Mexican Trip

February 22, 2010

I think that in all my trips to Mexico I have never encountered such cold, rainy weather as we have had  in San Miguel.  On the days that it is sunny everything is glowing especially when it is late afternoon.   On the rainy days we stayed in and painted from the photos we had taken on previous days.  We had a great studio on the top floor of the house we rented that opened up to the rooftop terrace.

  As Tom has said, the people are friendly and good natured.  We tried with our  limited mexican spanish to make conversation and did pretty good with the help of our english/ spanish dictionary.

We walked every day 10,000 to 15,000 steps and each of us lost  about 5 to 6lbs which was a good thing.

I’m  sending a photo of a watercolor I did from our garden.  hasta luego, Joanne

————Posted by Joannne Sonsire

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Update from San Miguel de Allende/ Tom Gardner

February 19, 2010

Sorry I wasn’t able to get back and blog sooner……… every time I went past the computer place in San Mike it was closed or all stations were full.  Down there,  all the places lock up for siesta at 2,  until 4 pm.   That’s hard to get used to.

I got 10 paintings  (or studies )  done while I was there.  But about a thousand fotos to work from.  As you may detect,  I’m talking in the past tense.   We came back Thursday,  from a cold (by their standards)  and rainy Mexico, to a whiteout blizzard in  Rochester. To tell you the truth, I didn’t go San Miguel  to be cold, I can do that just fine right here, so I cut my losses and came home to sit in front of the pot belly and paint.

It really is a freindly place down there, though.   Loads of happy US expats, siting around and ignoring the crap that Bush and his buddies got us into back stateside.  Pleased to be out of it and no wish to return.  The art and cultural scene there is very active and everyone is up to date on whats going on.

Oh Man, we went to a sanctuary where the Monarch butterflys migrate to each year. It’s in the mountains, about 11,000 feet high, in a forest of 75 foot tall pine trees.  As you look up, the trees look like they are filled with HUGE hanging bees nests….. but not so,  they are clusters of Monarchs piled on top of each other,   some branches break from the weight of the clusters.   When the sun comes out and warms them up, they start to fly arround in clouds of orange and black, sounding like it just started to rain.  Everyone ,  native Mexicans and tourists alike stand there, transfixed by the vision of it all…….no one speaks out loud, ever !   It feels  like you are in a church, or better yet,  a concert hall just seconds after the music has stopped, and you don’t want to come back to this mundane existence too soon for fear that you may loose touch with the mystic thing that is happening around you..    They come down and land all over everyone like snow flakes.   Okay, now go and try to paint that one.

And strangely enough, no less than ten minutes over the hill, a village was washed away in a mud slide two days ago.  That seems to sum up Mexico in my mind,  such tranquil beauty and tragedy living side by side at every turn.


Tom Gardner/ A Painter in Mexico

February 6, 2010

Well, it’s been one week in ól Mexico……. and almost  non stop rain  ( I mean flood of ’72 rain,  3″ a day )  and very cold !  And they say it’s  the dry season.

So I´ve been painting from fotos I took just before the rain came.

This place , San Miguel de Allende, is crawling with U.S. expats , who have left the good old US for calmer, more peaceful vibes………. and they have found it here.  Thats for sure.   Very happy, friendly people and a strong sense of comunity. Smiles everywhere!   I am looking to get some nice work done here.   This is the town where the move to independance from Spain started,  and that is still the feeling here….. live and let live.

Yesterday I saw a pack train of burros walking up the middle of a cobble stone street,  about seven in a row.  All piled high with fire wood.  The herder was going door to door  selling it ..  When a V W  bug came up the street, the herder made them get squeeze up on the very narrow side walk,  and they all did it, with a little protest.  BUT…….today is sunny and nice ,  so the brushes call,   with some help from the Margaritas.       I hear it’s snowing up there,  lo siento.

———-Posted by Tom Gardner, from Mexico