La mujer de El Cobre (The Lady From El Cobre)Cuba Series - Painting #2
Acrylic on canvas - 36" x 48"
The town of El Cobre is named for an abandoned copper mine that used to employ many of the people there. It was the oldest copper mine in the new world, operating from 1544 until it's official closure in 2001. These days it is most famous for being the home of Cuba’s patron saint, the Virgin of Charity, as well as the Basilica erected in her honor amongst the green foothills of the Sierra Maestra mountains. The church is a draw for Catholic pilgrims and tourists alike, but outside the church there is not much of interest for the average sightseer - I however relished the chance to explore a small, out of the way town like this.
After visiting the church I meandered through the town, attempting to find an entrance into the abandoned mine. The streets were dusty and barren. This was once a bustling community, but many of the residents left after the mine closed, leaving little industry for those who remained.
At one point, the smell of fresh baked bread lured me to a stone building that housed a bakery. In front of the store, I saw this woman sitting silently on a log. She was alone and seemingly wrapped in thought. Her hunched position and doleful look seemed to express so much. I found myself wanting to capture the moment.