Studio Locations


Donna's Studio
Paseo de Guayabitos, (just off the main street, beside the Oxxo, near Teriyaki Alex )
Rincon de Guayabitos, Riviera Nayarit, Mexico

Galeria San Francisco
#1 Calle San Francisco, San Miguel de Allende, GTO., Mexico

tel: (cell) 045 322 888 7219

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Re: From San Miguel the last of this years paintings Dec. 30th 2010

Afternoon on Codo 9 "x 12" oil .  What fun when I discovered Lucia painting me in her scene from further back!
Here I've captured Lucia on film talking with my students.
Lucia working on the watercolor of me on Codo
'Morning on Relox' oil /canvas  20" x 24"  
As promised a week or so ago . I'll include some of the pictures and paintings from plein air on Codo. It's been busy around here and lots of arrivals from the great white north. Unfortunately a nasty cold is making it's rounds too. I've just caught the "bug" so had to cancel my full class of oil painting this morning! I've been taking Bee propolis and Vit C and assorted old fashioned remedies so hopefully by next week I should be 'Buzzing' around  again and  in the pink! I've had a little time over Christmas to finish up some paintings I've been working on, and have them ready to post. I was especially pleased to finish up a larger one done on Relox. Next week back to some watercolors as they've been selling well lately from Galeria Izamal.  I'll also post a picture of one of Tom's new paintings from near San Juan de Dios Market along with our sketches from there.
Happy New Year, Feliz Ano Nuevo for 2011!  Thanks for viewing my work. saludos Donna

Monday, December 20, 2010

Sunny pre- Christmas week in San Miguel

It's been a very busy week here. This week- end Friday Dec 17th began with an Art walk for the Mesones area. We were represented at Galeria Izamal on Mesones,all decorated for Christmas,where Henry's known for his artwork but more importantly for  his famous cream cheese and chutney  at opening parties!  Lots of good food and drink and of course great Art!
The next night, Sat. the 18th we kicked off the Pila Seca /Zacateros " Puertas Abiertas "Christmas walk. With the studio gallery on Pila Seca #1 we had a very lively fiesta in our courtyard , shared with 7th Heaven a clothing and jewelry boutique and 2 new cafe's. A young group of musicians kept everything hopping. Lots of good eats and a roving Santa  and naughty elves! We raffled off one our new art prints, and every one wanted to win. The winner was Elenita Duelo and she can't wait to pick out her print.
Needless to say painting has taken a bit of a back seat while we've been preparing for all, but next week we should be back to work.
Tomorrow's watercolor class in the morning 9:30 til 12:30 will be fun and then we'll take a break for Christmas. No oil class on Thursday.
All classes are on for next week. I'll try to post some photos soon. Donna

Monday, December 13, 2010

Another week in sunny San Miguel

Last week we painted on a very short street called Codo (''elbow'' in English). While Martha Stewart was visiting San Miguel taking pictures of our glorious town,we were out painting the color and light! Much more challenging. Luckily for us, the street was blocked off to traffic as the workman were working on the flagstones digging them up once again. Sounds of the streets; chip chip chip! While we were painting, another artist from Massachusetts joined us with her watercolors. Much to my amazement I found myself depicted in her painting! She has a very delicate touch with watercolors Lucia de Leiris.I'll post a couple of pics later.A great afternoon painting ,lots of warm colors and late afternoon sun. Next Tues. afternoon we'll paint from the shady side of the Bellas Artes and see what we can do there.

