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- YIN & YANG -

The Figure & cold Wax, a workshop

with Jerry McLaughlin and melinda cootsona

March 23 - 27, 2020

San Miguel de Allende, Mexico

$1,595


On a scale from 1 to 10...a 15!!!
— Mary Ellen A.

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ABOUT THIS SAN MIGUEL WORKSHOP:

The workshop is five days. This gives participants plenty of time to paint, practice, and incorporate the workshop topics.

All participants will get one-on-one time with Melinda and Jerry. Artists have the opportunity to address technical, artistic, or professional development issues specific to them.

Pre-workshop meet and greet. The evening before the workshop begins, all participants are invited to a meet and greet at Jerry’s home. Cocktails and light snacks served.

The workshop takes place at Estudio Paloma. On workshop days, there is no need to worry about lunch or travel logistics. Pick up and drop off between San Miguel city center and the studio, as well as a full, home-cooked lunch and wine are included in the price.

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To make travel more convenient, artist essentially need to bring only their tools, paints, creativity, and enthusiasm. The following supplies are provided:

  • Gamblin cold wax medium

  • Solvents

  • Arches oil paper

  • Painting surfaces (Multimedia Artboard)

  • Paper towels

  • Waxed, non-stick, and a variety of other papers

  • Texture materials, PanPastels, dry pigments, sand

  • Palette paper

  • Inks and other water-soluble media

  • and more!



melinda cootsona and jerry mclaughlin team up for this intenstive 5-day workshop exploring abstraction, cold wax and the figure.

Learn about the power of pervasive contrast and how it can change your approach to abstraction.

Focus will be on looking at the painting as a whole and seeing the figure and ‘setting’ as equal and integrated. This workshop is for experienced students who are looking to bring more emotional content into their work as well as develop their skills of abstraction.


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Workshop topics include:

  • Ways to abstract the human figure

  • Pervasive contrast

  • Integration of figure, setting, and background

  • Understanding color and value

  • Working with transparency and opacity

  • Mastery of your cold wax surface

  • Complex layering

  • And MORE!


San Miguel is a beautiful, culturally diverse city of about 170,000 people, located in the state of Guanajuato. In the early to mid-twentieth century it was ‘discovered’ by foreign artists who moved there and developed an artistic culture around institutes such as Instituto Allende and Escuela de Bellas Artes. Since that time art has been a central theme in San Miguel life.

The climate in San Miguel is very mild. There are many delicious restaurants and plenty of beautiful hotels and Airbnb's for lodging. And because of the vibrant art scene, there are literally dozens of art galleries in walking distance.

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Melinda and Jerry were candid, but very gentle in their approach. They were the most selfless teachers who inspired their students to explore.
— Heather M.

I would have to say it was pretty amazing. Each one had a different perspective on my work...I could take whichever instruction I wanted to fit where I was trying to go with the painting.
— Beth A.
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To make travel more convenient, artists essentially need to bring only their tools, paints, creativity, and enthusiasm. We provide all the following supplies:

  • Gamblin cold wax medium

  • Solvents

  • Arches oil paper

  • Painting surfaces (Multimedia Artboard)

  • Paper towels

  • Waxed, non-stick, and a variety of other papers

  • Texture materials, PanPastels, dry pigments, sand

  • Palette paper

  • Inks and other water-soluble media

  • and more!

I can’t imagine getting better, more inspired instruction anywhere.
— Lynn


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Melinda Cootsona is a figurative painter in Northern California. Greatly influenced by the Bay Area artistic tradition, her paintings focus on the strength of the female figure. The paintings are created with layers of oil paint, applied and then scraped away revealing figures that fill the canvas in varying poses of contemplation or reflection in abstracted surroundings. Whether in a soft or harsh surrounding, the strength of the female figure is primary.

Having taught oil painting for almost 20 years to students around the globe, Melinda takes particular care to interact with each student individually to help them discover their own voice and work on their unique needs.

Melinda’s work has been included in exhibitions at the Bakersfield Museum of Art and the Triton Museum in California, The San Francisco Art Market, The Coos Bay Museum of Art in Oregon, and Art Basel Miami, as well as many group and solo shows throughout the U.S.


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Jerry McLaughlin, MD, initially trained as a pediatric critical care physician. He began his artistic career as a fine art photographer, but realizing he had always wanted to be a painter, he abandoned photography and started painting. Although encaustic was his initial medium, once he discovered cold wax and oils, he quickly transitioned and has never gone back.

His work has been collected across the US and internationally and has appeared in many publications. He works with HG Contemporary Gallery in New York, DZINE Gallery in San Francisco, and ARTERRA in Seattle. In 2017, Jerry, with co-author Rebecca Crowell, published Cold Wax Medium: Techniques, Concepts & Conversations. It is the first ever comprehensive book exploring the myriad techniques and ways artists are using cold wax medium. Jerry is passionate about teaching, and he holds a certificate in adult education from the University of Washington. His strength lies in identifying and addressing the individual needs of his students and helping them analyze and develop solutions to the difficulties they are encountering. Jerry maintains an active artist mentoring and coaching practice, working with artists around the world. He lives in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico with his husband Mike and their dog Bert.