I have just completed and framed a new painting. This was a commissioned piece.
The scene depicts a backyard band of Cubans playing a creolized fusion of Spanish and African music that is distinct to this Caribbean island. Two of them play guitars and one is providing a rythmic beat by hand-slapping his trousered legs, and the fourth standing man is playing an instrument unique to and common to the island. He uses the guiro, an instument crafted from a gourd, featuring properly spaced grooves for a percussive sound when rubbed by a stick.
The large yard invites neighbours in and out to enjoy the music. The setting is humble among abandoned buildings with fallen bricks and debris on the ground. American cars of the forties and fifties are everywhere in the cities and here one sits under a modest tin roof cover. The day is sunny, warm, slightly overcast so the shadows are subtle.
This is a holiday memory preserved as a commissioned request for Mark and Mary Ellen Kragh.