I’d be warned before, and never quite believed it. But it’s true: when you make your hobby into your job, something… shifts. Don’t get me wrong, I still LOVE sewing! And I do it all the time. But it’s not longer my “ahhhhh now I can turn off my brain from work” activity, because whether I’m making one of my own patterns or someone else’s I’m always full of thoughts about what to do for you guys next! And while it’s still very much fun, it’s also different.
So, I decided last year that I needed to aggressively try out new creative hobbies to find something else that would get me into “non-work” flow mind-mode. The one that’s stuck? Watercolour painting. And that’s how I recently found myself in Havana.
I’ve been part of a watercolour class in Harvard Square for a while, and the instructor, Laura Quincy Jones, now lives part of the year in Havana. When she suggested a sketching and painting holiday, I jumped at the opportunity – Cuba’s been on my list for a while (as a Brit it’s always been accessible, although even Americans can now pretty much go without restrictions, in practice) and I’ve also fancied an art holiday for a while. (By the way, if you’re interested in painting in Havana, Laura’s organizing regular trips – you can learn about them here).
When I wasn’t posing in front of adorably colour-blocked walls in my new lemony Turner Dress, I was sketching and painting my heart out. Havana is an artist’s paradise: full of bright pastel colours, crumbling facades and beautiful people.
What to say about this Turner? Not much – it’s sewn straight from the packet, using a lovely lemon print from Art Gallery Fabrics that’s been popping up on tons of sewing blogs lately. It’s not surprising: it’s suuuuper soft, opaque and lots of fun.
The weather was pleasantly warm while we were there, which made for fantastic painting and expedition weather. One day we went out to the rural area of Vinales, where we had an amazing lunch at an organic eco-farm and drew the distinctive hills:
But I was most entranced by the old city of Havana. There’s so much to see, from astounding graffiti, to beautiful architecture and the ever-present 1950s cars (they truly are everywhere):
Do you have a secondary artistic hobby to sewing, or is sewing your main squeeze? I had so much fun immersing myself in watercolours for a week – I may not be super good at painting, but I enjoy it so much and I felt like my brain calmed down for the first time in months. Let me know if you have any questions about Havana!