CUBAN SKETCHBOOK

THE FIRST TIME I SAW THE WORD "CUBA", it glared from a giant headline in the news-paper on my family's porch – an introduction to the concept of utter annihilation. Cuba was the source of that annihilation. 

This was the first terror I could not set aside when it got too scary. And though the "Cuban Missile Crisis" was, in time, surpassed as the most frightening thing I knew, it remained a thread in my emotional fabric.

WHEN TRAVEL RESTRICTIONS for Americans eased in 2015 I had the opportunity to visit Havana as part of an art tour. It seemed important to gain a first-hand view – albeit brief and heavily controlled – of what I'd only known from sources with strong and competing agendas.

THE DISINTEGRATING BEAUTY of Havana's grand architecture echoed a Cuba that once had been the "Pearl of the Caribbean", while the broad deprivation of its people made an existential necessity of creativity and reuse. Cuba left me with a deep respect for the resiliency of the human spirit.

La Habana Vieja Door
La Habana Vieja Door

artist crayon on toned paper

La Habana Street
La Habana Street

artist crayon on paper

Cuba 10-4 Bus Drawing #7
Cuba 10-4 Bus Drawing #7

La Habana Vieja Door
La Habana Vieja Door

artist crayon on toned paper

Epilogue: As it turned out, my visit to Cuba occurred in a sliver of time before the door once again slammed shut. I am grateful to have had the opportunity to visit.