Meet the Artists of San Miguel: I paint what I see

By Natalie Taylor

Suzy Taylor was born in Van Wert, Ohio. As a little girl, she spent hours making clothes for paper dolls, and thought that fashion design would be a great career. But as a teenager, she met an interior designer, and realized that in this field she would have a chance to go out more. She went to the University of Cincinnati, and graduated with a degree in Interior design. The curriculum at the school included basic design, art, and color physics—the effect of light on color. 

During her years in college she worked for the Better Homes and Gardens magazine as an intern. Part of her work involved creating the popular section the magazine had, called “100 ideas under $100.” 

Her first job, after completing her degree, was with Armstrong. She was in charge of designing rooms for their flooring ads. Those sets would then be photographed by many excellent, professional photographers. In setting up these sets, she became aware of the importance of light in a composition; the way changing light affects interiors. 

In 1976 she moved to Manhattan, where she gained access to museums and galleries, and became interested in fine art. She discovered the Art Students League and started taking classes in painting. Eventually she needed a larger space, both as a studio and gallery. She moved to a cottage in Connecticut in 1990, where she was able to work on photography of still life with natural light. Her cottage was near a commercial flower farm with peonies, giving her the opportunity to take many photos of flowers. She then created oil paintings based on her photographs, in an impressionistic style. 

In 2004 Suzy took a trip to San Miguel de Allende because she had read about the city in a magazine article. That first visit was a ten day stay, but she was left with a very positive impression. 

Living in her cottage, Suzy caught Lyme disease several times—one of her galleries was actually located in Lyme, Connecticut. Because of the effect on her health, she was advised to move away and not risk having another bout with the disease. San Miguel de Allende seemed like the right place, and in 2007 she moved here. She built a house with sufficient space for a studio, and an art gallery on the main floor. It is located in one of the most colorful alleyways in San Miguel—not a small feat in a city where loveliness is everywhere. But a walk along the Rinconada de la Aldea means stepping onto an enchanted path between high walls, old trees coming out of bricks, and many wonderful murals. Think of it as a secret passageway, a sort of private walk through a fairytale-like setting. When you walk through the gate of the neighborhood of La Aldea, it is the first path on the right, next to Francesco’s Restaurant. Step down into this secret passageway, continue walking as it meanders about, and you will come upon Arroyo Gallery on your left. She chose the name for her gallery because the path is on an old arroyo, and nothing can be built on it.

As soon as you enter the gallery you are struck by the great deal of natural light within. Suzy says that she loves the way San Miguel’s amazing light moves across her home throughout the day. The way the light plays, inspired her to do work on glass, which she had been collecting when she was doing still life. She found herself getting her camera to capture the sunlight, and this became almost an obsession during the isolation imposed by Covid. Bringing her camera closer and closer, the images turned more and more abstract. She found that moving the camera a fraction of an inch created a different, yet similar image. She tries to capture that as artistic images so others will enjoy seeing the world through her eyes.

A visit to Suzy’s gallery is a treat, including the adventure of walking to it along the magic path. You will find large oil paintings of flowers, cactus, and other botanicals, as well as abstracts. She paints “thin,” giving the paintings a “soft” effect. She also has a display of her many glass pieces. And, in addition, she also has her own unique clothing designs, sewn by a local seamstress, which are lovely to wear. Stop in to see Suzy’s work, or contact her for a private showing: 

Natalie Taylor: BA in English Lit and Journalism, Loyola University, Chicago, 1995. MFA in Creative Writing, Vermont College, Montpelier, VT, 1999. Published writer, editor, journalist. Spanish teacher in the US, English teacher in Buenos Aires, Argentina. Translator. Contact: