Finally! I got the chance after sketching so many places on my travels, to sketch the city that my husband and I have just moved to! Having waiting two months instead of two weeks in England for a residence visa for the Dominican Republic – mainly because it had to go through South Africa, I was excited to finally arrive at my new home in Santo Domingo. Our flat was not quite ready for us to move in, so I based myself in the Zona Colonial, in a charming guesthouse called El Beaterio and set off to make use of my waiting time, sketching!
Catedral Primada de America
Considered the New World’s oldest working church. Though it is said that there was one older in Mexico, but as it does not exist anymore, this is it! I sat just outside the gates on a cement bench across the street and passer-bys drifted towards me curious. Tour guides selling tours, Japanese tours taking pictures of me without permission and school kids giggling past.
Museo Alcazar de Colon
I stood under the shade of a tree while the sun blazed on gazing at the house that was once the home to Columbus\’ son, Diego and his family in the 16th Century, in Plaza Espana. A boy flying a kite drifted into this sketch. Tourists came in and out of the building and the icecream men from Bon sat in the forefront and back of this scene. An artist came by to chat to me, he was creating figurines out of plasticine.
Convento de la Orden de los Predicadores
This was just outside the guesthouse, so I asked for permission to borrow a chair and shade and sat to sketch. Sketching for 45 minutes while the weather changed dramatically from sunny blue skies to thunderous clouds and back to sunny skies. All the while tourists drifting in and out of the watercolour with tour guides offering snippets that I overheard.
The baroque building was the first convent in the Dominican. It housed the famous Father Bartolome de las Casas who documented the Spanish atrocities against the indigenous islanders. It was built by Charles V.
Old Building opposite El Beaterio
Towards the last few days I discovered the terrace and sketched this old grey pretty building in the heat of the day. It had to be under 10 minutes as I was getting very hot!
Columbus, also known as Colon, having stepped foot here first, it was only fitting to name a plaza after him. His statue stand in the middle amidst the pigeons pointing to the North West. As if to say, onwards! He initially thought the island of Espanola was Japan! This guy got his barrings wrong but always stumbled on bountiful and beautiful lands in the end!