Friday, July 5, 2013

La Bayamesa - Cuban National Anthem

I wanted to make something for my dad since this year he came to visit me for the first time after 14 years. He lives in Cuba and it is very difficult and expensive for him to come for a visit. 

I really enjoyed his company, we had a lot of very important conversations about my grandparents, about growing up and mostly, about Cuba. I have lived in the United states for 17 years, which means, that I sometimes seem to hang on to my roots very fiercely, making sure I will not forget. 

Here is what I made just to remind me of my country:


I used acrylic paint for the flag and the underpainting of the bird. I wanted to make a more realistic looking Dove, but honestly, I just struggled on. 

The Cuban flag looks like the one from Puerto Rico, but the colors are reversed. The red of the triangle symbolize the blood of patriots spilled in the name of freedom, the 3 blue stripes, because cuba was previously divided in three, (also, some say the color of our peaceful skies), and the white the purity of our intent to be free. The single star is because Cuba stands alone as a free country (and free citizens).  


The dove was supposed to be me. My dad's pet name for me is dark-skinned dove, obviously, it did not really come out how I wanted her to look (hehe, oh well!). I used Gelatos to mix in some of the colors. 


I wrote the lyrics for the Cuban National Anthem on the spread. It starts on the top left side. I used a white FaberCastell marker to write them to make them stand out. 

Here is the translation:
Hasten to battle, men of Bayamo! (Bayamo is a town in Cuba)
The motherland looks proudly upon you;
Do not fear a glorious death,
Because to die for your motherland is to live.


The last part of the Anthem is on the bottom right side. I also added a few flowers and a butterfly using a stencil.   

Here is the translation:
To live in chains is to live
in dishonor and ignominy,
Hear the call of the bugle;
Hasten, brave ones, to arms!

Well, at the end it still looked like it needed something else. What I decided to do was to stamp all over it with some Tsukineko Brilliance ink, the red tone. It gave the whole page a lot of shimmer, and two tones, but it kind of obscured the dove. Then, to make her pop up again, I used a black gelato all around her to give her definition. 

It did not turn out exactly how I had envisioned at the beginning, but I am pretty happy with how it came out overall.

I hope you enjoyed it and Thank you for visiting!