The Art Instructor   | The Workshop | Art Supplies  | The City | The B&B | The Weather   | Travel Info | Rooms


ROHANA’S Art Workshop

  • November 17 - 24, 2019 Sunday to Sunday

  • Held in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico, a city known internationally for its rich cultural offerings

  • Hosted by the popular Casa de la Noche & Bordello Galeria

  • Workshop / accommodation packages ranges from US $1195 to US $2175

Rohana in Jardin.jpg

You are invited to an art workshop with a focus on plein air painting in an authentic Mexican setting in cultural centre of Mexico, San Miguel de Allende.

Explore this historic colonial town through the eyes of an artist with sketchbook in hand. Enjoy 6 days of art instruction with Rohana Laing, an experienced painter and highly regarded plein air teacher who will share her love of art and help you develop your own personal style.

Stay in the famous Casa De La Noche & Bordello Galeria, a gorgeous centrally-located boutique bed and breakfast with unique rooms, art gallery, studio space, charming outdoor gardens and more. Have an opportunity to socialize, create with and learn from other artists in a world-class setting.

And the sun shines almost every day!  This is the perfect place for outdoor sketching and painting.

The workshop price varies with your choice of room and ranges from US $1580 for a small working girl room (singles only) to US $2175 for a luxury suite on your own. The price includes your accommodation, 6 hours of workshop instruction per day, all breakfasts and many expenses related to the workshop. Invite a friend and share room expenses, or treat yourself to a private room or suite!

Sign up now!

The Art Instructor

Rohana Laing

Rohana’s unique style is a synthesis of her interests and abilities. After graduating from Emily Carr University in Vancouver, Canada, Rohana discovered Indonesian batiks. Combining her skills in drawing, painting, design and print making, she created large batik paintings using traditional application of wax and dyes.  Her stylized, but representational, images of Canadian and international themes became popular and for many years she exhibited and taught in Canada and abroad. While teaching at Kwantlen University near Vancouver she began a series of repeat patterns. This interest in pattern, design and colour inspired by nature influenced her painting style when she turned to painting in acrylics and oils.  

Her curiosity and keen interest in observing people going about their daily lives in an exotic (exotic-to-her) settings led her to join Urban Sketchers in San Miguel de Allende and to draw and paint while traveling. Now she would like to share this love with others.

For more information and to view a gallery of some of her artwork, visit Rohana’s website at:

The Workshop

This intensive workshop will include 6 hours of instruction per day for each student, which includes group instruction, individual coaching, studio time and outdoor sketching.

Intermediate to advanced artists who want to move beyond painting literally what they see to a more designed, stylized or abstracted work of art will appreciate this workshop.  San Miguel de Allende is an ideal place to practice stylizing from the dramatic shapes, colours, textures and lights and darks created by the shadows of old colonial architecture and the city's beautiful parks and gardens.

There is an abundance of inspiration in the patterns of light and shade and the rich colours and textures in Mexico in general, and in the cultural and picturesque setting of San Miguel de Allende in particular. Students will be encouraged to explore and develop their own personal style of simplifying, organizing, and rearranging their subject matter to create paintings that ‘work’ which are unique and visually exciting for both artist and viewer.

Participants in this workshop will explore the elements of design (such as line, shape, value, colour, texture and form) through their chosen subject matter. Mornings will begin with instruction time in the studio and afternoons will be devoted outdoor sessions where students will choose their subject of interest and create drawings and water colour studies, which may serve as inspiration for further painting in studio. Rohana will introduce students to techniques learned from her years of teaching that have helped her achieve wanted results.

Mexico offers opportunity for dramatic effects and a fun, exciting process that can be continued long after the student returns home. Imagine spending time with, working with and learning from a diverse groups of artists in the rich cultural context of the Casa de la Noche and San Miguel de Allende!  Join us.

Schedule - What to expect

Arrival Day:    Take time to settle in.

 Join us for a margarita orientation session in the evening.

Daily Workshop Schedule:

7-8 am:     Breakfast

 Start the day with a delicious healthy breakfast provided by the Casa de la Noche.

8:30-10:30 am:     2-hour studio session

Each day begins with 11/2 to 2 hours of studio work.  The session will include a demonstration and offers suggestions for designing on location from looking at a subject.

10:30-11 am:     Coffee break and snack

12-2  pm:    Outdoor sketching and painting:  

We’ll walk or take a van to an inspiring venue to draw and paint outdoors. There is a beautiful ecological reserve and botanical garden nearby called “El Charco del Ingenio” along with many parks, plazas, and other locations perfect for plein air (outdoor) work.

