Susan's sketchbook log: Cuba


La Habana Vieja

Plaza de la Catedral with santeraThe primary attraction to me of the whole trip was to see Old Havana - La Habana Vieja - and its baroque and neoclassical architecture and pastel colors, often falling into ruin. Oscar, our Havanatur guide, said that 3.1 buildings collapse in Havana every day. One of many statistics about Cuba that boggle the mind.

First stop was La Plaza de la Catedral. Loved the cathedral, but didn't sketch it. Maybe because it was converted from a chapel to a cathedral and a cathedral required two bell towers, but there wasn't actually room for them, so one is noticeably larger/wider than the other. This is the sort of sketching conundrum where, if you do a decent rendering, the viewer thinks you messed up. Instead, as we lunched on the best pasta of the visit at El Patio, I sketched the view across the plaza. The white figure is a practioner of Santeria, the Afro-Cuban religion. Loved that she was doing her thing (I hesitate to call it fortune-telling, but can't come up with a better word) in the shadow of the Cathedral; a perfect visual for how the African animism grafted onto Catholicism. | sklog home | previous | next

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