Wednesday, December 4, 2013

San Miguel de Allende: A Visit To El Charco del Ingenio

A few days after arriving in San Miguel de Allende, we decided to take a trip out to El Charco del Ingenio.  El Charco is an amazing botanical garden and nature preserve.  We have several botanical gardens here in New York, but this place was unlike anything I'd ever seen.   For starters, there were almost no flowers.  The preserve is in the desert and features desert trees and all different kinds of cactus, some of which are in danger of extinction.

My original plan was to join my friends out in the field and paint the reservoir.  It is insanely beautiful.  Can you believe the sky and the clouds?  Amazing.

On the way down there I came upon a huge line of enormous ants carrying leaves and building a house (?) for themselves.  I am a city girl and this got me a bit freaked out, but I kept going on and made it to the water.

I set myself up and almost immediately noticed an enormous black bug heading straight toward me.  That was a little too much nature for me and I packed up and headed back to the snack bar!  I know, I'm crazy, but I couldn't help it.  Central Park is about as close as I get to the outdoors and this took some getting used to.

I got myself under the overhang at the snack bar and happily set up my easel.  There was beautiful scenery everywhere and it was not hard to find something to paint.

Much different from what I usually paint, right?  In fact I brought the paintings over to my studio today and couldn't believe the difference from my usual work.  This trip was such a great way to change things up and explore new painting horizons.

I loved El Charco so much that I decided to make a return trip a few days later.  It was so beautiful and peaceful that I could not leave San Miguel without visiting there one more time (I'll show you that painting in another post).

Before I sign off, I must give a shout out to the staff.  Not only did they have delicious food and smoothies, but they didn't mind me and my easel being set up in the midst of their tables.  They could not have been nicer.

Have a good day everybody.  See you tomorrow!

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