|"Cuban Girls" 9" x 12", Oil on RayMar Panel|
It was a Sunday afternoon in November. A party atmosphere enveloped me. Every inch of this narrow alleyway was covered in murals and sculpture. Even the air was pulsing with the life of loud, live music infused with intoxicating African rhythms making it impossible to stand still.
I spent time taking photos and was beguiled by the little girl on the right who was sitting on a doorstep with lips and cheeks covered in powdered sugar from a bite into a piece of cake so large that it barely fit into her tiny hand. I offered her two coins for a photo, and the word spread.
All was in motion when I set up my easel, and a group of children gathered around me watching and jockeying for position. The two young girls got tired of fighting to see over the others and went to rest on a narrow ledge. I saw a painting! They agreed to pose, and I painted while looking through and around the crowd. Imagine trying to paint immersed in this chaotic scene, while answering questions and trying to keep a watchful eye on your equipment. It was like India all over again!