I have been asked many times to give lessons...my excuse so far has been a lack of space. We spend the winter in Mexico in a one bedroom condo.  I now have an room in the common area and a suggestion that I could use it to give lessons.  My problem is I am self taught so don't really have the basics...I kind of paint by more instinct than actual knowledge of what I should do or how to teach it.  I have had for fun things where I have had a bunch of ladies over and have painted a poppy with them and had a great day, but if someone is paying me I might not feel quite as comfortable.  The other thing is in mexico without a work permit I could run into problems with taking money...so I am thinking along the lines of .....this would be great exposure for my own paintings.....and to do more of a drop in thing...bring your own supplies....and I will help...???  It does provide me with a place to paint other than my deck as well...so that is a plus

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Joyce, that's great that people want to take lessons from you!

Regarding the work permit, I don't have any concrete knowledge but I've lived/traveled abroad a lot so here are some ideas based on what I've seen and picked up over the years... If you live in Canada most of the year and only spend a few months each year in Mexico, I wonder if you could rationalize that the lessons you give in Mexico are related to your business that is based back home, and then pay Canadian taxes on the income you make. Kind of like how people run workshops (like painting classes or yoga retreats) where the whole group travels to Mexico or France or Italy; I'm pretty sure the instructor would only pay taxes for that kind of workshop in the country where they reside, not the country where they are visiting.

If that's the case, would you need a work permit for that, I wonder? Another thought is that by teaching art lessons, you're self-employed and you're not taking jobs away from locals in the way that you would if you were to go out and apply for jobs in Mexico, especially if people come to you via word of mouth rather than advertising. Also if you are mainly teaching lessons to ex-pats and visitors then perhaps the authorities may not see it as an issue. I'm not entirely sure of course, but wanted to throw these ideas out there in case they help you figure out what route to take.

In any case you're very wise to consider the work permit issue and if you do decide to charge for lessons it's a good idea to talk to someone who knows the law, to keep everything above board. If you have an English library there, they might have some resources for you or know who you can talk to. Or you can try to find other ex-pats who teach lessons and find out how they handle the legal side of things.

Regarding what you could teach, I like Ruth's advice: "Can you possibly ask what people are looking to learn from you, & state you can teach your creative style, but if someone wants to learn the basics, they can go to a college course?" If people like your style they'll be happy to learn whatever you can teach them.

Regarding supplies, it does sound like it would be a lot easier if people could provide their own supplies. Otherwise you could charge extra for the use of your supplies.

Hope this helps!

thanks to both of you for your thoughts...I know that getting a visa to allow me to work is not an option....the cost and the trouble involved is not worth it to me....I guess I could say that this is more than a hobby for me...but don't want to turn it into a job either.  Not at this stage in my life.  I like Ruth's advice as to what to teach ...perfect...as I can teach my method......I thik for most people it is probably just not knowing where to start.  We actually have a couple of very good art supply stores here in San Jose...so getting supplies is not an issue.  I think the biggest issue for me has been the lack of formal education in the arts, I always feel I am less of an artist for not having that background.  I am nervous about attracting anyone's attention by giving lessons for money...

Hi Ruth

Not sure what happened...your comment ended up in the space....hit something wrong...what I was saying was...I think you are right.  For example I had a 70th birthday party for a friend...and asked her if I could invite some of her special friends from the complex where she lives, and so we had three new couples here.one fellow that has bought from me in the past was interested in buying the small Last Stop..and one of the women said....your paintings are for sale...and I said yes...so she ended up buying the large last stop, sunflowers and the heron in the Estuary....and the other fellow bought the small one...a great party!!!!  Exposure is something I would gain from giving free sessions...I have done this in the past for friends, and everyone had a great day...still talk about it....so must do this ...at least once before I head home...we are taking a little trip to Guadalahara...for the fun of it...and then it will only be a few weeks till we head back to Canada.  Anyhow, remember I talked to you about the pouring medium...I finally waded into it today...should wear rubber gloves...have surgical one for occasions like this...but I get so into it...I don't have time...or even a plan

The poppies were added after the pour, while still wet though...and was a bit thicker consistency

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