For the festive season Galeria Izamal, the gallery we are a part of is organizing a Christmas Art Walk  in the Mesones are, Friday night  Dec 17th 5 til 8pm. Lots of goodies, refreshments ,good cheer and of course wonderful art work on display! Hope you can make it.
Photos coming, Thanks for visiting my site. Donna

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

A Couple of Wide Angle Shots of my new Studio

Tom took these two photos of the new studio this afternoon with his super Canon wide-angle camera. He should have been down here this morning when the class was on to add a little human interest but it does give a hint as to  how this old Colonial era room looks in reality. The walls are over 2 feet thick and 350 years old! - as is the boveda ceiling and cupula above. It's like stepping way back in time.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Painting in the studio and Plein Air Dec. 2010

Our newest member , a bright and attentive one called 'Charlie', was eager to join the fun! She had heard that oils and acrylics were easier then watercolors so she thought she would try it out!
Some students prefer the studio setting. Pat ,Yvonne, Maureen and Beth are involved in watercolors this morning.
Eileen and John found some shade to paint from , near the Market working in oils én plein air.The kids and folks in the area were intrigued with our painting.A couple of young girls tried out their English shyly and told me their names.New students to outdoor painting usually feel a bit uneasy about being in the public eye. But here in Mexico there are always warm smiles, and positive comments from the viewers.They really seem to appreciate that you like their town o neighborhood enough to want to paint it. Que bonita! Donna 

Donnas New Plein Air Paintings Dec 6th 2010

Colors of Mexico 9''x 12''oil  off the Jardin in  San Miguel

Near the Market San Juan de Dios, 9"x 12"oil  Sold

These new paintings done in the last 2 weeks are taking advantage of the glorious, last of fall warm sunny days. Today it's just a bit cooler and not reaching the mid 70's and 80's of the last month. In this one near the market I kept the areas fairly simple going for the biggest shapes, but felt the people were necessary for this subject . It looked a bit   forlorn and deserted without them. It was a quiet time of day during siesta so has that lazy afternoon look.
In ''Colors of Mexico," it was a bright colorful morning and we worked from the relative comfort of the park benches in front of this scene.The trick was catching the shadows and that particular color of the shadows on yellow. Sort of greenish but warm yellow gray! It has to have a certain amount of intensity to work.  saludos Donna

Monday, November 29, 2010

PLEIN AIR CLASS San Juan de Dios market ,Calle Guadalupe

plein air class will be meeti
ng here,Tues. Nov 30th  2 pm.

El Tropico, Ice cream and fruit drinks at the market
Guy's stuff at the market
 Herbal shop, natural remedies.
Only a very small sampling of the many interesting stands. Tom and I took some time Sunday to walk around the Market, finding some wonderful places and colorful shops to paint.
The plein air class will be meeting in front of these shops on Calle Guadalupe at the corner of Ignacio front of the bright RED , white and yellow Pollo Feliz outlet. From there we'll walk around and pick out our painting spot.  Nov 30th Tuesday afternoon. 2 til 5 . We'll probably be on the shady side of the street but you should bring a hat just in case you find that your spot is in the sun. Hope you can make it. I'll post some plein air paintings from this area next time. Until then happy painting, Donna

Monday, November 22, 2010

Great Students Work

I thought it was time to showcase the wonderful students I am lucky enough to paint with. They are really doing well and this is a very small sampling of what they've been doing. Yvonne is a watercolor enthusiast who loves to paint, paint, paint!  Leslie and Karen had adamantly given up on watercolors until we pulled this project out of the hat. So they're going to give it another chance .They and Gary  are dedicated oil painters,and  are really improving in all directions in their work. Each level has it's challenges, but keeping with it is the key. As Robert Genn says on his site "go to your room and put paint on canvas!" Check out lots of interesting info. there and twice weekly newsletters all about art.
Thanks for now Donna
A Watercolor class that captured the interest of some of the oil painting students!
Yvonne on the left with Great Blue Heron ,Leslie and Karen with Egrets.
Gary's Manadarinas.  You can almost taste the fruit. A challenging subject Gary did on his own.
Leslie's roof top vista. Good patterns leading to the church .

