Day 1: Return to San Miguel De Allende

The Colours of San Miguel De Allende

The Colours of San Miguel De Allende

It's been 4 + years since my return to San Miguel De Allende.

I had a group of 6 women come with me, a variety of ages, levels and experiences, all from the Ottawa area. Two had been with me already to SMA years ago, and for them it was a pleasant return 'home'. It hasn't lost an ounce of it's spirit, colour, heart or ability to satisfy the verocious appetite of the hungry winter driven artist. The colours of San Miguel are dizzying. A non stop kaleidoscope of eye candy, exploding with texture - a fiesta for the eyes.

We began with short gestural studies of figures in 'El Jardin'. I thought it was appropriate to begin here as the central garden is really the beating heart of the city, located right in front of the Parroquia, the world famous Neo-Gothic church and icon of the town. So much happens in the small space of the jardin. Children squeal and run after balloons just bought from the ever present 'balloon man'.  Americans sip lattes on the long cast iron benches and read the Atencion (the local paper).  Buskers dance, women pray, dolls are sold, hats are bought, and all the while the bells of the church ring out mingling with barking dogs and distant roosters.

During the day  the Jardin's charming disk like trees shield it's visitors with dappled light and at night time they provide an ambient canopy to the dancing and singing that gather below.

After a beautiful lunch of ceviche, guacamole and tortilla soup - complete with a crisp glass of vino blanco (o dos) under the lace umbrellas of Posada Carmina, 

Posada Carmina (Hotel restaurant)

Posada Carmina (Hotel restaurant)

… we continued our day seated alongside the sidewalks of Aldama, with a sketch of the much photographed view of the fountain and church in the background. 

I painted the shadows first with Prussian, Violet and Burnt Umber

I painted the shadows first with Prussian, Violet and Burnt Umber

The final pen and watercolour sketch in my Moleskin Journal

The final pen and watercolour sketch in my Moleskin Journal

My beautiful group in front of the fountain.  

My beautiful group in front of the fountain.