Storytelling at Work
March 29, 2019
When the Muses Dance in San Miguel de Allende

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The first time, in 2003, that Parisian-born artist, Evelyne Pouget saw the indigenous dancers of San Miguel de Allende making their way up Canal to the Jardin, she was stunned. Never before had she seen anything like it, not in her home country of France, nor in the many countries she had lived or traveled to -- 500 people adorned with feathers, beads, body paint, animal skulls, and headdresses, all moving together, with great intention, to the beat of their tribal drums.

Whatever power was calling the danzantes to leave their day jobs and take their ancient mysteries to the streets was also calling Evelyne -- and they became her muse. Although her clothes were different than theirs and the only face paint she wore was on her lips, her heart was beating to the same universal rhythm.

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And so she began photographing and painting them for the next 15 years, experimenting with many creative ways to amplify the beauty, power, and spirit of what they were expressing.

Deeply committed to honoring the indigenous traditions she was learning about, Evelyne began meeting with local elders, wisdom keepers, and a Mayan Shaman. She searched the internet to further tune into what she intuitively knew existed at the heart of the Conchero's dancing -- a physical expression of a metaphysical reality deeply connected to Mother Earth and her own heartfelt commitment to live her life from a place of respect and gratitude.

What she found both surprised and delighted her.

The dances she was witnessing on the streets of San Miguel emerged shortly after the Spanish conquest of the Aztec empire and were based on the old "mitote" dance -- one that was modified to include Catholic symbolism. While the Spanish conquistadores tried to eliminate as much of indigenous culture as possible, they could not do so completely and much of it, to this day, remains embedded in the dance -- a dance that was created by indigenous tribes to re-enact the Spanish conquest of Mexico.

The more Evelyne experimented with her photography and her painting, the more she realized just how many of the danzantes were participating in the street dances for inspired personal and spiritual purposes. Indeed, many of the tribes, before they dance, gather together to pray, chant, ask their deities for permission to dance, and perform ritual cleansing.

No matter how differently people interpret the origins, traditions, and intentions of the danzantes, there is one thing that cannot be denied: visual artists, like Evelyne Pouget, and thousands of other people from all walks of life continue to be inspired by the soulful expressions of San Miguel's deeply rooted indigenous traditions.

Evelyne Pouget's art, featuring the indigenous dancers and the architecture of San Miguel, will be featured in her March 30th Liquidation Studio Sale, 1:00 -- 5:00 pm, 61 Guadiana in Colonia Allende, between Cinco de Mayo and Las Flores All pieces will be discounted 40-70%.

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Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 12:22 PM | Comments (0)

August 10, 2018
The Digital Art of Evelyne Pouget

evelynepouget01-u18817.jpgEvelyne Pouget was always artistic, even as a small girl growing up in France. But she didn't become an artist until she fully accepted the words of her Spiritual Master, Baba Muktananda, when she was 41.

For many years, Baba had referred to Evelyne as "The Painter"-- a phenomenon that Evelyne interpreted as her teacher mistaking her for someone else. Because she had no identity as an artist, his words never landed for her. Until they did one fine Spring day in 1994.

That's when she took her favorite photograph of him and sat down in her living room to paint his portrait. What happened next astounded her -- three hours of what seemed like "lost time." Somehow, she had entered a realm where time did not exist. When she looked up, what she saw in front of her was a portrait of Baba that evoked the very essence of who he was -- and this from a woman who had never picked up a paintbrush before.

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It was at that precise moment that Evelyne knew she had a gift and needed to make the effort to open it.

The first 22 years as an artist found Evelyne working as a landscape and portrait painter in Woodstock NY, moved as she was breathtaking vistas of the Hudson Valley and the people who lived there. Oils and oil pastels were her preferred medium. Toggling back and forth between motherhood, painting, and a wide variety of humanitarian projects, her life was full.

Upon visiting San Miguel de Allende, Mexico, for the first time, in 2003, she soon noticed that the subjects of her paintings began to shift. Moved by the culture and people of Mexico, she began focusing on the colorful street life -- the flower vendors, musicians, and abuelas. Evelyne may have continued in this vein for decades, were it not for the sudden appearance of a profound new influence in her life -- the Concheros -- the indigenous street dancers of San Miguel and the surrounding area.


The first time she saw the Concheros, dancing up Umaran to the Jardin, she was stunned. She had never seen anything like this before -- 500 people adorned with feathers, beads, body paint, and headdresses moving together to the beat of the drum like a tide. There was something about the way they moved, with so much nobility, power, and purpose, that was archetypal for her. Whatever power was calling the Concheros to take their ancient mysteries to the street was also calling Evelyne to play a much deeper kind of attention -- a classic kind of call and response.

Each year Evelyne returned to San Miguel, it was only matter of time before she heard the Concheros drums calling her. That's when she would grab her camera, her heart beating faster, and follow the sound. She took thousands of photographs, content, for a while, to have captured a bit of their essence. But the more she photographed, surrounded by tourists with their i-Phones poised, she couldn't help but notice there was kind of superficial gawking mentality on the street. For Evelyne, the words of Thoreau came to mind. "Its not what you look at. It's what you see." And what she was seeing, she knew, needed to be celebrated in a way that a simple photograph did not seem capable of -- a way to contextualize the spirit and sacredness of the Conchero dances.


Entranced, Evelyne began researching the history and traditions of the Concheros. She met with local elders and wisdom keepers. She searched the internet for whatever she could find to further tune in to what she intuitively knew was at the heart of the Conchero's dancing -- a physical expression of a metaphysical reality deeply connected to Mother Earth and indigenous wisdom.


Not unlike the Concheros, she entered a kind of trance state as she explored this new art form, spending hours at her computer -- experimenting and discovering, fascinated by the "happy accidents" that were being revealed to her. In time, she also began applying the technique she discovered to feature the beautiful architecture of San Miguel.

NOTE #1: Evelyne's digital art making is not done with Photoshop. She just stumbled on a technique that worked and has been refining it ever since.

NOTE #2: All of the digital art on Evelyne's website is available for purchase. Contact Evelyne for more info.

NOTE #3: Evelyne is available for commissions.





Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 10:19 PM | Comments (0)

December 11, 2017
The Digital Paintings of San Miguel Artist, Evelyne Pouget

If you live in San Miguel de Allende or Pozos, Mexico and want to experience an inspiring day of art, live music, tango, community, and self-expression, please come to a show that Evelyne will be part of, along with seven other fantastic San Miguel artists. More about this in the above slide show. Hope to see you there!

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 11:52 AM | Comments (0)

June 15, 2017
The Sacred Dancers of San Miguel


Some stories are told in words. Others are told in pictures. Click here for the extraordinary visual story of the sacred dancers of San Miguel de Allende, Mexico -- the work of peace artist, Evelyne Pouget.
And click here for the Wikipedia back story.

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 08:09 AM | Comments (0)


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