Last Design Crush Tuesday had me a little nostalgic as I surveyed a few paintings I have done of Washington DC. It's not where I grew up per se- but it is where my friends and I would go for fun trips during the weekends; hanging on the metro bars and running around the national mall taking pictures on our digital cameras because our flip phones still might have had black and white screens. We made plans to get together using old fashion means of AIM and calling each other on the phone. Probably the house phone, too, let’s be real.
Anyway, since this month I am working on paintings of cities for a City Series to debut on my website in March, I wanted to share the first city I've tackled and a few paintings I have done.
It is always interesting to me to see how my approach to painting different elements has changed. My skies, and my buildings, and my trees have all developed for the better and into a more distinctly "me" style, I think.
Here is the first painting I did of Washington in 2013 for a friend of mine.
A follow up commission I did for another friend, early in 2014.
and finally my latest painting of the capitol building, just a week ago. I'm really liking my skies better these days.
Here Is a little bit of architectural history for you, since that is what makes DC so special to me.
In this painting of the Capitol Building, I feature the gallant statue of Ulysses S Grant Memorial which was situated in its spot in order to link the General and the President who fought to save the union of the states of America. It is the largest equestrian monument in the states standing at 252 feet long by 71 feet wide by 44 feet. Wow.
Henry Merwin Shrady toiled for nearly 20 years to realize his sculpture in bronze in 1920.
The city was all designed to look and feel a bit like Paris, so, clearly, it's perfect! :) George Washington selected the architect, Dr. William Thornton, after a completion to design the United States Capitol Building. Dear ol' George laid the cornerstone for the building in 1793. Since the building was rather a large undertaking and they needed a space to occupy, all of the attention was paid to the left wing of the building- which was finished and occupied first in 1800. Gradually the right wing was completed by 1811. By 1826 the center rotunda was finally completed with a copper dome.
As the United State grew and the capitol building was overflowing and there was a need to add an additional wings. Philadelphia Architect Thomas Walter was appointed to design and construct two additional wings to the capitol.
In 1855 as the building had doubled in size, the copper dome was deemed to not suit the design of the building and a larger and (I think) much more beautiful dome was designed and built. In 1863 the Statue of Freedom finished the dome.
In 1953, there was a 33' addition to the front portion of the building which had first been proposed in 1863.
The most recent addition has been the entrance to the capitol building-- which looks absolutely beautiful. Can't wait to visit this pretty city again soon. More City paintings to come, mon amie!