In 2018 Peter Brown was painting in old Havana, Cuba with a small party of fellow artists.
Havana appealed because of its endless layers of colour and culture, it’s wonderfully diverse and dynamic street scenes, and the faded grandeur of its lavish Baroque architecture. Cuba’s time-warped allure, colourful African roots and relaxed Latin American atmosphere fueled with rum, salsa and cigars that so inspired Hemmingway and Greene have not diminished. Added to this there is the fascination with the great revolutionaries; Che Guevara and Castro.
Old Havana is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and much of it remains intact and unadulterated by modern skyscrapers or gentrification, especially away from the main sites. There is something to inspire all painters – crumbling stone facades, peeling paint, rusting filigree work and washing draped over balconies, the old port and fortresses, statues, Plaza de la Revolucion with its evocative mural of Che Guevara, Plaza de Armas with its glorious baroque architecture, as well as everyday street scenes with horse-drawn carts, pastel-coloured vintage cars, old men sitting in doorways smoking cigars and woman wearing multi-coloured dresses.
Central accommodation in Old Havana meant everywhere could be accessed on foot.
This painting holiday was an exclusive corporate event operated on behalf of TALP (The Artist and Leisure Painter magazines) and Painters-online.