Count Down to Panama

I have enjoyed my stay in Leon …  so much painting to be done here if you enjoy Spanish Colonial architecture and the Central American culture.  I love it!   I wish I had more time to make more paintings but my last few days were a fury of activity trying to sort out getting the Dog’s export papers organized.

This first painting I was walking toward barrio San Filipe and found this wonderful corner; while I was  questioning if this was the spot I would paint – these 3 rough looking hombres decided they would hang around the opposite corner and keep an eye on the gringo fumbling with stuff in his bag.  Nothing like adding to the challenge of urban street painting – will they stay long enough for me to paint them into the scene?   And so I started my drawing as they stare me down.  The first one to come over to inspect my work (the youngest of the threesome and near impossible to understand in the slur of alcohol)  was fortunately for me, quickly summoned by the one of the here,  ” Dejalo hermano”  (loosely translated as  leave him alone brother) –  the young drunk replies ” Solo mirando ” and back and forth they go.  Ricardo (el here)  is actually very nice to me and when it is his turn to inspect my work he explains that this is a historic corner where I have decided to paint.  It is the site of a masacre in Barrio San Filipe when Somoza forces struck back against this Sandinistas.

Anyway here is the painting from that morning  ( I will upload a better photo of the painting later – for now this is all I have)

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On my last day in Leon I was determined to go paint another version of the back of the Cathedral – on the way I ran into this street vendor selling water.  He was charming and permitted me to make a quick portrait of him.

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With the light fading quickly I still had time for my last painting, with the light dropping behind the Cathedral – I got a little dark on the lower left so just ran that corner under that tap when I got back and … I ended up with a painting I really like.

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