Karens colorful roof top view  Great work . Good contrast.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Plein air oils in San Miguel November 15th 2010

                     Bajando El Chorro 9 x 12 in. oil                               

Lately we've had great sunny weather and it's been fun to get some on the spot sketching in.                                                             This I sketched in pencil while waiting for my group to arrive. The actual oil was done in the studio with reference photos as a class project It was tricky to get the depth and distance, but by graying and cooling the background I finally got it to fall back.El Chorro is the area of San Miguel that was settled first, and leads down into Juarez Park.The El Chorro is now a cultural center for the arts. 
Botanas in front of San Juan De Dios Church 9 x 12 in. Oil

Now this one was truly a challenge to paint! As luck would have it, about 15 minutes into the painting 2 of the 3 carts pulled away!! Groan! Luckily my students and I had done a thumbnail sketch first.It reminds me of our painting on the east coast of Canada, in Nova Scotia. Tom and I would be painting boats in a harbour and happily into the painting when the fisherman would arrive and leave in their boats!Subject matter gone!There was no way to predict which ones would leave. Some of the fisherman actually felt sorry for us!. There are 3 schools in this area where morning and noon hundreds of kids and parents pour through the San Juan de Dios church yard. Thus the many vendors and their colorful carts full of snacks!(Botanas)

                                                          '' Distant View" 9 x 12 in. oil                                                  
    This was  done a couple of weeks ago, from my roof top terrace. I did it in watercolor first, but wanted to try it in oils too.See Plein air Oct 27th,for watercolor view.  In this one I zoomed in on a small area of the vista, looking towards neighbouring Colonia San Antonio. The colorful patterns of the houses and the church in the morning light is what attracted me to this scene. Some of my students did well with this one too. I'll try to post some of their work as well.
    Thanks for now, Adios Donna

    Monday, November 8, 2010

    plein air trip cancelled

    Our planned trip to Tierra Blanca has been postponed for now due to the cold temperatures in the morning. A week ago it would have been great but now with overnight temps just above 0; it's too cold to plan on a plein air painting session. Afternoons are okay but we'll stay around town for now. Day time temps are sunny and 75 or78 F.. but it cools down as soon as the sun sets.The good news is the studio with 2 foot thick walls stays warm retaining the heat from the sunny afternoons.
    Our next plein air will be in front of the San Juan de Dios Market  in the afternoon. We'll meet in front of the San Juan de Dios Church  at 2 pm and go from there to the market. It's a colorful neighborhood and one we haven't painted much so far. I'll post some of our recent work in a few days and add some photos from the market. Bye for now. Donna

    Monday, November 1, 2010

    Celebrating 'The Day of the Dead ' in San Miguel, Mexico, Nov. 1st 2010

    People viewing the altars
    In front of the Parrochia and the Clock tower

    One of the Altars
    Late Afternoon Sun
    A big celebration this week end, for the ' Day of the Dead '. Many Foreigners and Mexican visitors. Colorfully decorated altars honoring loved ones. At Galeria Izamal where we are presently showcasing some of our paintings ,we had a well attended opening Friday night with the gallery decorated with  bright orange marigolds , and colored cut out papers in the Day of the Dead theme.
    Despite the title it is a very festive and happy family celebration.
    I just passed by the Jardin where there are altar displays completely surrounding the park.I got some nice photos which I  will add to this post.
    The new studio is looking good with a new brass lantern hanging from the high boveda ceiling. For cloudy days (which we've seen very few of ) we'll have light!

    NOV. 2nd Tuesday , In the studio,we'll focus on loosening up our watercolors. I'll be demonstrating some wet on wet techniques.

    Nov.3rd  NO PLEIN AIR ,class.
       are planning on an out of town, painting session for next Wed. Nov.10th. 2010I
    We will leave early as it is about 1 hours drive from San Miguel.( North East) at a place near San Luis de la Paz. If we want to catch the morning light we'll have to get there early.We will take snacks and plan to have a noon lunch at a wonderful look off view, a restaurant called El Salto. We will be painting very near by.If  there is enough interest we could do an afternoon painting as well. The valley opens up below you and it's is almost like being in the air.Let me know if you would like to join us for this adventure. Incidently they have paragliding from this location so you could really be in the air! More about this shortly. meeting place ,exact location ,time and carpooling etc. Should be fun!

