Tuesday, February 26, 2008

San Miguel Newsbulletin - February 2008 - DAVID TURNS 26 IN MEXICO

By now, you’ve read all about El Machin chicken, motorcycling, hiking in a natural hot spring area, and a myriad of other experiences in and around San Miguel. Carlos has entertained all of us with his tales of adventure, writing with great enthusiasm, humor and personality, plus lots of great photographs to illustrate his stories. He has become “super-blogger” (aka SUPERMAN) and even strangers are reading our blog with interest!

Since I had not written in a while, I decided to take the plunge again.

As many of you know, my mother has not been well, and has been in and out of the hospital over the past months. She is currently in a rehab center, recovering from yet another bout of pneumonia, high blood pressure, and more. We are hopeful that with therapy and the wonderful caregiving of my Dad and sister Julie, she will regain her strength and be able to return home soon. Also, after extensive tests, my recent incident of passing out on the airplane proved to be nothing serious. Thank goodness!

We are constantly amazed at the quality of cultural events available to us in San Miguel . Besides all the art openings, we have attended concerts of classical string quartets, gypsy jazz with Doc Severson, Gil y Cartes, Sephardic music, lectures at the San Miguel Writers' Conference (Rebecca Walker and Sena Jeter Naslund (Ahab’s Wife) to name a few. Cooking still plays a big role with us, as witnessed by our New Year’s blog and the other cooking classes we have hosted at our home. I will post more recipes soon. In two weeks the First International Food and Wine Festival will be held here, with guest chefs Rick Bayliss, Diana Kennedy and others. It is sure to be a memorable event. All of this eating and cooking does little for waistline, but lots for the food enthusiast!

My life here is intertwined with art and art-making. The picture to the left shows a few of our new art acquisitions. The pots are from Michoacan, a nearby state. The figures are "santos" - saints - that came from churches or private chapels, and were dressed with handmade clothes for holidays. I like them as they are - undressed and damaged.

My big news is that my dream of building a studio is coming true. Work has started this week on a rooftop studio! Everything is lifted up and down scaffolding built in our courtyard. This will be our life for the next 6 weeks, but finally I will have my very own studio.

I am continuing to make jewelry with old bakelite buttons and sterling silver, working with two charming and talented Mexican brothers. I am selling the necklaces and rings here and back in Michigan. I will have my new website soon, which will feature all the jewelry as well as my mixed-media photography. Another exciting project is that I have just produced my first set of handpainted dinner and salad plates (see picture below). In March, along with fellow printmakers who accompanied me to China, I will be exhibiting our “Zouba” (“Let’s Go” in Chinese) portfolio in Richmond, Virginia at the Southern Graphic Council Printmaking Conference. I feel very fortunate to have all of these opportunities and am constantly inspired by living in this magical, richly colorful city.

We have had anumber of visitors recently. Our Huntington Woods friend Jane Steinger and our son David and his special girlfriend Jen Seader, were just visiting in the past few weeks. Our times with them were busy and wonderful, experiencing all that San Miguel has to offer - the markets, botanical garden, walking the town, eating and more eating, visiting friends, shopping, art galleries, and more. As you can see from the first picture on this blog, David turned 26 while he was here, and we had a little party for him!

In February, I hosted a six day workshop in photography, drawing and mixed-media for a group of 12 from Savannah. I acted as tour guide, cook, host, and teacher. I worked with Susan Weiss (Fran Linden’s sister) and Bill Durrance (a Nikon School photographer). The experience was fantastic, and to my great pleasure, they have already made reservations to return next year!

My Spanish is still at the third grade level. I try but the words escape me. Carlos continues to amaze us all with his mastery of the language! Just call us on our Vonage phone (248-341-3532) and hear his message in Spanish - you’ll see what I mean.

We have developed a wonderful community of friends here, but we always remember the adage, “Make new friends, but keep the old. One is silver, the other gold.”

Come visit; write at the very least….
Thinking of all of you often.

Love, Linda y Carlos

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