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Tuesday, August 21, 2018

My Trip to Cuba - Day 6


Our last full day in Cuba was just that - FULL of so many experiences! We started the day early so we could have a lesson in the downtown. Jane had asked us to prepare a page in our sketchbooks with a wash of colors and then had us do a line drawing on top of the wash that produced the most interesting effects as you can see in the sketches above!

Following our time spent sketching we enjoyed a private tour of the Museo Nacional de Belles Artes de La Havana. Photographs were not permitted inside but we were able to sketch on some small cards that Jane provided. It was fascinating to see the works on display - the most comprehensive collection of Cuban Art in the world. Lonely Planet has a nice review of the museum here.

For lunch we feasted at the famous Sloppy Joe’s, one of Havana’s most famous pre-revolutionary bars and a former haunt of American tourists and film stars like John Wayne, Spencer Tracy and Clark Gable. It was closed in 1965 but reopened in 2013, almost 50 years later. Beginning in 2007, the painstaking restoration work was overseen by the Office of the Historian of Havana, using period photos and materials donated by people who were associated with the bar, both in Cuba and abroad. It was like stepping into the past!

After lunch we piled in the bus for a ride to Fusterlandia, reminiscent of Antoni Gaudi's work in Barcelona and Izaiah Zagar's in Philadelphia but also uniquely Jose Fuster's! Childlike creations in colorful mosaic tile cover every inch of this wonderland that has grown to encompass the entire neighborhood. We were delighted to stay and sketch there and to wander up and down and all around, enjoying the art from every angle! Once again, I invite you to visit Lonely Planet's website for a very informative article on Fuserlandia.


One of the possible subjects for sketching on our prepared backgrounds


An Arts and Crafts market was set up on the street where we sketched


Those ubiquitous Classic Car taxis

The Art Museum entrance

Taxis lined the streets

Beautiful, romantic, restored Colonial Havana

Sloppy Joe's signage

Inside - restored to its former glory!

This and the following several were taken at Fusterlandia












My fellow travel companions

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