    THURSDAY NOV 4th ..In the studio; we will continue with oils and how to get the effects of light and shade, really filling our paintings with light.
    Adios from festive San Miguel, Donna

    Monday, October 25, 2010

    Plein air Wed.Oct 27th 2010

    Just a note to post next Wednesdays Plein air. Oct 27th. We'll be meeting in front of the Parrochia again. 9:30 am and we'll seek out spots from there.If you arrive a little late just circulate around a bit we won't be far from there. Feel free to work in oils or watercolors.The weather has been so fine these last few weeks and it's supposed to continue. It may be a bit cool at first but will warm up. Don't forget hats! and camera too, for reference photos. See you there, Donna

    More paintings from new studio

    watercolor 11 x 15 in.
    I met this old woman on one of the amazing back streets in San Miguel.She was carrying heavy bags of a vegetable called Chayote that she had just picked.

    watercolor 11 x 15in.
    This was a fun painting to do as I had actually returned from the organic market with my flowers and vegetables and saw the potential for this painting while unlocking the door.

    New Studio

    watercolor 15 x 20 in.
    Oct plein air
    watercolor 11 x 15 in.
    Plein air from new studio

    Haven't posted for awhile as we've been busy moving ,and moving from one studio to the next. At last we have found the "perfect" location encompassing all that we need in a historic San Miguel home in centro.A great studio space with very high boveda ceiling for teaching and painting for me , another studio with great views of the Parrochia  for Tom. A great living space wrapped around an inner courtyard,and a fabulous terrace view where we spend much time watching  sunsets and birds and all. Last night we saw an owl!
    my students have been happy with the new studio as well and we've had a couple of plein air sessions from the terrace. I'll post some pictures of what we've been doing as well as some studio paintings. i'll try to get some oils on for next post. saludos Donna

    Saturday, September 4, 2010

    Watercolors vs .Oils new work.

    Yvonne showing her masterpiece plein air, Pat, Marina and Raisa  Sept 1st 2010

    'Early Morning Cuna de Allende 'oil on panel  8 x 8in Donna Dickson

    'Morning Cuna de Allende '11 x 15 in w.c. Donna Dickson

    'Along Ancha de San Antonio' 11 x 15 in w.c. Donna Dickson

    'Afternoon Shadows on Canal '11 x 15in. w.c. Donna Dickson

    I've had a busy week doing watercolors, and oils .So much to paint. My plein air group had a fantastic sunny morning on one of the oldest streets in San Miguel . The shadows were interesting but a challenge to capture quickly before they changed. I usually advise doing a quick black and white value sketch to pin down the lights and darks. My watercolor from that morning is called "Morning Cuna de Allende"  featured here above. The next day we did the same scene in oils called "Early morning Cuna de Allende" . You can choose which one you prefer! adios for now Donna.

    Saturday, August 21, 2010

    A new 18x24 in. oil

    Oh those greens!! Carla, Joan , Teresa, and Leslie almost hidden,plein air afternoon.

    At the Ranch
    Fleeting shadows!
    'King of the Roost'.oil/canvas 18"x24"
    I just finished this one and I like the composition a lot. It's nice to work a little larger,I enjoyed the process.This was a fun subject we encountered on our way to San Miguel Viejo for a mornings plein air session.Everyone was thrilled with the Rooster adding a surprise touch to the scene.Last Wed. we had a chance to paint plein air out at the Reicker horse ranch. It was particularly challenging trying to catch those fleeting effects of sun and shade on the distant mountains.I'll post a picture or 2 from that afternoon.

    Saturday, August 14, 2010

    Just learning about this process

    " Still Life with Hearts " oil on panel  6 x 8 ins. Donna Dickson
    As this is all new to me , I'm going slowly. I couldn't seem to put a comment on my last post so I'm starting the process again. Now I know what it's like to be a beginner painter again! I'm sure my students will love to see this. So here's another image for today. I love doing these small still life pictures with found objects. Hope you enjoy them . Donna

    Some of Donna Dickson's Recent Work

    Quiet Interlude  12x12 ins.  oil on panel  Donna Dickson

    Morning Calle Recreo   oil on panel  14x18ins. Donna Dickson

    Callejon Blanco    watercolor 15x11ins.    Donna Dickson