Thursday, August 2, 2012

Puerta del Conde

For the afternoon, Capturing the Event Workshop, I invited students to sketch on the city block leading to Puerta del Conde or inside the Puerta. I leaned against a pole and worked on the view down the street to the fort. The street bustled with merchants selling everything from sun glasses to art. The tropically themed art all looked the same as if it was pumped out of a factory. One of the sketchers can be seen working in the lower right hand corner of my sketch. I knew that two other sketchers were seated on the benches at the next light post down the road. The remaining sketchers went inside Puerte del Conde to sketch.

Residents of Santo Domingo were curious and inquisitive. Once one person stopped to look over my shoulder, there would soon be a crowd. Questions would be fired my way, but all I could do is shrug and say "No Espanole." In a way, not knowing the language was a major advantage in that I didn't have to interrupt the sketch to answer questions. I didn't feel rude working away as they talked amongst themselves.

As I was finishing up my sketch, the students came as a group to let me know that the monument had been shut down before they finished sketching. I looked down the street and sure enough, an iron gate blocked the arched entry. I gathered up the remaining sketchers and we all put our sketchbooks on the street to compare notes. It was a strong afternoon's work. What a delight to mentor such talented sketchers. A musician started playing guitar behind me and a coconut merchant hacked open coconuts with a machete. The events were there to be found but my sketch was done and I was hungry for dinner.

Prints are available for each sketch for $250 and many originals can be purchased for $400. White museum grade shadow box frames are $100 more. You can e-mail Thor at

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