Cuban Seascape No. 1 (Havana), Cuba, 2012
3.5 x 4 in., oil on linen on panel
I walked back down to the Malécon to do my third painting in Cuba. I sat down on the edge of a rather large monument, which you can see in the last frame of this incredibly jouncy video clip (recorded during another taxi ride!). As I was deciding to paint this, I was reminded me of this painting of mine from last September. Anyway, I had an especially nice time painting this because just a short distance behind me, three women were sitting together singing. Even though I didn't know what they were saying, it was beautiful and something I will never forget.
On another day in Cuba, I traveled to Parque Nacional Cienaga (Swamp) de Zapata and Bahia de Cochinos (Bay of Pigs), with my colleague Scott Rawlins and our driver Deltauro. The trip was almost 200 km. If you're curious, I posted a map showing the path from Havana's north shore (B) to Zapata's south shore (C).
First, we encountered the Bay of Pigs at Playa Girón. This is a very clear map of the Bay of Pigs area. You can see for yourself in my video, but when I ran out to Playa Girón, I found the Bay of Pigs to be completely deserted, energetically full, and slightly eery. I wasn't there for very long, but it felt to me like nothing and everything all at once.
In the Swamp, our guide Javier greeted us with his bird-book tucked under his arm. We drove slowly for over an hour (about 16 km, I think!) on a bumpy single-lane swampy path. In some moments, I thought we would need to turn back because the path was so flooded. We observed the wildlife and stopped often to get an exciting close-up look. I loved seeing the coco blanco, swamp crabs, and flamingoes (in the distance), along with all the other plants, flowers, and birds -- and of course the mosquitoes were everywhere.
Here are some photos of the sights. In addition to my photos, I hope my videos will help you get a feel for it all:
- Bay of Pigs seascape on Playa Girón link
- Rushing swamp water through the mangroves link
- My footsteps through the swamp link
- A special gift we found in the swamp link
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In my next post, I'll share my thoughts on the National Cuban Art Museum, my painting adventure at the stunningly beautiful Cuban resort town of Varadero, and two 'must-haves' for any artist visiting Cuba.
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