Spires & Steeples of Wilmington

Greetings! I'm back! I've been occupied finishing up The Spires & Steeples of Wilmington, North Carolina, a new 30" X 40" pastel. My time has been devoted to finishing this project and required one more visit this week for finishing touches.

I've been attracted to the architecture of Wilmington for some time and decided last year to proceed on this project. I've visited each building numerous times and photographed them in various conditions. This assembly --this composition has much to offer, I think, in the way of architectural integrity and aesthetic design. Combining the steeples of so many buildings is a perspective nightmare, one I believe I solved or worked through by planning around the symmetry of the larger buildings and the balanced array of smaller towers, plus the inclusion of two beautiful fountains and two ancient trees from downtown and north near the new bypass (this live oak off 17 North was spared, thankfully, and deserves a spot for perseverance if nothing else -PERSEVERE, by the way, is the adopted theme of Wilmington, as seen on the seal of the city).

There are a few other churches I considered, but frankly, I can't do them all, and I selected these classic spires & steeples for their unique contribution to the skyline of Wilmington. You won't find any pre-fab fiberglass units here, in fact, some of the stone on the older churches has had to be repaired and now the churches have a slightly different look due to basically sealing the stone in a durable colored paint concoction. When I started this project, First Presbyterian was looking old and dirty and previous repair patches were showing, especially when the building was damp. Now, the church is almost concluded, the revealed tower looks like new, except now the fragile stone is hidden under a warm almost peach flavored beige paint --an expensive but necessary step and I'm glad I have the new First Presbyterian look in this painting.

The Spires & Steeples of Wilmington is a large pastel that will be available in Wilmington as well as offered as giclée reproductions in scaled sizes on canvas and paper. Fidler's Gallery and Framing in the Cotton Exchange in Downtown Wilmington will be handling the original and giclées. More to come about this with details and videos in the next days, plus I hope to get back painting something else. A commitment like this leaves me primed for some outdoor work and variety --some natural architecture like flowers and clouds!

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