We are alive and well and busy with a second book “Traveling the Backroads of San Miguel: Snippets of Paintable History,” which has essentially written itself as it is a compilation of these many blog posts. You will be the first to know when it is available in print.
Over the last five years we have painted more than 100 capillas and visited at least that many more. The quest is not as compelling as it was five years ago and…surprise…we are older and, perhaps, less adventurous. So we have a new theme that will be of interest to many of you.
So, dear readers, are you ready for a change? The working title for this new project is “Beyond the Walls: The Gardens of San Miguel de Allende” which may morph into a third book.
All houses and their gardens in San Miguel are hidden behind towering walls that trace the property line. We are asking friends and friends of friends if we can paint their gardens….new, old, lavish, thematic, unusual, special, large, or small. The process will include an interview with the owner/gardener, appointment to paint at the seasonally best time, and, for very large gardens, a bird’s eye view painted from drone photos.
While we have the painting of capillas down to a speedy and usually successful process, we have less experience painting gardens: Thus the need for practice and practice we did, first, right in Linda and Saul Whynman’s garden.
When one enters their garden the first impression is lusciousness. This is not a xeriscape garden but a garden filled with verdant plants. Linda’s reply to the question, “Do you have a favorite plant?” was “Yes, the one that is green, blooms, and survives.”
After moving into their house in 2005, Linda and Saul worked for about a year turning what was a pile of rubble into a garden. No desire for a landscape architect. I
Recent changes include a small swimming pool in place of the koi pond and a roof top vegetable garden that local critters from time to time find irresistible. Linda designed the garden to include quiet spaces but says she never uses them; however, Saul volunteered that he occasionally smokes a cigar in these quiet spaces.
There are so many possibilities of vignettes to paint. Here is Linda’s choice, but picture in your mind’s eye that every few feet there is another charming view awaiting the photographer or painter.
GREENS—Hooker’s Green is a rich green color with a yellow tint. The unusual name has nothing to do with ladies of the night, but honors its creator, 19th c English botanist and illustrator, William J Hooker. Artists most often mix it with another pigment as the color out of the tube is close to Irish shamrock green.