2-4 pm:     Dinner Break

The custom in Mexico is to eat the main meal mid-afternoon. After the dinner break we will return to the studio. There will also be some time to explore the city.

4:30-5:30 pm:    Group critique and art talk in the studio

Gather in the  studio for the summary of the day, a group discussion and a valuable critique of the day's learning.

6 pm:    Free time

Rest. Enjoy happy hour. Paint in the studio individually. The evenings are your free time to spend how you choose. Socialize, go exploring, dine at fabulous restaurants, take in one of the many of the local concerts or simply continue to enjoy the ambiance of Casa de la Noche.  

Note:  Day 6 will include a trip to nearby Atotonilco to visit the historic old town and an artisan gallery in a large park-like setting, followed by an afternoon at the hot springs for swimming, painting, lunch and to enjoy the sunshine. In the evening we will have an art display and group critique in the Bordello Galeria while sipping on margaritas and enjoying appetizers.  

The last day will be a free day to enjoy San Miguel, say goodbyes, pack up and go. Or better yet, choose to extend your stay beyond the workshop to explore further. Advance booking is recommended.

Art Supplies

  • Comfortable back pack to hold all art supplies

  • Hat

  • Camera (cell phone camera will do)

  • 1 sketch book  - 8"x10" or larger

  • 1 smaller sketchbook

  • 3 small to medium brushes (flat about 1/2 inch wide)

  • Small box of water-colours

  • Small container for water

  • Coloured felt pen-brushes (similar to KOI brush pens - medium to fine tip)

  • Note: A folding stool will be provided

The City

This is an invitation to experience the magic of San Miguel de Allende, one of the most artistic cities in Mexico, a city that practically bursts with colour. It was recently named by Conde Nast “2018 Best City in the World” for a second year running. Students are encouraged to book a few extra days to walk the romantic stone walkways and cobblestoned streets,  to explore the history and culture of old Mexico, see the city's impressive colonial architecture or to savor fine international dining and local Mexican favorites. But the city's magic is particularly on display during its many festivals, religious celebrations and holidays.

Be sure to visit the unique Fabrica Aurora complex of art galleries, see other galleries, visit a nearby archeological site or explore more of the many possibilities in the area, either before or after the workshop.

For more information about San Miguel de Allende, visit San-Miguel-de-Allende

The Accommodation

OUR WORKSHOP is held in the famous  old San Miguel bordello - CASA DE LA NOCHE

Participants choose their own room on a first come, first served basis. Pricing depends upon your room choice and whether you prefer a room on your own or if you share with another participant. This 7 day workshop includes accommodation, breakfast and 6 hours of art instruction per day and more.

If you have a best friend or spouse who does not paint, but wants to travel, invite them to share your room as your guest at no extra cost!





Each room is unique and individually decorated. (see below)

Our Casa has its own art studio, spacious gardens and grounds, guest kitchen, superb location, and original art throughout the property. To learn more about Casa de la Noche and its notorious history, please check out the webpage history tab.

Our multi-level boutique hotel does not have an elevator. If you have concerns about your ability to negotiate steps, please let us know upfront so we can help you choose your accommodation. If you have any lodging questions please contact Barbara at Casa de la Noche (; or call 1 831-373-8888).

The Weather

San Miguel de Allende's charms are legendary and the weather is reliably gorgeous throughout most of the year, with over 300 days of sunshine per year - great for those seeking a reprieve from the colder winter weather of home. The average temperature in November in San Miguel de Allende Mexico  74°F to 76°F (23°C to 24°C), rarely falling below 68°F (20°C) or exceeding 81°F (27°C).

A great time to visit San Miguel de Allende for outdoor painters is November April because it experiences less rainfall than the summer months. However, winter nights can get chilly, so plan to bring warmer layers for when the sun goes down.


San Miguel de Allende is in the heart of Mexico at 6200 ft elevation.  The closest airports are Leon (BJX) or Queretero (QRO) and shuttles or private transportation can be arranged to meet and drive you to Casa de la Noche, which is a 75-minute drive for a fee. If you register by July 24th you will receive a FREE roundtrip airport shuttle to the hotel.

You can also fly into Mexico City but this requires a 3 1/2 or 4-hour bus or shuttle ride.

You will need a current Passport and a Visa (available at the airport upon arrival). Travel insurance is highly recommended in case plans change. Some credit cards offer this as part of their perks! Check yours!

The ATMs in San Miguel accepts VISA DEBIT cards for access to Mexican pesos.

