Dreamy San Miguel de Allende


Hi friends….and greetings from beautiful San Miguel de Allende, Mexico.  I’m in the midst of fulfilling a dream I’ve had for awhile to live and paint in this magical mountain town, and I’m happy to say it’s finally happening!

This is not my first time here.  For the past two years, I’ve taught workshops in San Miguel, each time craving more time to soak up the colors and vibrant culture here and to translate this inspiration into my own paintings.  I’ll be teaching here again next week, but first…some me time.


I rented a lovely home (painting studio included), and hopped on a plane in early January.  I’ve been in San Miguel for two weeks now, and everyday feels a bit more homey.  My days are filled with painting, writing, wandering the cobblestone streets, eating every variety of taco you can imagine, practicing my Spanish and sitting in the sun (filling up on Vitamin D fill before I head back to Portland).

Interestingly, the late owner of the home I rented, Leigh Hyams, was also a prolific painter, teacher and writer, and I’m feeling her energy so much here.  I’m quite sure it is no coincidence that I landed in her lovely space.  Everything happens for a reason.

Another dream that is manifesting beautifully here in Mexico is my dream of bringing together some of my favorite artists friends to collaborate, dream, scheme, play and paint together away from our respective homes.


Anahata Katkin (founding artist of Papaya! Art) and Alena Hennessy (author of Cultivating your Creative Life) took me up on the invite, and for the past week we’ve been painting and collaborating up a storm.  Creating alongside these talented ladies has inspired me in so many ways and reminded me how passionate I am about collaboration.  I see LOTS more of this kind of gathering in my future…and maybe even a film project and book?  Inspiration is afoot.

More pics of our collaboration over on Facebook.



{Collaborative painting by Anahata Katkin, Alena Hennessy and Flora Bowley}

In addition to our collaborations, I’ve also been doing quite a lot of my own painting here.  I’m working with mixed media on paper and the paintings are flowing out of me quite effortlessly…love that when that happens!  I’m remembering (once again) how important it is to get out of my comfort zone and away from my home turf.  There is something so electric about painting in a new place with unique energy, fresh light and endless color inspiration.

I’m rolling with all the inspiration and feeling really experimental too.  I’m playing with different mediums, new imagery and a more rapid pace of creating.  The phrase that keeps going through my head is, “Por Que No?” Translation = Why not?  Looking forward to sharing this new mantra with my students here next week.

A few of my works in progress…


work in progress


I’ll leave you with some more San Miguel de Allende eye candy.  It’s everywhere here, and I’ve been having a lot of fun posting my version of this lovely place on my Instagram feed.




Oh, and I’ve also been getting in touch with my inner cowgirl…

Yeehaw, giddy up, love to all, adios!  xo flora



  1. Freakin’ awesome, Flora! Good for you! Thanks for posting!

  2. I visited the city 20 years ago and fell in love with it. Continue to have classes there…. I am making the class my retirement gift to myself in 2 years!

  3. It has been my dream for years to live there also. Thanks for posting, I love seeing the pics. So happy that you are enjoying yourself!

  4. Dear Flora,

    You are living my dream, that is, of being in San Miguel de Allende. I have not had the opportunity to visit yet, but is know many people who have and they have nothing but amazing things to say about the place. I know that there are many American expats living there, and I would love to be one of them.

    Perhaps, one of these years, I can take your class again it will be there. Actually, it is a tie between there and Bali. :) I envy your class. They are in for an amazing adventure.

    Warm blessings, Lydia

  5. We chose to move to San Miguel de Allende six years ago for its combination of climate, culture and the basic warmth of its people. I became interested in the process of becoming an expat and wrote a book based on conversations with 32 Americans and Canadians who had also made the move. It’s mainly a way of getting inside their heads. It’s called San Miguel de Allende: A Place in the Heart. Here’s a link to an excerpt on my website:

  6. Hi John. Thank you so much for sharing this. I can certainly see why you choose San Miguel and I look forward to checking out your book!

  7. […] Bowley’s blog post about her painting retreat at Casa […]

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