Jardín Principal

The centre of San Miguel de Allende is clearly the Jardín Principal. This beautiful small square facing the big pink church is where everyone hangs out, both day and night. During my workshops we sketched there often because there’s a little bit of everything for both beginner and advanced sketchers. You can tackle the complex spires of the church, the balloon vendors, the hat sellers, the carts with ladies selling snacks, or the topiary ficus trees that have been trimmed into compact rounds to keep birds from nesting in them.

I loved sketching the candy carts. It was an opportunity to use my brightest colours in an almost abstract way by adding dabs of colour and creating separations with darks. I probably say this about every place I visit, but there really is enough in this one small public space to sketch for a full month.

12 Comments on “Jardín Principal”

  1. Chris Rusk says:

    Hi Shari
    Your sketches bring back great memories of that garden – no matter how sunny the day, it was dark green and provided much shade. And it was never empty! You’ve captured the light, activity and colours so well.
    Thanks for the visit back there 🙂


  2. So that’s why the focus get trimmed like that!
    You’ve certainly captured the colourful spirit of this place.


  3. Bernadette says:

    I really like the candy cart sketch. The stance of the “buyer” is great, so natural. Thanks for sharing your sunny sketches.v


  4. Uma Maheswar Nakka says:

    Good Morning Dear Shari,

    If you draw a school boy of 8 yrs with a small schoolbag, hanging on side and cross belted, it would be me, waiting to get the candy.

    Those days many varieties of these candies, were available unlike now, with lot of colors and shapes. Until and almost till the age of 15, I have never carried any currency note, but only coins.

    Those good old days, in India, most of the women in villages, used to keep the coins, in the spice boxes made of wood, in the kitchen.And my mom always used to give me few coins, before going to school, educating me, how much each coin gives.

    Hha, dear Shari, You took me back to my childhood and school days.

    Whatever may be there behind those gates, carts and the walls, but I imagine only my old school building.

    Shari, frankly speaking this sketch by you, brought not only tears, but also a pleasant feeling.

    Some specific sketches by you like this, touches the Heart, with volumes to write.

    Thank you, regards and blessings,


  5. Judy Sopher says:

    What a touching memory from Uma. And a compliment to you, Shari. My first thought was how good to see such cheerful paintings on a very rainy day . Really shows the power of art and its value.

    I went thru a time questioning why art mattered. At my art school in Philadelphia, Pa,the students organized an art auction and most everything sold. One girl said that she now can see why her art is important.

    So your lovely paintings have brightened up my day. Thank you.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Uma Maheswar Nakka says:

      Good Morning dear Judy,

      I really enjoyed my childhood and student life, 1950’s and 70’s, innocent era.
      Very sweet and memorable, I always spare sometime, recollecting them.

      But every time, I feel my Heart very heavy, missing them now.
      What to do, that’s how life goes, in different ways with different people.

      And at large, I want everyone to be happy and peaceful.

      Regards and blessings.


  6. joantav says:

    Love how you find such colorful spots filled with energy! Great to see your sketches!!


  7. Denise says:

    Such fun, joyful sketches-and candy carts? How soon can I get there??


  8. Rose says:

    How long will you be in San Miguel? I am arriving tomorrow and am eager to sketch. I am new to watercolor and am self- and internet-taught. I found your blog a while ago and have been following because I love your work. It would be delightful to meet you and just watch you work.


    • HI Rose. Unfortunately I’m not in San Miguel now. I’m back home in Montreal. But you will have a wonderful time sketching there. Go to the Jardín! Just sit there and sketch all the activity. Best regards,


  9. Chris says:

    I never thought about leaving the white space so the figure doesn’t disappear into the busy background.


  10. Nice paintings, they are very colourful and I find that cart/ shop very interesting.


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