A Month in San Miguel de Allende

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I arrived tired, and in many ways spent…artistically and otherwise. Rather than give myself time to acclimate to my new surroundings, I jumped right in, sketching one charming scene after another. 

Too charming it turned out. Everything I did looked like a cliche, disturbingly pretty and sweet. The colorful buildings; the deep doorways framed with flowers; the sloping perspectives. San Miguel de Allende was picture postcard perfect. What does it say that this left me feeling discouraged and creatively frozen? I simply couldn’t bring myself to paint yet another version of the iconic pink cathedral situated on the edge of the town square.

Beauty doesn’t need another advocate.

Desperation set in. Is the quintessential traveling artist allowed to stall out? Maybe I’m a phony. I limited myself to black and white for a while, moving further in the direction of abstraction and interpretation. That helped. I set out to render the entire block of Estrelitta Street (a view you can’t possibly see without me) and having a larger mission helped-despite having to get “small” with particulars.

Eventually, I regained my artistic footing. Color returned and my sense of confidence. Ironically, I  got a commission to draw the most iconic view of the entire city. But by then, I knew I could make it mine.

8 Responses

  1. Žanetka

    Hi Amy,
    It’s Žanetka saying hello from Seattle! Thank you for sharing and posting your beautiful work! I absolutely love the black and white of the interior — gorgeous! Thanks for sharing your process for busting out of stuck!
    Sending hugs and well wishes!

    • artconsp

      Hi Zanetka! So nice to hear from you. Let’s be sure and get together next time I’m in the neighborhood!!

  2. Rita

    wonderful adventure, thanks for sharing it with us. I really love the black and white sketches. And it’s true, you can make it your own! I see Amy in each piece.

  3. Dee

    Next time you go I want to join your group! I have to leave CR every 90 days anyway to renew my visa, so why not Mexico? Or wherever!!! Thanks for update, and I’m looking forward to hanging out with you soon, somewhere on the planet! Hugs!

    • artconsp

      Thanks Judy! It was great to meet the gang down in San Miguel.

  4. Denny

    As you know I went to Baja many times but never made it to San Miguel De Allende. Thanks for your wonderful art from that part of Mexico. Denny

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