Sign Up for the Workshop

Click on the PayPal button associated with the room of your choice to make a $300 USD deposit per participant. Payment of the balance is required on or before October 17, 2019. The balance can be paid by check to Casa de la Noche, 1735 Crockett Lane, Hillsborough CA, 94010. Please note “Rohana’s Art Workshop” on the memo line of your check.  Or Canadians may telephone Barbara at 1-831-373-8888 and book a room with your credit card.

EARLY BIRD RESERVATION BONUS: Register for your room before July 24, 2019 and receive a FREE roundtrip airport shuttle to the hotel.


Because of limited accommodations, deposits are refundable only until 3 months prior to this event (August 17, 2019). Refund requests after this date will not be granted unless the workshop fills completely. All deposit refunds are subject to a $75 processing fee. Payment of the balance is due 2 weeks prior to arrival. If the workshop is cancelled by Rohana Laing you will be refunded all monies you have paid to date. We encourage you to purchase travel insurance that will cover your expenses in case your plans change.

If you have any workshop questions, please contact Rohana (; or call 1-250- 324-2026 Canada).

The Rooms


Please make your room selections below. Pricing includes lodging and all workshop fees!

All fourteen rooms are individually decorated  and all have private baths. Some have kitchenettes, separate sitting areas, TVs, fireplaces, gardens, patios or terraces, and all have access to light cooking facilities and common living areas. Our main common rooms have in-floor heating and all accommodations have electric or gas heaters, fans or air conditioning. All water is purified and WiFi is located throughout the property. Healthy start, home-cooked Mexican breakfasts are included with your lodging.

SUITES $2175 single workshop participant or

$1390/pp 2 workshop participants

(room rate includes daily breakfast, workshop fees, access to art studio, our excursions and all taxes)

All suites have kitchenettes, cable television, air conditioning and private en-suite baths.

LA TERRAZA SUITE Saved for Darcy and her friend!

This one-bedroom air-conditioned suite has its own plant-filled terrace along with outdoor seating for two. The hand-painted tile kitchenette has many windows with a pretty view, counter seating, and a sitting area with a couch, coffee table and tow chairs. Cable TV is in the living area. There is a private bath with shower. Two twin beds can be made into a king if preferred. To reserve La Terraza Suite use the PayPal button here:

La Terraza Suite lodging and workshop deposit:

LA VISTA SUITE Already reserved!

This third story studio air-conditioned apartment has an open floor plan which includes a kitchenette, table and two chairs, an Equipali couch and chair, and cable TV. A closet separates the king bed (may also be 2 twins) from the main space. There is a private bath with shower. At the rear there are French doors to a second flower-filled terrace with a table and seating for two. For the view-lovers, there is a steep stair to the top-level terrace with 360 degree views. To reserve the La Vista Suite, use the PayPal button here:

La Vista Suite lodging and workshop deposit:

MADAM’S SUITE Available now!

 This one-bedroom air-conditioned apartment has the largest living space with a couch and 2 comfortable chairs facing a large fireplace. The living space also has dining table and seating for 4 as well as a writing desk and cable TV. A talavera-tiled kitchenette has all the basics. The bedroom has a walk-in closet and private tub with overhead shower.  Twin beds easily convert to a king-size bed. To reserve Madam's Suite, use the PayPal button here.

Madam's Suite lodging and workshop deposit

PALOMA LOFT SUITE Available now!

The air-conditioned Paloma Loft is on the second floor of the Besitos Garden complex and has a balcony overlooking the garden courtyard. In addition to a small bath with shower, it also has a mini-kitchen and access to an open terrace and enclosed atelier. The Paloma can be rented with two twin beds or one king size bed. This room connects to the open-air meeting space which can be used for art, yoga, dance or other workshops. To reserve Paloma Loft Suite, use the PayPal button here:

Paloma Loft Suite lodging and workshop deposit

LUXURY Room $2000 single workshop participant or

$1300/pp 2 workshop participants

(Room rate includes daily breakfast, workshop fees, art studio, our excursions and all taxes.)

Our luxury rooms are distinguished by their size or special amenities. Each is unique and special! There is a large shared sala and kitchen.

FIRST KISS ROOM  Available now!

The First Kiss room has a queen-size bed, with antique armoire and original art and has an en-suite bathroom with a tub and shower. It has a view of the distant hills and a glorious jacaranda tree from the bath and bedroom windows. To reserve First Kiss use the PayPal button here:

FIrst Kiss Room lodging and workshop deposit:

KISS ME AGAIN ROOM Available now!

