Unleash your Inner Artist

You could be the next Grandma Moses
BY: MARLA KING

On a bright Thursday morning in Todos Santos, eight newly-crafted watercolor seahorses are lined up on Tori Sepulveda’s patio. Each are different, with some some featuring bold strokes and colors while other are quietly abstract. Teacher and students stand in a group around the paintings, taking turns pointing out what they observe and enjoy in each other’s work.

“One of the reasons I love coming to this class,” says Maura, who has been attending Sepulveda’s art instruction for as long as she can remember. “Is because Tori is so encouraging and positive.” The other students agree. “Tori brought out the artist in me I didn’t know was there,” says another.

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Artist and teacher Tori Sepulveda at her studio in Todos Santos
 

Tori Sepulveda discovered Todos Santos in the 1990s and became a permanent resident in 2005. Since moving to the town, with her husband,  she has been encouraging budding artists every available Thursday morning at her studio, which is a lovely spot under the trees in their backyard. Students con-tribute $10 to cover the cost of supplies and Sepulveda provides the materials, inspiration and tech-niques. Each week, the class focuses on a different type of medium - acrylics, ink, watercolors and others.

‘We cover different concepts all the time so you can join in any time, ”Sepulveda explains. “I  provide a starting idea that can be completed in one setting.” Because it’s a drop-in class, there can be anywhere from one to 20 students on any given morning.

While Todos Santos is known for its plethora of artists, not every creator has the ability to mentor oth-ers. Sepulveda’s strengths come from a career as a background as a trained advanced placement high school art teacher at Ventura, California schools. “Some of my former students are doing amazing work, even working at the Pixar digital film studio”, she shares.

Sepulveda says working with the class participants fuels her own inspiration. A popular professional artist in her own right, her works depict the vibrant people and landscapes of Mexico. Her paintings are available at Mango’s gallery as well as her studio at the dead end of Calle Cuauhtemoc in Todos Santos. Art cards, small reproductions, and mugs are also on offer at her galleria.

Actively involved in the local community as a board member of the Palapa Society charity, Sepulveda has also contributed art for promoting the town’s historical tour and Servicios Veterinarios spay/neuter clinics.

If you are interested in joining an art class, contact Tori at oscarntoni@yahoo.com to get on her mailing list. You can also visit her galleria during the Todos Santos Open Studio Tour coming up February 9 - 10.