This year I am honored to invite three new instructors to share
their unique creative voices and artistic path with you
in a small intimate week long art retreat
in the heart of San Miguel de Allende.
Today it is my pleasure to introduce the inspirational
As owner of an international card company, a creative director and illustrator for more than 35 years, Rogene Manas retired from her businesses (PhotoTidings.com and Bloompapergoods.com) in 2006 to focus on art making. She studied art at the University of Oregon and worked with numerous professional artists in the Pacific Northwest, Mexico, Italy and France in developing her skills. As an accomplished plein-air landscape painter, she made a sudden departure in style after spending winters in Mexico. Inspired by the allegorical nature of Latin American folk art, she shifted her focus from the external world to the internal one. Now as a contemporary folk artist, she makes art about thoughts and feelings, often combining nature images with human forms. Her work shows in galleries throughout Oregon. She teaches unique and inventive mixed media workshops in Oregon, California and San Miguel de Allende, Mexico. It was on her blog, Out Of My Mind I discovered Everyday Saints. I was immediately smitten, wrote Rogene to share my delight in her creations; and one thing led to another; so you see Everyday Saints do work hard at making dreams come true!
Our Lady of Keeping it Together
If someone was introducing you to a classroom of eager students
what would be the most significant details to be included in your introduction?
I believe that art and creativity come THROUGH you, and that there is such a terrific abundance of this creative force that everyone gets to have as much as they want. I like to help people find their creative voices and teach them simple skills and techniques so that they can express themselves and make work that makes them happy. If everyone were able to express their creativity, make art in some way, the world would be a peaceful place where the best of humanity would rise up as stewards. So, one person at a time, I hope to change the world.
Our Lady of Lessons Learned
What is your first memory of consciously embracing creativity as a way of life.
I was 23 when I moved to Eugene, Oregon, as a young divorced mother. I needed to earn a living and yet I longed to be an artist. Luckily, at that time, in this small town, I could find lots of ways to earn money as an artist. So I weaseled my way into graphic design and illustration jobs, working for printers, ad agencies and design firms and eventually owning my own international card company. I've done everything from painting murals and Christmas windows, to selling handmade jewelry and beads at craft fairs. The best part of it all has been working and associating with other creative people. There really was no other choice for me. I had to be an artist.
At this time in your life what form of creativity has proven
to be the most meaningful?
I love making all kinds of art...from the beautiful, to the bizarre. But when I make art about my feelings and emotions, it is the most enjoyable and cathartic for me. I consciously process things when I make art about my life. I use the process of making the art to purge things or express them. The energy, mindfulness, contemplation, obsessiveness, insanity...it all becomes part of the art. Embedded into it. And it helps me let go of it or honor it...whatever my goal is. I think that when you do meaningful work, it really reaches into your soul. You can mesmerize yourself with what comes forth.
Our Lady of Patiently Waiting
If you were way laid on a desert island what art supplies would you not be without?
I am a very practical and simplistic in the materials I keep on hand. I like making something out of nothing. I often adapt to an environment and make art only with what I find there. I think I would want to have tools with me, like strong threads and needles, scissors, xacto knives, snips, scissors, a drill and adhesives. Then I could make art from whatever I find. But just to be sure, I always carry a good pencil, eraser and sketchbook, lest I get washed away.
Our Lady of Careful Consideration
How do you feel a week retreat in san miguel is the embodiment of a dream come true?
San Miguel de Allende is one of my favorite cities in the world. Not only is it beautiful, but it is full of art and artisans. I always bring art supplies when I visit San Miguel, because I can only take in so much before I have to make something. Inspired by the beauty and culture there, I developed my series of works called Everyday Saints. My plan was to eventually teach mixed media workshops there, using the saints as a theme. When Rebecca approached me to join her program, I felt it was a match made in heaven. She IS a saint. Right?
Our Lady of Being Kind to Yourself
What do you believe to be your highest responsibility and offering as a teacher in the lives of your students?
As a teacher, I need to inspire my students to feel fearlessly capable and creative while I'm opening the door to new artistic techniques and possibilities. I design my workshops so that people can easily learn the methods and realize artistic success. This, in turn, spurs their enthusiasm and more creativity. When you have a class full of creatively enthusiastic people, everyone reaches new levels. I feel it is important to engage every type of student at their level so that everyone walks away with new ideas, new perspectives on their work, and new methods of making art. My goal is to make everyone say "Wow!" about their own work. Plus, I am always a student and an inventor. So I am always learning and discovering, especially from my students.
In addition to the art part of the workshop, it is important to me that we all find connection. Who could ask for more that to be in a fabulous, historical, exotic place with a bunch of new friends who are into making art? OMG!! Seriously? San Miguel is even better when you see it through someone else's eyes.
I have always made art. I had much older siblings, so was essentially an only child. And so art became my best friend. My mother and older sister taught me to draw and since then, I have never been lonely or bored. My work has evolved from self-taught, to studying a variety of disciplines with a lot of great teachers. And though I may study particular disciplines, I always develop my own way of doing things, taking a bit of this and a bit of that to form my methods. Over the years, I began sharing my inventions by teaching workshops because I wanted everyone to enjoy the benefits of having art as a best friend. Teaching art has become as important to me as making art.
Our Lady of the Giving Heart
Rogene thank you so much for a wonderful interview.
Before we close is there anything else you would like to share?
Mexico is magic to me. Perhaps it is the culture of artful simplicity that I love so much. Or perhaps it's the colonial buildings and cobblestone streets, the artisan marketplace representing many regions of the country, the talented artists drawn there from all over the world...or maybe it's just the shopping! The Mexicans can make so much with so little. And creativity is an open box of crayons there. To me, San Miguel has the richest concentration of fine arts and crafts in the most beautiful little city of Mexico. And the food is unbelievable. I find myself wanting to go back every year and always finding something new when I get there.
To join us and create your own host of
please find more details and register here.