The Kiss Me Again air-conditioned room overlooks the bordello’s original dancing pavilion and may be made up as twin beds or one king bed. It has a working gas fireplace and hand-painted tiles in the en-suite bath with shower. Original art, high beamed ceilings, and a delightful view contribute to a charming experience. To reserve Kiss Me Again use the Paypal button here:

Kiss Me Again Room lodging and workshop deposit:

LA TURCA’S ROOM Available now!

The owner’s former quarters, La Tura’s Suite has a Queen-size bed, with antique armoire and original art from well-known Mexican and American painters adorning the walls. It also features an en-suite bathroom with a tub, double sinks and separate shower. It has a beautiful stained-glass window in the bathroom that affords light and privacy. The bedroom has an ornamental fireplace, seating for two, and a small table. Wi-Fi, cable TV, purified water, small fridge, microwave, and in-floor heating keep this room always comfortable. The location is secluded from other rooms, offering extra privacy and a view of the fountain patio. To reserve La Turca’s, use the PayPal button here:

La Turca's Suite lodging and workshop deposit

DELUXE ROOM $1790 single workshop participant or

$1195/pp 2 workshop participants

(Room rate includes daily breakfast, workshop fees, art studio, our excursions and all taxes.)
These charming Mexican style accommodations all have access to a common kitchen and sala area with fireplace, cable TV, and wireless internet making a perfect accommodation for friendly guest gatherings. All are situated around a secluded, pretty garden.


The Hummingbird air-conditioned room is a king or twin-bedded room that faces out into the garden. It has a private bath with tiled shower. Santa Fe styling and original art give this ground floor room a nice flair. To reserve Hummingbird Room, use the PayPal button here:

Hummingbird Room lodging and workshop deposit:

MARIPOSA ROOM Saved for ValOrie and her daughter!

The Mariposa room, with its large arched windows facing the Garden, is perfect for an artist or nature lover. It may be made up as a king or two twin beds and a private bath with shower. It is located on the ground floor across from the Besitos Garden Kitchen and Sala. To reserve Mariposa room, use the PayPal button here:

Mariposa Room lodging and workshop deposit:

DRAGONFLY ROOM Available now!

The Dragonfly air-conditioned room faces out into the courtyard and has 2 twin beds or one king and private en-suite bathroom with Mexican-tiled bathtub and overhead shower. It is adjacent to the Besitos Garden Kitchen and Sala. To reserve Dragonfly room, use the PayPal button here:

Dragonfly Room workshop and lodging deposit:


single workshop participant only

Recommended for single occupancy. (Room rates includes daily breakfast, workshop fees, art studio, our excursions, and all taxes)

There are four cozy rooms in the main guest house, each with its own personality, that were once actually used by the working girls of the Bordello. There is a small efficiency kitchen area nearby as well as a common patio area and living areas.


The Jovita air-conditioned room is cozy with lots of light and a pleasing view. It has a queen bed with carved headboard, extra shelving and a small chair. It has a private bath with shower, and an electric fireplace for cozy nights. A nearby covered outside sitting area has a wicker couch and chairs and unusual ceremonial masks on the wall. This room has easy access to the Project Room and terrace. To reserve Jovita room, use the PayPal button here:

Jovita Room lodging and workshop deposit:

CHIQUITA ROOM Available now!

Chiquita room is the first of four “working girl” rooms, each with its own personality. This is a cozy room near the main dining room. It has very high ceilings and a queen-size bed. There is a small gas fireplace, and chair and small table, as well as en-suite bath with shower. Nearby, there is a garden sitting area and fountain. To reserve Chiquita, use the PayPal button here:

Chiquita Room lodging and workshop deposit:

PEPITA ROOM Available!

The Pepita room is a cozy space with a queen-size bed, ½ stone wall, ½ antique tiled wall, and a hand painted desk and dresser combination and chair. It has a private bath with shower. Original Rubin Morales paintings are on the wall above an electric fireplace. Outside there is sitting alcove, also a nearby fountain.   To reserve Pepita, use the PayPal button here:

Pepita Room lodging and workshop deposit:

ROSITA ROOM Available now!

The Rosita Room features a queen size bed with carved headboard, dresser and a side chair. There is an outside patio area with seating for two. Access to the Group Project Room is up the nearby stairs. This little room was original to the house but is now updated with bath, shower and sitting alcove.

To reserve Rosita, use the PayPal button here:

Rosita Room lodging and workshop deposit:

Rohana's Gallery:

Scroll down to enjoy a photo of me with some of my art as well as photos of San Miguel de Allende!

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Rohana - fountain patio.jpg