There was no shortage of interesting headgear in Haiti. The variety helped to give the wearers distinct personas and character. As I traveled around the capital and the country, I started looking for interesting “hatters.”
After the earthquake devastated much of Port-au-Prince in JAN 2010, Haitians took to using old shipping containers as their “stores” and places of business, serving as barber shops, mini-marts, repair shops, and bars. While waiting for a Chief of Police along the Rue Soleil area, I had time to render this quick water color sketch (2012).
“Water Guy” was a quick on-site watercolor completed while I waited from my Haitian driver to attend a school/church function for his daughter. As I sat back in the SUV and watched the world pass back the gates of the church compound, the sketch evolved into a scene of various “vendors” trying to sell their wares without actually entering the inner area.
People in Haiti seemed to carry “everything” on their heads, from bags to beds and tables.
“Luggage Lady” was a quick watercolor sketch of a woman observed on the streets of Delmas.
This sketch is part of a work-up for a series to be entitled “Haitians Using their Heads.”
“Boy on a Bus” (watercolor, 2012) was made from a sketch done while driving around the Delmas area of Port-au-Prince. Buses were relatively rare compared to the thousands of “tap taps” that clogged the streets.
In the 1889 “Iron Market” was an entire section devoted to the ancient African-oriented voudou arts. While the artist did not buy a doll with which to torment detractors, he did record this 4-foot tall “voudou guy” via sketches and a later painting.
Wearing a T-shirt that said “My name is Trouble,” the artist encountered this lost boy during a routine visit to a small Haitian National Police Station in the poorer section of Port-au-Prince. The lad said he wandered off with a friend from Petion-Ville and was turned over the police when he could not find his way home. Our group bought him the cold water bags he is holding, along with a “carry-out” meal of chicken and rice that we also afforded his temporary care-takers.
“Market Lady” (2013) (Acrylic) was a quick study sketch and later painting of a middle aged woman-vendor in a streetside or sidewalk vegetable market in the downtown area of Port-au-Prince. Her face seemed to impart a life of challenges, determination, and resignation all combined.
“TapTap Guys” (2013) (Acrylic)–A “taptap” in Haiti is a pickup truck that serves as a taxi or mini-bus. It got its name from the fact that when passengers want to get off, they “tap” the side of the truck twice as a signal to the drive to stop. In this observation, along back roads, some of the passengers were hanging off the side of the truck, dancing in the air, and chatting.
While exploring the remote and sparsely populated coastal area near Cap St. Marc, the artist observed this old tin shack with a large beached boat laying just along the shore. The whole “beach” was covered with stone, rocks, and pebbles of all sizes. (2013) (Acrylic)