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06 July 2012

The Malecón in the Fog, Havana (Cuba 2012 painting #1)


The Malecón in the Fog, Havana, Cuba, 2012
5 x 6 in., oil on linen on panel

My trip to Cuba feels like one of the most mythic expeditions of my life thus far, and I'm letting myself take my time with my paintings, and sorting through 150+ pages of notes, dozens of video clips, and too many photos to count. Learning about its many narratives by way of immersion, Cuba is like nothing I've ever experienced. I knew very little about Cuba and Cuban art before traveling there, and was equipped with few phrases. (My important ones were "sin gluten" and "sin azúcar" (mojitos)....) 

Now having spent some time there, Cuba has piqued my interest in a significant way, and reminded me just how complex and nuanced most things are. 

My first painting in Cuba was at the Malecón in Havana, a powerful sight just a stone's throw from where we were staying. It's described as "a broad esplanade, roadway and seawall which stretches for 8 km (4 miles) along the coast .... from the mouth of Havana Harbor in Old Havana, along the north side of the Centro Habana neighborhood, ending in the Vedado neighborhood." [source]

I set up my paint box on the huge seawall along the shore (Castillo de los Tres Reyes del Morro / Castle/Fort is off in the distance), and began painting what would become, I think, my "most windy" painting ever.

I had heard about the Malécon before arriving in Havana, so I knew to look for dry areas of the sidewalk, but it still surprised me. This video (recorded on a different day) shows what I mean.

Look for my next post about Havana at night, and perhaps even a taxi ride through Havana. If you enjoyed this post, please use the links below to share it with a friend or loved one.
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