifully decorated with artful touches, stunning mosaic work, and are spotless. Our hostess, Sam, has designed all the custom made cushions, the furniture, and the floor cloths herself–every surface boasts a colorful pattern. A true feast for the eyes!
Each morning we wake to the sound of birds–songbirds, macaws, squawking birds, magpies, it’s just a tropical paradise! There are fountains located in several places on the grounds that provide the relaxing white noise of running water.
And Your Little Dog Too!
Oh, and there’s a teeny weeny Yorkie that lives here, her name is Leah. She runs around greeting guests and sitting in laps and she’s just adorable. I love little dogs and so Leah makes me happy when she comes bounding into the studio space or asks to sit on my lap at meal time. She’s all of three pounds and very, very busy.
Hacienda Mosaico started out as an art workshop venue for mosaic artists. Sam has brought instructors and students from all over the world here, and each workshop leaves something behind. The grounds are covered in colorful, playful mosaic art from the workshops that have taken place here since 2002, Sam can give you a tour of the place (inside and out) and tell you a bit about each mosaic and the instructor who designed it.
Over the years the class offerings here have expanded to include jewelry, painting, pottery, and collage! Our colorful accommodations are just steps from the outdoor studio space where students may leave all their supplies set out on their tables and work whenever they want. Often times the pool and the poolside bar are calling students to sit and relax in their free time, but if they wanted to work into the night… they could.
Welcome to The Studio
I’ve worked in some amazing studio spaces in my teaching career. In Sedona, AZ I teach in a room that used to be a theatre. In Bermuda I taught right in the middle of an art gallery, In Canada I taught in a college art classroom, and in Italy I teach in a 17th Century villa….
This studio space is outdoors, abundant, well equipped, and lovely! So far this week we have really enjoyed setting up, spreading out and hand-painting papers with a variety of techniques.
The food here at the villa has been prepared for us fresh everyday. Jorge rings the dinner bell when it’s time for us to eat and the students come running! Our choices include fresh local fish, rice, beans, fresh fruits, veggies, potatoes, fresh squeezed juice, tea, coffee…. and everything is so colorful!
I swear I’m going to gain six pounds here.
Out and About
We took a walk to the nearby paper store where the clerk spoke English and was happy to bring out all the hand-made papers he had to offer, displaying them on the counter for my students to “ooh and ahhh” over. Everyone was excited about the possibilities of incorporating these papers made in Mexico into their collage work.
I said I wasn’t going to buy ANY more paper, since I’m at the saturation point (let’s just say I’m a collector) but… I couldn’t help myself. I mean really, what do you expect?
Someone very wise once said, “You can never have enough paper.”
Stay tuned for the rest of this adventure.
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