Judith Glass and Sheila Sabine often meet people who
want to scale down and start new lives. In search of interesting stories, Sheila
Sabine of the Glass/Sabine team put on her traveling boots and went south of the
border to attend a design workshop in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico. This
charming colonial town, three hours from Mexico City, is famous for its cultural
and artistic opportunities and it has been a haven for artists through years
including such luminaries as Ernest Hemingway, Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera. On
this recent visit, Sheila had the opportunity to meet Suzy Taylor, an interior
designer and painter from New York City.
Suzy has a rich background in the arts and she
originally trained at the University of Cincinnati's College of Design,
Architecture and Art. She was a freelance designer for private clients and
magazines for many years in the heart of bustling New York City. She also got
involved in painting over twenty years ago. Her painting format consists of
large canvases depicting exquisite close-up details of flowers. The themes for
most of her paintings originate from photographs of flowers which she herself
takes - she has thousands of photographs to choose from. She is especially
interested in capturing translucent light as it radiates on the flowers. One of
her clients says "Suzy fuses the subtle color sensibility of a designer with her
daily immersion in the special lighting of San Miguel to create a translucent
depth that makes her work, no matter what the subject so appealing."
Suzyís inquisitive spirit combined with a sense
of adventure led her on a new voyage - she decided to pack everything and move
permanently to San Miguel. Suzy says "My dream was to do everything I wanted to
do in one space-create the whole package of how I wanted to live my life." After
spending much time hunting for a house or land she found the perfect vacant lot
on a private small street called Rinconada de la Aldea, near the center of town.
She saw her new project as a great adventure. She did all the rough designs and
also worked with an architect to create a floor plan in order to get a building
permit. She found a local builder and his large crew was able to complete the
project in about six months.
Her multitude of skills enabled her to design all
the details for her dream space-she became her own client, so to speak. All the
doors, windows, floors, arches, lights etc. were designed by Suzy. Once the
home/gallery was completed she jumped in and designed most of her own furniture.
Some of her pieces are a type of mid-century modern and all are handcrafted. She
enjoys the intricacy of working with furniture design and figuring out how each
piece fits together. Some of her love seats are based on very old designs with
comfort in mind. As Suzy says, "You have to be able to sit in them."
Suzy has indeed accomplished her dream. She has
set up an incredible living space where she can spend her days engaged
whole-heartedly with her many passionate artistic activities. The almost 3,500
sq. ft. space includes a formal living room, dining space, one master suite, two
full baths, office,art studio, patios and formal gallery. The exciting rooms are
dressed with Suzy's exquisite large paintings and her unique and stylish
furniture. Suzyís vision is to have other artists come and relax and enjoy her
gallery and her huge collection of art books-sort of a salon where artists can
share their ideas and give one another encouragement.
After living in San Miguel for over three years,
Suzy has the following advice:
- San Miguel is a perfect place for Americans
to re-locate. It is a gorgeous place to live, has a lower cost of living and
a very supportive community.
- She loves challenges and says itís the
challenges that keep her going. In these times it is easy to get depressed.
We all need reasons to keep going and to have a more enjoyable life.
- Suzy is very aware of those less fortunate
in her community and is involved in many wonderful projects such as
charities providing scholarships for children of low income families,
fundraisers in her gallery to feed the old grandmothers of the community and
tutoring programs for young students - just to name a few.
To contact Suzy directly for more information,
visit her website at www.suzytaylor.com or visit her at her Arroyo Gallery at
27 Rinconada del la Aldea in San Miguel de Allende.
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