Our bedroom for last night was twice the size of Sherman!
Our place here is just around the corner from the main park near central San Miguel. On the opposite end of the park, only about a five minute walk away is the Toller Cranston art gallery.
Toller Cranston is a household name in Canada, especially for anybody over the age of 35. Originally an artist, he became well known as Canadian Men's Figure Skating Champion between 1971 and 1976. Also the bronze medal winner at the 1976 Olympics.
He moved to San Miguel de Allende about twenty years ago where, now at 63 years old, he has continued his art career. His number is in the telephone book here, so Ruth picked up the phone and gave him a call. Sure enough, who answered the phone? Toller Cranston!
Ruth mentioned that we are from the Ottawa area, and Mr. Cranston's parents had lived in that area as well so the connection was a good introduction. Ruth asked if there was a convenient time when we could visit him and his gallery, an he said "come on over"! So Ruth and I and Irwin walked on over.
Here it is!
In Mexico, many properties are designed with exterior perimeter walls that make it impossible to know what is behind the entrance door. The door was partially open, so although we had rung the bell and waited, we opened the door and called out. Soon, a woman came down and we asked for Mr. Cranston. We were led through a fabulous garden to a kitchen area where we were offered a seat. The room was filled with various pieces of art. I mean filled. Walls and floors covered.
Mr. Cranston came in and we introduced each other and sat and had a chat for 15 minutes. Then he took us on a tour of the property and his gallery and studio.
Ruth and Toller Cranston in his gallery.
Cranston is a painter, a sculptor, and a collector. There are literally thousands of pieces of art on the property.
Toller Cranston in one of the living rooms.
One wall of the kitchen.
Irwin, Mr. Cranston, and Ruth in one of the guest bedrooms.
The property itself is amazing. Originally some kind of 17th century leather tannery, the two and a half acre property had four derelict houses on it when he bought it over twenty years ago. He says that he's not a wealthy man and that it takes all of his income to run the property, which has eight full time staff! He sounds fairly humble about that, and mentions that he doesn't take it for granted at all. He truly loves the place and you can tell that he feels very fortunate to live there!
The swimming pool is only maintained during the summer. The top part is a fountain!
We really enjoyed the hour we spent with him and thought that it was very generous of him to take that time out of his day for us. The gallery is open for visitors and every item is for sale!
Today, we're headed back "home" to Hacienda Contreras!