Introductory Cold Wax Workshop

with jerry mclaughlin

san miguel de allende, mexico

November 4 - 8, 2019

San Miguel de Allende, Mexico

Our workshop is coming up in a few months. Below you will find information about workshop logistics and payment. Please note that your balance payment is due by midnight July 7, 2019.

‘Jerry is mentor, friend, instructor, and teacher. Patient, intelligent, articulate and passionate about art and sharing his knowledge. By far the most beneficial workshop I have ever participated in.”
— Barbara S.

Read these frequently asked questions. They include a lot of useful info, including my policies on payment, cancellation, and refunds.

Everyone enjoying homemade lunch at Blanca’s table.

Everyone enjoying homemade lunch at Blanca’s table.


The price includes most materials. Other than your paints and a few basic tools, most everything you need is provided and included with the workshop.

All workshops include a one-on-one coaching/mentoring session with 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. (This is optional with no obligation to participate.)

Unless otherwise stated, Jerry’s workshops take 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.

Looking down one of the many beautiful cobblestone streets.

Looking down one of the many beautiful cobblestone streets.

San Miguel de allende (SMA)

Click HERE for information on San Miguel arts, culture, food, and events. San Miguel weather HERE.


I recommend you fly into Leon (Guanajuato International Airport, BJX), which is about 60 miles from San Miguel. However, you can also fly into Queretaro (60 miles, QRO) or Mexico City (160 miles, MEX). From any of the airports you can take a cab or hire a car. To avoid looking ‘like a tourist’, I prefer taxi or private vehicle over more elite services like BajioGo.

Although you can rent a car and drive, having a car in SMA can be inconvenient with parking/traffic. It is easy to get around SMA via taxi. They are abundant and inexpensive (60-80 pesos, $3-4).


The studio address is Paloma 11 La Luz, San Miguel de Allende, 37747 (the pink circle on the map).

Because daily transport to/from the workshop is included, you can book one of the many hotels or Airbnb’s in the city center and take advantage of the food, beauty, and culture of San Miguel.

Because people have different budgets and different tastes in the kinds of places they like to stay, I generally do not recommend any particular lodging.

If you would prefer to be walking distance to the workshop, Hotel Casa Primavera (the red circle) and some Airbnb’s close to it are options. However, unless you prefer a walking distance option, I recommend you stay in the city center and enjoy the local culture.

My home is a bit further out, located in the blue circle. I will be hosting our ‘meet and greet’ the night before the workshop starts.

STUDIO, pink circle. JERRY’S HOME, blue circle. HOTEL CASA PRIMAVERA, red circle.

STUDIO, pink circle. JERRY’S HOME, blue circle. HOTEL CASA PRIMAVERA, red circle.

Thinking of taking Jerry’s workshop? Make it happen, no matter the inconvenience, cost, or timing.
— Judy V.
It was well thought out and more giving of experience and talent than any other workshop I have taken.
— Dana G.

What should you bring?

Click HERE for information from Gamblin about traveling with art supplies.



To make travel more convenient, artist essentially need to bring only their tools, paints, creativity, and enthusiasm. I provide all the following supplies:

  • 32 ounces Gamblin cold wax medium. If you need more, it will be available for purchase.

  • Odorless mineral spirits

  • 12 sheets of 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!

Please note that if you use wood panels, they must be gessoed before painting with cold wax and oils.

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COLD wax book

This is an advanced workshop. We will NOT be focusing on basic techniques. However, the techniques in this workshop are based on the information in my book with Rebecca Crowell, Cold Wax Medium: Techniques, Concepts & Conversations. Although it is not necessary to have one, if you do, it would be helpful to bring it. If you do not have it, you can purchase a copy HERE.

You might also consider our Video Workshop. It covers all the techniques we teach in a 5-day intro workshop, as well as presentations on abstraction, contrast, and the elements of art. You can watch Rebecca and Jerry each take a painting from beginning to completion. There is also information about materials, supplies, studio setup and safety, and much more. It is nearly 7 hours long! A great way to prepare for, or reinforce concepts after a workshop. More information HERE.

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Based on his groundbreaking book with Rebecca Crowell, Cold Wax Medium: Techniques, Concepts & Conversations, Jerry’s introductory workshops offer demos and hands-on experience with cold wax medium. Participants explore the basic materials, tools, surfaces, and techniques he and Rebecca employ in their own work. Participants paint with cold wax, oils, pigment sticks, and powdered pigments, and experience the expressive potential of layering, texture, and mark-making. In addition, Jerry helps artists address barriers to creativity, letting go, and working more freely. These introductory workshops are for artists with prior experience painting but new to cold wax medium or those with some cold wax experience who are looking to broaden or reinforce their skills.

Workshop topics include:

  • Basic tools, materials, surfaces, and safety

  • Understanding and mastering stages of dryness

  • Working wet-in-wet

  • Foundational layers and texture

  • Brayer techniques and veil of color

  • Mark-making for structure and expression

  • Stencils, masking, creating shape, and dividing space

  • Pigments, powders, and particulates

  • Mechanical and solvent reductions

  • Techniques for a dry surface

  • And MORE!


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You are free to bring and use whatever tools you like. However, SP CREATE is a line of tools custom-made for working with cold wax: brayers and squeegees in a range of sizes to fit all needs. I will have some of the squeegees and brayers available for purchase at the workshop, though there will not be enough for everyone. You can purchase the tools HERE if you would like to get familiar with them before the workshop or if you want to make sure you have them for use at the workshop.


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


getting to the studio

As mentioned previously, transport to/from the studio is included with the workshop. Blanca (the studio owner) will arrange this. I will need the address of your lodging and a local phone number or your cell (with international service) for her to set this up. I will send out a link about a month before the workshop to collect this information.

If you prefer to take a taxi, tell them: Paloma 11, Fraccionamiento La Luz. Turn right by Fiat/Chrysler San Miguel, across from the Tianguis. Off Avenida La Luz.


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. In 2018 Jerry and Rebecca started SP CREATE, a line of exclusive, custom-made tools for artists working with cold wax. To help reinforce the concepts they teach, Jerry and Rebecca just filmed a professional video workshop, all the information - and more - they teach in one of their joint 5-day abstract cold wax workshops - information HERE.

Jerry is passionate about teaching, and he studied adult education at 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 Oakland, CA with his husband Mike and their dog Bert.

adobe y negro (x)  oil, cold wax, and wood ash on panel, 36 x 36 inches, 2019.

adobe y negro (x) oil, cold wax, and wood ash on panel, 36 x 36 inches, 2019.