Campesino con tabaco (Peasant Farmer With Cigar)Cuba Series - Painting 6
36" x 48" - Acrylic on canvas
In Cuba’s western most province lies the tobacco region of Viñales. It's one of the most beautiful places I've ever visited. The entire landscape is brimming with rich red soil and lush, green tobacco fields as far as the eye can see. I took a solo excursion one day through the various farms that lay throughout the countryside. Curiosity getting the better of me, I walked into one of the huts where the farmers hang thousands of tobacco leaves to dry until they are ready for cigar production.
The farmer greeted me with a mix of surprise and confusion, but was ultimately very hospitable. After offering me some coconut water he gave me a quick demonstration in hand rolling a cigar. His face was red from sun exposure and he was sweating as he painstakingly rolled me a neat cigar from what was basically a few scraps of leaves and some ground up tobacco. He seemed to take pride in his work and was eager to answer all my questions about the process.
In an effort to relate in some small way, I spoke to him about how my father spent a large part of his youth working on his family farm in Sicily, to which he responded, "I think that no matter what part of the world you live in, a farmers life is hard.“