Travel and Time Travel – Back from Havana
So we’re back from a few weeks of drawing in Havana. This was our second trip. The city remains a fascinating portrait of dystopia. It’s exuberant, ornate, ultimately over-reaching glory, now in slow motion collapse.
Once home to imperialists, pirates, gangsters, and revolutionaries – and the people they ruled, robbed and re-educated. Testament that nothing lasts forever. It’s hard not to become philosophical wandering through a city of once-opulent structures, crumbling before your eyes.
People are clearly working to turn things around, but everywhere you look is erosion and faded glory. I’m glad we went back so quickly (it’s only been a year). You can see changes everywhere. Eventually all the decay might be cleaned up – but what we see in a few years might only be a faint hearted replacement, sanitized for the tourists.
I’ve brought back a fat stack of sketches from the streets. I’m very excited about the work ahead. We have great plans for the paintings I’m hoping will come from the location drawings. Though I normally show work as fast as I make it – this time I’m going to keep it under my hat for a few months. I’ll be working on scaling up the drawings, and executing some studio work based on the research.
Not to worry though. It’s turning spring here in Montreal – so I’ll be posting some work from the home-turf soon!
Just to tease for the upcoming paintings, here’s a sketch I did *before* I left. Just a warm-up drawing, getting me in the mood for the location I enjoyed the most – the Necropolis Cristobal Colon. We did indeed go back there, and found a few more pleasantly Gothic views for you. But more on that later :)