Saturday, February 23, 2008

deMeng de los Muertos... Official Itinerary

Three posts in one day...that's crazy! I'm trying to get some stuff taken care of before I leave Australia.

So I mentioned a few posts back that the Day of the Dead workshop in Oaxaca was a go, but we hadn't put together our official itinerary here it is as well as all the info you would ever need. Colleen is already getting oodles of responses. So, he who able to go with us.

Dia de los Muertos workshop - October 25 - November 3, 2008

Retablos from the Random

by Michael deMeng

One of the most amazing things about Mexico is their knack for transforming the most mundane object into something interesting and artistic. In this art adventure we will be creating shrines using mixed media and found objects...found objects we find wandering through the Mexican town of Oaxaca...the shops, the vendors, the streets, the rooftops...wherever. Old shoes, rusty machine parts, license plates, who knows what we'll find and that is the adventure. Then, back in the class, we will assemble, collage, paint, etc. the work into fruition. I'll also show students how to make little saints, skeletons or diablos out of broken dolls or toys. Mexico is so rich in inspiration when it comes to shrines, that we'll explore a number of possible styles and designs including Nichos, Quadalupes, Ex Votos, Ofrendas and Retablos. Time to turn that trash into treasure. Oh, and don't worry, we'll still have time for margaritas...or better yet mescal.

Join Michael for a workshop in Oaxaca, Mexico. Oaxaca is a beautiful, friendly, historical and culturally rich city in southern Mexico. Home to some of the finest folk artists in the world, Oaxaca abounds with ceramics, textiles, tin, wood carving, jewelry, and more. There is an exciting contemporary art and photography community based here also. The food and restaurants are exceptional and friendly people make it a pleasure to visit.

Throughout our 9-day stay people around the city will be getting ready for Dia de los Muertos. Every home and business will be setting up altars and preparing for the feast. The photo opportunities are endless. Each time you head out the door for the Zocalo or just a walk around the neighborhood something new will catch your attention. Flowers on the street corners, students in school altar competitions, book fair, traditional dancers, mariachis, and so much more!

Last year's group had a fantastic visit and workshop. We hope you can join us this year


October 25 (Saturday)

Arrive in Oaxaca and get settled after a long journey. Enjoy a walk to the Zocalo (town square) for dinner and sight seeing in the evening.

October 26 (Sunday)

Breakfast. Tour to Monte Alban and Atzompa. On a hilltop over looking the Oaxaca valley sits the majestic archeological site of Monte Alban. Our guide, Juan Montes, will explain the history of this sacred place.

We will visit the ceramic producing village of Atzompa and visit artists at work.

Lunch is included. Evening is free.

October 27 (Monday)

Breakfast. Class begins at 10:00 A.M. Break for lunch. Late afternoon and evening free.

October 28 (Tuesday)

Breakfast. Class begins at 10:00 A.M. Break for lunch. Late afternoon and evening free.

October 29 (Wednesday)

Breakfast. Class begins at 10;00 A.M. Break for lunch. Late afternoon and evening free.

October 30 (Thursday)

Breakfast. 9:00 A.M. Tour to Zaachila, a small country market that focuses on animal sales. You too could own a pair of turkeys and some piglets.

We will also visit Santiago Apostal in Cuilapan. This huge Dominican monastery was begun in 1550 and never completed. Also in this area we will stop in Arrasola, home to some of Mexico's finest woodcarvers. A visit to their home studios is always a treat.

Lunch at a restaurant in the countryside. Evening free. The classroom is open if you want to work until 10:00P.M.

October 31 (Friday)

Breakfast. Class begins at 10:00 A.M. Break for lunch. Today is the last day to finish up those pieces and get ready for Michael's critique also known as the good, the bad and the ugly.

Tonight we will visit the XOXO cemetery. This is the first night of the Dia de los Muertos celebration. It is an amazing experience and a time to be very respectful of the people. Please ask before taking photographs.

November 1 (Saturday)

Breakfast. Today is a free day in Oaxaca. Visit the market, the museum, galleries, botanic gardens and everything you might have missed this week. Try to see it all. We will visit the city cemetery in the evening.

November 2 (Sunday)

Breakfast. Tour the sights along the Pan American highway. First a visit to the 2000-year-old ahuehuete (Montezuma cypress) El Tule tree. Young students from the local school will be practicing their guiding skills. Next, the Tlacolula market. One of the largest continuously held markets in Latin America. Hang onto your valuables; it can be very crowded. We will travel on to Mitla. This site contains some of the most beautiful and complex stone fretwork in Mexico. Lunch in Mitla. If time permits we will visit a small family owned mescal distillery.

Our last night in Oaxaca, enjoy!!!!

November 3 (Monday)

Breakfast. Fly away home.


Accommodations: Holiday Inn Express Centro Historico Workshop classroom here also.

Included: Breakfast daily, 7 lunches, 2 dinners. The cost of alcoholic beverages and bottled drinks and water is not included with meals.

Tours: 3 guided tours included.

Tour price: $2100. Per person double occupancy.

$2400. Per person single occupancy.

Deposit: $250 to secure your spot. Full payment is due September 10, 2008. Please pay by check; I am unable to process credit cards.

