Monthly Archives: March 2014

El Charco del Ingenio

This morning I visited the botanical garden located high on a hill overlooking San Miguel.  When I got there at 8:30 am, it was a bit cool, but by 10:30 it was hot.  Am glad I got there early!

The area, 170 acres in size, is planted with both native and introduced plants, the great majority are cacti and succulents.  There are natural areas, organized gardens, a children’s area, gathering areas, a conservatory, propagation area, dog park, gift shop, and cafe.  Running through the area is a dammed waterway forming a large lake. At one time, water from the lake was piped to a local textile mill; the water supplied the power to run the looms.

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Blooms were just beginning to open when I arrived this morning, and by the time I left, many more buds had opened on the cacti.  These blooms have a tissue-like fragility which dramatically contrasts with the spikes, spines, and woody thorns and hard, leathery surfaces of the plants, many in rugged, contorted forms.  It is a dry, harsh landscape.  At first it looked rather boring, but as I wandered along the many trails, I discovered a lot of variety to the colors, forms, and textures.  Among the large and massive, tree-like cacti were tiny and intricate succulents with delicate flowers.

Here are my photos.

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Tomorrow I pack and Tuesday I return home.  Stay tuned for more travels ahead.  I haven’t decided where or when just yet….

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San Miguel de Allende Printmakers (SMAP)

Two years ago I met several printmakers here in San Miguel and we formed a group.  Today we have 12 members that include part and full-time US residents and Mexican nationals.  We meet during the winter months to organize exhibits and other activities and to network and share.  We also have a website:  www.smaprintmakers.com.

So far, we have exhibited as a group at an international print conference in Milwaukee, at a gallery in Providence, a gallery in Mazatlan, MX, and upcoming will be a gallery in Detroit in conjunction with a regional print conference.  We also have some other exciting prospects on the horizon.

Here are some members of the group.

IMG_0916Julio Quintauillo and Mary Lou Lipkin

Untitled-1Hugo Anaya and El Pinche Grabodor with Susan Dorf

Untitled-4aKathleen Cammarata and I attending an opening reception for Linda Soberman’s exhibit at the Queretaro Museum of Art.

Here are some of their prints.

LindaSobermanQuestioning Identities by Linda Soberman

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B
etween Two Worlds by Hugo Anaya

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What She Carries by Susan Dorf

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From Kathleen Cammarata’s solo show, “other realities”

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Castillo by Karen von Felten

Spring is here!

There are several signs around town that spring is here.  First is the parade of hundreds of pre-school and lower grade children from communities in the region that always takes place on March 21.  These costumed children are dressed as animals, insects, butterflies, princesses, and other natural creatures.  The kids are adorable – oh, so cute! – and the crowds of spectators include large extended families.

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New costume categories this year included fruits, farmers with milk cans and cows, and sea creatures including shells and mermaids.

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The second sign of spring here is the blooming of the Jacaranda trees that create a lavender haze across the cityscape.  This picture was taken with an overcast sky.  When the sun is shining, the lavender blooms sparkle!

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I also know it is spring when the ladies of San Juan de Dio Church prepare and sell special fried pastries eaten only during Lent.

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And last week I discovered a newly planted garden.  Planting a salad and herb garden in the bed of a truck makes sense because to water it means only driving through a car wash.  Then when you go on a picnic or are invited to a potluck dinner, fresh salad is right there!  (The mushrooms are plastic.)

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Welcome to my blog, again.

I am picking up here where I left off with my previous blog, which is now being discontinued by the server….

Here I am, into the last couple weeks of my two month stay in San Miguel de Allende, MX. I had friends, Rob and Diane, visiting me for 10 days, and it is always fun to share the charm, food, and culture of this town with others.  Rob had read about the pastries from a French bakery on an earlier blog posting, so as soon as he unpacked, he asked where the bakery was.  For the duration of their stay with me, we had a buffet of pastries every morning!

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And we had our share of ice cream at other times of the day.

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I have been on many house tours over the past several years, and from year to year, the houses are repeated.  But while Diane was here, we went on a Sunday tour to houses that were new to me.  The tours are sponsored by the local library as a fundraiser for their literacy program.

The first house we visited was a gallery/house.  The spacious main room, (18 x 18 x 18 ft.) served as a living room as well as a gallery filled with contemporary art. The headboard in the master bedroom was a cow hide.

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A sofa, chair, a table suspended from the ceiling and a bull’s head were covered in drippy globs of black rubber.

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It is unusual to encountered the purity of a minimalist decor in colorful Mexico!

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The rooftop deck was multi-leveled and planted with groupings of interesting and unusual cacti, many just about to bloom.

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The second house was a spacious, one story house arranged in a “U” around a courtyard. The open end of the courtyard extended beyond into gardens.

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The decor was a fun mixture of old, ornate, primitive, and contemporary.

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The next house was contemporary and multi-storied with lots of glass with plenty of light.

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This house had some unique, custom features such as the Louise Nevelson-like reliefs high on the living room wall, bright green appliances in the kitchen, fun tile design in the master bath and quirky art, furniture and features.  Of the three, I liked this one the best.  And it is for sale – hummm….

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