Friday, June 11, 2010

Sketchout at the Courthouse


Miz Dee and I made a playdate to go sketching today. We needed someplace cool (literally) and interesting. Hit upon the Union County Courthouse, a beautiful Classical Revival building built in 1928 and listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

The atrium is a mass of beautiful marble, with two-story columns and art deco details. I could have stayed in here for a week sketching such mundane things as switchplate covers, door knobs and air duct covers.

Dee thought it best to ask permission to sketch before we started. We went to the County Judge's office and they not only gave full approval, but called maintenance to bring us some chairs. Gotta love small town courthouses.

The sketch above is one of several grand marble staircases. Treads were hollowed out by thousands of footsteps. Magnificent cast bronze and brass railings. This building is a treasure.

Detail of the lion newel post at the bottom of the staircase:

The post was bronze with a dark brown/black patina. I liked my sketch so much I didn't want to lose it in a big ol' blob of dark brown, so I painted it as a negative.

Here's Miz Dee's sketch of the newel post on the opposing staircase:

She has an artist's eye that I am sorely lacking when it comes to painting. She can put lights and shadows where there are none. I'm too literal and unimaginative. Must work on that.

Up on the second floor I got up close and personal with the column capitals:

As I was sketching this my brain kept calling all those leafy things pyrocanthus leaves. Looked it up when I got home. The actual name of the plant is pyracantha, but Ernk!!! Wrong!!! Thank you for playing!!!; that's not what those are. They are acanthus leaves. Well, I was close.

Also found out this courthouse has four floors and hidden up there somewhere is a stained glass skylight. MUST. GO. BACK!

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