in San Miguel Mexico allow one to follow the sun, eat and live well and
enjoy people and ideas from around the world. This is our fourth winter
here and again it is the people and activities that draw us. Where else
could one attend a violin concert by a young talented American, a top
notch 1950’s French film, a reading of a Neil Simon Play, all in three
days. Yes, San Miguel has it all. There are great restaurants, gift
shops, street dancing by visiting Aztecs, architecture that will take
your breath away (see Parroquia above) and art studios with some of the
most stunning work by artists from many countries. My walls are
over-burdened with art I can’t resist. After four years, I thought I had
seen it all. But the city that always amazes me did it again. This
winter, I was blessed (yes, blessed) with meeting two amazing people who
not only paint beautifully but bring the great artists of France to
visitor’s attention. For someone who spent twenty five years lecturing
on the great artists of Paris in the twenties, I finally met my match.
Two people, young enough to have been my students have opened my eyes
and actually put me in my place. Had they taught where I taught, I would
have taken the rear of their stage.
Let me tell you a few things about Béa
Aaronson and Stephan Eaker. He was brought up in North Carolina. She was
born in Paris and while they are both accomplished artists they are
extremely talented when it comes to lecturing or should I say
performing. Her post graduate education (Sorbonne) certainly helps.
These two artists know their subjects and those who do attend go away
having learned a great deal. Their aim is to bring the great artists of
France to the attention of their audience and it all takes place at Casa
Verde, their home and studio. Some of the great names they bring to
light are Matisse, Picasso, Modigliani, Chaim Soutine, Jean Cocteau,
Chagall, Cézanne, Van Gogh and Monet.
two artists have a way of presenting their material so that the audience
is captured and filled with stories that make their subjects come to
life. I particularly enjoyed their explanation of the contribution to
art made by the Stein Family (Gertrude, Michael and Sarah) and the
contribution to poetry, film and theatre made by Cocteau. They explained
that even though these particular greats came from moneyed families,
they lived the lives they had to live whether for art, personal pleasure
or bringing new ideas and ways of seeing to a wide public.
Not only did I enjoy what they said and
how they said it but I kept thinking of how much better a teacher I
might have been had I met them many years ago. French culture still
lives in this interesting studio. There are even lectures and
recreations of grand French cuisine with recreations of the gastronomy
of the table of Louis XIV.
But aside from their knowledge and
performance-like methods, they are themselves great innovators. A tour
of their studio-home shows their many efforts to create new and exciting
modes of art presentation. Their upstairs floors display various styles
of abstract, surrealistic and dazzling experiments.
Bea is ‘anti-style’ and
‘anti-authoritarian’. Her life is a collage and the French tinged voice
is nothing more than charming.
Stephen is truly creative as can be seen
in his hard pressing of a sheet on a fresh oil to ’print’ a reverse
image, a one of a kind original.Yes, I felt very much in France because
of these dynamic people. They helped make my holiday memorable and I
know I shall see them again.
For those who plan a trip to San Miguel,
buy a copy of ATTENCION, a Friday newspaper, in English that lists all
the events of the week, day by day.
Casa Verde can be reached at (52 415) 152 5237 or
You can Contact Professor Arnie Greenberg at:
Over the past few years, Professor
Greenberg has traveled with groups to France, Italy, Spain, Greece,
Budapest, Vienna, Salzburg, Prague and both Sorrento and the Bay of
Naples plus most of Sicily. His tours traveled to the far reaches of the
globe including Italy and most of
China (Beijing -Hong Kong) and to Russia where his group cruised the waters
from St.Petersburg to Moscow.
"He took a group to Greece and another to northern
Russia. In Nov 07 he took a tour group to much of India and ended his tour
groups by revisiting France. He now travels with his wife and friends. They
winter in Argentina or San Miguel Mexico. His newly found spare time
is taken up with his painting and writing. "I must write every day." His
current work is a cautionary manual for would-be tour leaders.. "So
You Want To Be A Tour Leader."
Arnie now travels with friends. He continues writing
Travel articles about unusual places but often concentrates on novel
writing. Two books based on French Art will be published this year.
Keep reading his web for travel ideas. His next
novel HELLSTORM'S Folly,
will be available this fall. He now
lives in British Columbia.
www.top-travel-ideas.com or contact him directly at
(More about the writer.)