New Print Available: “Old San Juan”

“Old San Juan”,
by Robert Leedy, 2009,
archival gicleé print on Hahnemühle William Turner 310 gsm watercolor paper,
14″ x 17.5″ (image size),
from a limited, signed, edition of 20.

Probably one of my favorite working spaces was a wonderful studio I rented on Calle del Sol in Old San Juan, Puerto Rico. The apartment had a shotgun layout and was shaded on the street side by the high walls of the gardens of la Casa Blanca (Juan Ponce de Leon’s former home); at the other end there was an incredible view of the Bay of San Juan and la Fortaleza which is the name for the Governor’s mansion. I later met the Governor of Puerto Rico while we lived in Argentina; I told him we were once neighbors and that I had a great view of the outdoor parties he threw. He told me to call the next time I visited the Island. He was infamously no longer in office by the time I made that return trip.

Living and working in Old San Juan had its negatives – like horrible traffic and loud noise at night – but I cherish the positive aspects and have many fond memories of my days spent in this colorful, exciting and exotic Colonial city. The Old City is full of artists, galleries, restaurants – and local characters. The air is lush and tropical with fresh, ocean breezes while music and laughter wafts out of neighborhood  bars.

Perhaps my favorite aspect is the incredible light. Colors seem deeply saturated and there is a clarity of light unique to this part of the Caribbean. I remember once looking up at the sky in front of the San Juan Cathedral: The whiteness of the facade was so bright next to the deep, blue – almost indigo – sky beyond. Wow!

“Old San Juan” was painted during a trip to Puerto Rico in December of 2008. I am pleased to announce the publication of this original, acrylic on panel painting in The Artistic Touch 4 by Chris Unwin which is due out in bookstores in early June 2010. The original is sold but I am happy to herald the release of a signed, limited edition, archival gicleé print. It is available for sale on my art web site now.


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