Colleen Darling

950 Ballard Canyon Rd.

Solvang CA 93463


Airfare is not included. When searching for airfares the Oaxaca code is OAX.

Responsibilities: Michael deMeng and Colleen Darling do not own or operate the hotel or any of the companies providing transportation for this tour. We assume no responsibility for delays, losses or accidents or damage to persons or property caused by any persons, firm, corporation or other legal entity providing the following services: hotel, restaurant, transportation or other services incidental to this workshop.

Trick or Retreat in the Fall

A few things to keep your eye on this October
Art and Soul Portland is always a big one . They should have there class lists up pretty soon. I love going to of McMenamin Pubs and Voodoo Doughnuts

Then comes:
Here's something to keep your eyes on. A new retreat in Cedarburg WI is happening in Oct.
I taught in this town a few years back for Bernie Berlin. Now her friend Kim is putting together classes with me, Linda and Opie O'Brien, Bernie Berlin, Jill Berry, Karyn Gartel, Judy Wise, and Laurie Mika. It's a groovy little town.
Check out more info here

The Answer is Blowing in the Wind

The answer is....YES. If you're wondering what I'm referring to...go to Jen Crosley's blog post in reference to our overly intelectual conversation.

While you're there check out her as school.

Packing up for the big trip...cheers,

Friday, February 22, 2008

A weekend in California and back again...

Sorry about the delay in posting....been kind of a whirlwind couple of weeks...and I don't have much time to post today but in a nutshell....
Flew back to L.A. for CHA had a great weekend trip doin demos for my publisher Northlight. Saw old friends, Claudine, Bernie, Carmi, the Wynns, my Northlight buddies..Greg, Tonia (my editor), Jessica, and Justin....I could go on and that was fun.

Went to the Getty Museum...great space...though a little disappointed that there wasn't any modern art. Bring your sunglasses...the place is so white that in the California sun you could go snowblind because of the brightness.

Also went to the Billy Shire Gallery in Culver City (an offshoot of La Luz de Jesus) in Hollywood...those of you who are familiar with Juxtapoz magazine will know of this place.
The Wynn's and I went one afternoon and managed to see some of Liz McGrath's work (it's larger in person than her book makes it out to be). But I picked up a great book by Daniel Martin Diaz...Mysterium FidieWonderful new twist on old themes. Love it. Love it. Love it.

Here's a link to it if you wish to purchase it

Workshop in Narrabeen was great! camera. But I had a great time, I met some great folks and we may be doing it again this June...keep you posted. Thanks to Janine.

Thursday, February 07, 2008

Bay Area Workshops

Hey guys in the end of Feb. and beginning March, I'll be heading to the Bay Area to teach some workshops.I know, I know....I'm from the Bay Area originally...and people from S.F. hate the term's like fingernails on a chalkboard...but it got your attention, didn't it.

So here's the skinny:

Danville CA
I'll be at Stampers Warehouse in Danville CA, where I'm teaching the Morpheus Box and Transparency Collage-ssemblage. The dates of those are on Feb 29th and March 1st. Transparency Collage-ssemblage

I will also be at Scrapbook Territory in Berkeley, I'm teaching Lightbulb Shrines and the Six Million Dollar Anatomy Man class.Lightbulb Shrine

Hope to see some of you Bay Area folk there.


Wednesday, February 06, 2008

More of Dr. Cyclops' crazed experiments

Hey Guys, how bout some more mutations?
As promised here are some more lab experiments for ya. Here is the latest from my "Zoo-illogical" series. A man-agerie or sorts.

Dr. Cyclops-Self PortraitHe's got the whole world in his hand....
Man-Cow Disease
he's so fine...he's so bovine....

Elephant ChildThis one is based on the Hindhu deity Ganesha.
Those tusk-like things are actually devil's claws...I've talked about being sent a bunch of these strange pods in previous posts. They have even come in handy here in Australia.

Rhino Racer
Wind him up and watch him go....weeeeeeeeee. I don't think rhinos say "weeee"...
Boxer RebellionWhat's not to love about this guy? He's tough...he's cool and he's in your face. By the way those things on the corners of the frames are teeth...dentures.
He'll knock your block off....POW!

El Torro's Revenge
I have also called this : the Running of the Man. For you Aussies ...notice the Footy goal in the background.
Mary Kay-9 Cosmetics

This one reminded me of Sarah Jessica Parker in Mars Attacks. It's even the same hair-do, though her head was transplanted on the body of a chihuahua...this is more of labrador

Thats it for the Cyclops creations.

MelbourneI just got back from Melbourne. Had a great time teaching workshops out there. Thanks Marg, Kathy, Caro, and Con. Ate well...Junked well (thanks to Jen Crowsley who took Judy and I to some secret haunts in the area)...hey what can I say...I'm hooked on the junk. Looks like I'll be back next year. Thought I'd offer some links to some of my students blogs....this is what they're saying.

and here's some more photos from the event here

CHA 2008

I'm off to L.A. for a little less than a week for CHA (Craft and Hobby Association) in Anaheim. If you're attending, stop over to the F&W Publication (Northlight) booth and say hey. I'll be doing demos on Sunday and Monday. Not looking forward to the flight....yikes.