Sunday, March 04, 2012

San Miguel de Allende

A taste of San Miguel. We spent the last leg of our hejira here, in the company of old and new friends. The air was honeyed, every morning we awoke to church bells and the cooing of doves. 

It is good to turn off the news (which is not really news, only bad news) and listen to the sounds of nature. Good to move slowly, breathe deeply and let the rest of the world take care of itself for awhile as you take a break.

Evenings in San Miguel this time of year can be cool but not cool enough to build a fire in our room.

Days we spent walking the narrow sidewalks, giving our old bones a fine workout.

Evenings I confess were spent imbibing ridiculous amounts of Margaritas and eating tortillas de maiz.

I have no doubt that the Virgin de Guadalupe watched over us every moment. I am not a brave or reckless person and imagine every kind of calamity that can happen during travel. I turned my fears over to the goddess. It's the best I can do.

Ellen Benson shared her game of drawing on randomly ink-blotted muslin; she gave me a couple of pieces to work on during my stay and this is one of the results. The color was applied by her, all I did was find shapes and fill in what I saw with indelible pen. It was really fun and something to do in airports and on the plane.

Of course I spent many hours chewing over my experiences in the journal. This time I only travelled with watercolors, pens, stamps and glue stick. Did some retro-decorating when I got back home.

I thought a lot about the impulse that drives creative people to make art. Came to the conclusion that all art is sacred, whether the maker intends it to be or not. The impulse is the same in both cases. Transcendence. Rapture. Euphoria and joy. Every artist knows that feeling from when a painting goes well. 

And color. How we do love color, obvious or nuanced. And texture.

Harmony. The line and the satisfaction of bringing disparate elements together to form something new.

I took a few shots at the big market on Tuesday. So much color, fragrance and sensual pleasure.

I remember when I used to be afraid to eat salads in Mexico. Those days are gone. Now I eat.

So much to choose from.

So many clever ways to cook the food.

There's food for vegans.

And for meat lovers. ha ha.

This is making me hungry.

Mexicans are famous for their agricultural knowledge. The variety and quality of vegetables at the market was astounding.

Beautiful food, lovingly prepared.

I haven't spoken much about the people who filled our days but study the beautiful faces in the photo above and you'll get an idea of the spiritual gift each person gave. Aging, precious flesh, long in experience and kindness; I learned from each one, received a silent communion and was filled.

Adios Miguelito. Adios and thank you for every precious moment.


Ro Bruhn said...

So much colour, this is my sort of place. Gorgeous photos and the doodled cloth is a great idea.

sherrie posternak said...

judy, did you have a chance to look up my encaustic buds while there---rae miller, victoria pierce, eschwan winding?

Judy Wise said...

Well last year I took a workshop from Eschwan and shared a lunch with her but didn't have time to connect this year. I stopped by twice to see Rae but once she was busy teaching a class and the 2nd time her studio was empty. She emailed me later to explain that she's busy making plans to get married! So I was happy to hear that. And Victoria Pierce I have not had the pleasure of meeting. Maybe in the future! xo

Lynn Cohen said...

Funny I wondered about eating in the market places right before you said you used to be afraid to eat a salad in Mexico but not anymore.
I got violently ill when I was in Oaxaca those many years ago from doing just that. Glad things have changed. Did you still stick to bottled water?

The photos rock with color and texture and joy. I felt I could smell things cooking and taste the colorful.

Loving all that you are sharing Judy. More wows from me.

Amanda said...

Looks like a fascinating place Judy. And you look so relaxed, young and beautiful in that orange top with your hair drawn back to show your lovely face. :)

roc said...

such gorgeous photographs. i love how spiritual you are. you see so much in so many things. god bless you judy. the world needs more people like you.

James said...

Thank you for sharing this wonderful experience. The color and peace were like a transfusion this morning. Vicki

Jan's Art and Musings said...

Judy, thank you so much for sharing your trip with us "arm chair travelers". I loved seeing Mexico through your eyes.

Lisa Graham said...

Judy, you look so beautiful in your photo. I love all these pictures...what a nice time you obviously had. This makes me long for vacation and meeting new people.

somepinkflowers said...

{{ i wanna
time }}

Stephani Gorman said...

Awesome photos Judy! Really glad you included one of yourself & you looked so lovely! Thanks for sharing!

David said...

What truly wonderful photos you took during your trip to San Miguel. I hope it was okay that I posted your Blog link to my Twitter page about San Miguel @LivinginSMA. I get Google alerts on anything to do with San Miguel, and your Blog post came up.

Myself, I'm located in Toronto, but spend more & more time in San Miguel de Allende, working toward re-locating their. In the interim, I lead home buyer trips to San Miguel.

Thanks for your unique and personal look at this lovely place.

Connie said...

Hi Judy, My daughter is always talking about her trip to San Miguel and by your photos I can see why she loved it there. Looked for a button to push to follow your blog, but couldn't find one. I guess I'll just bookmark it. Your new fan and fellow blogger, Connie P.S love your journal pages

Caterina Giglio said...


Dawn E. Shepherd Nguyen said...

Welcome home Judy!
That self portrait of you is so beautiful! I love it.

Getting excited for your online Art Journaling Workshop :)
big hugs and lots of love,

Melinda said...

wow. really.

eb said...

loving it all
and you
we will be in Mexico
come July
the tribe - 11 of us
Mom and Dad
each turning 80...

you are so beautiful,

xox - eb.

Tracy Verdugo said...

Oh how I LOVE Mexico!! Thank you for taking me there today happy you had a wonderful trip xo

Sandi Moayedi said...

Judy, you look amazing!!! You have aged so well; hardly look a day older than the good old days when we were roomies.