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Living in San Miguel de Allende

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La Parroquia (Church of St. Michael the Archangel) in San Miguel de Allende
Credit: Sunsinger | Fotolia
Robert Nelson Co-Founder of Expats In Mexico
Robert Nelson

Welcome to 2017 as we get going this month with the latest article in our Hometown Series, “Finding an Artist’s Life in San Miguel de Allende.” If you want to know what it’s like living in San Miguel de Allende, check this out.

Rae Miller has had quite a life. The sixty-one-year-old artist from San Miguel was born in California but sailed the Caribbean for two years, lived north of the Arctic Circle in Norway for two years and made stops throughout the desert Southwest and California for a number of years until she visited San Miguel de Allende in 2004.

“I came to San Miguel for two weeks in 2004,” she said, “and I just really liked it. I could not believe how clean it was, how nice the people were and how colorful everything was. The air was so beautiful and the light was really different. I just came down here by myself and knew I was supposed to be here.”

As a child, Rae knew she wanted to be an artist. She told us real estate and other jobs she held throughout her life helped support her art habits. In San Miguel she can rent a gallery, paint and run her own studio. The energy of the place, she said, really made her feel like she could do it.

Rae is a contemporary artist, working primarily in abstract art. She works in a medium called encaustic, which is a Greek word meaning “to heat or burn in.” Heat is used throughout the process, from melting the beeswax and varnish to fusing the layers of wax.

Her studio – Rae Miller Studio Gallery – is in a former textile factory on the north side of San Miguel that was repurposed as an art and design center. She said there are over 30 art studios and galleries housed there, as well as a few boutiques and four restaurants. Her art can also be found online at raemiller.com and galleries in Dallas and the Novato Arts Center in Marin County, California.

Rae has lived in San Miguel for nearly 10 years now and loves it. She and her husband live in a beautiful contemporary home just three miles from her studio.

“It’s a Mexican contemporary about 2,200 square feet in size with three-bedrooms and two-and-a-half baths,” she said. “The living room has a wonderful fireplace, which we use to heat our home when it turns chilly at night during the winter. But the best part of the house is our roof terrace, which has wonderful views of the city. We pay just US$1,000 a month, which I am sure will make many Californians very envious.”

If you want to better understand what it’s like to live in one of the most popular expat cities in Mexico, read Rae’s story and watch her video on our YouTube channel.

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