Tag Archives: study art in Oaxaca

Painting Workshop in Oaxaca with Pantaleon Ruiz

http://www.flickr.com/photos/27704126@N02/ See examples of painter Pantaleon Ruiz’ work!

Pantaleon is an accomplished and widely exhibited painter who has shown his work in Oaxaca, Cancun, Mexico City, Los Angeles, San Francisco, and Portland, Oregon.  He taught workshops in both the U.S. and Mexico.  Pantaleon, who is bilingual, works in oil paint tinted with the same natural dyes he and his family uses to color the wool they weave with — cochineal, indigo, moss, wild marigolds.  His painting techniques — the use of brushes, fingers, and sweeping strokes of the hand dipped in paint and beeswax — lend themselves very well to working with children and adults to learn to use paint as an expressive, artistic medium.

Newsflash:Pantaleon will be one of the people we will interview and film during the Documentary Filmmaking Workshop: Visual Storytelling, February 19-26, 2010.  See the course description posted on this blog.

We have added a new class to our offerings of arts programs in the village of Teotitlan del Valle.  Come for a studio painting class with Pantaleon or a weaving workshop with Federico Chavez Sosa.  We can arrange customized programs for any time during the year that you can travel (with confirmation of availability of the instructors).  These can be full days, half-days, and multiple days.  We can offer you weaving, dyeing and painting workshops — half and half!  Half day of weaving and half day of painting.  I will work with you to price out the program that fits best within your schedule and budget.

Note:  shorter workshops will be experiences and will not produce a completed piece, but only a ‘sampler’ for you to take away with you.  Nevertheless, this will give you a hands-on opportunity to work with weaving and painting masters in an indigenous Zapotec village renown for its craftsmanship.

You can contact me at normahawthorne@mac.com with your requests and I will send you a proposal.



Biography: Pantaleon Ruiz Martinez ws born in 1974 to a family of weavers.  His relatives taught him the art of weaving and he later developed his own designs.  Later, he lived and worked for a time in the U.S. and discovered his calling as a painter.  When he returned to Oaxaca, he had developed considerable artistic skill both as a painter and ceramic artist.  His canvasas project the peacefulness of his sacred village of Teotitlan del Valle, but also a restless need to explore new territory.  Pantaleon paints with a dual consciousness and expands his horizons of self-expression.  Aware of his ancestral Zapotec origins, he places himself within a more vast and ancient tradition — that of human civilizations.  His paintings and sculptures speak of that personal story constructed of two difference societies, two different environments that are part of a larger weaving culture.  He is both pre-Hispanic and twentieth century in his approaches to painting.  He moves from the abstract to figure painting with ease, and experiments so that he is not defined by a rigid style.  He pulls from his historical influences of textile weaving and incorporates graphic designs to come out the other side with a new form of expression.  he mixes conventional pigments with cochineal and othr dyes usually used by weavers, paints on exotic Nepalese paper or more popular bark paper, combines oil with ink and encaustic or synthetic resins or beeswax to produce texture.  He has been featured  in Architectural Digest magazine, Great Design Around The World, the Smithsonian Magazine, Old House magazine, and has received numerous awards.

Painting Workshop Costs Include All Materials:

1 to 3 days, 3-4 hours in a workshop day, Cost is $67 per day.
4-6 days, 3-4 hours in a workshop day, Cost is $57 per day.
7 days or more, 3-4 hours in a workshop day, $47 per day.

These costs do not included food and lodging.  I would be happy to put a package together for you that includes lodging and meals, too.

Notes From An Artist’s Journal by Andrea Donnelly

I am writing this entry from Teotitlan del Valle in Oaxaca, Mexico. I’ve been here since July 4th, exploring the culture and landscape of this beautiful place. Surrounding mountains hug this little village like silent guardians, spirit-lifting backdrops to cobblestone roads and adobe brick walls. The rhythm is slower here, more thoughtful. Teotitlan is a village of master weavers. Wool tapestries hang outside homes, calling cards for the family business. I came here to learn about natural dyes from Eric Chavez, who I met at NC State when he came with his father to give a dye workshop and presentation about his work and his village. In the rug room of their beautiful open-air home hang faded photo portraits of grandparents and great-grandparents at their looms, a history of Zapotec weavers going back four generations. Eric and his father Frederico are still using natural dyes when many have moved to the faster and cheaper but highly toxic synthetics. Though I came with the specific intention of learning the natural processes for indigo and cochineal, I see that there are many more possibilities for natural dye. There are pomegranates, onion, flowers, moss, nuts; so many options for future experiments! Eric and I have been very busy. First he took me to the cochineal farm at Tlapanochestli, where I saw the growth and harvesting process of the delicate little bugs. They grow on cactus spears naturally, but must be tended to very carefully if they are to complete their life cycle. Outside in the sun they might live for a few days, but for the farmers to get a pigment they must live a complete three months. We also began a natural indigo bath at the beginning of this week. The bath consists of indigo and organic matter: banana and mango skins, flower petals, honey and a touch of alcohol. It is currently fermenting in the sun on Eric’s roof, and we expect that it will be ready for dyeing in about another week. A few days ago I helped Eric’s family harvest dye materials from the woods near Benito Juarez, a neighboring village hidden far up one of the mountains. They had run out of moss the night before, so Eric’s mother and father loaded up the back of the pickup truck with baskets, tools, and me, Eric, and his sister, and up the mountain we went. What a view I had from the back of that pickup truck! I am almost through my first big lesson- dyeing wool with cochineal. We’ve mordanted and dyed five 450g skeins of yarn so far, with one left to go: two neutrals, two acids, and one base to date. I’ve learned the very important mordant process and how to get different shades by manipulating the pH of the dye bath. There are five incredibly vibrant natural shades of red, pink, purple, and orange currently drying at Eric’s house, and next week we are going to warp a loom (one of the seven currently put together in his house) for me to weave on with my beautiful fiber. I’m going to practice a traditional Zapotec pattern. Tomorrow will be more cochineal dyeing, and then we are on to indigo with wool. Eric and his entire family have really taken me in. I’m having a wonderful time and learning more than I could have ever imagined.

Click on the blogroll link to see photos and more journal entries from Andrea’s 3-month artist’s residency in Teotitlan studying with Eric Chavez.   Andrea graduated from NC State University College of Art and Design, where Eric and Federico Chavez gave a master class to textile students.