Monday, May 9, 2016

NEW PAINTING: Study of Cathedral of St. John the Baptist

I love architecture. From new gold, brick and glass buildings in Dallas, Texas to gothic cathedrals, I find inspiration.

Monet was in awe when he painted his Rouen Cathedral series. He captured the effect of light on the facade of the Cathedral at different times of day including sunset:

Monet's "Facade at Sunset"
The first stone of the Cathedral of St. John the Baptist in Savannah, Ga was laid in the late 1800's. A fire in 1898 destroyed much of the structure but the the Cathedral was quickly rebuilt and opened in 1900.

While the Cathedral enjoys an active congregation, it's a draw for photographers and tourists also. There are self-guided tours available though I have not yet entered the Church. However, I knew I would paint the Cathedral and probably more than once, maybe a series!

While driving the squares of Savannah during the golden hour. I saw the spires reaching into the sky from a few streets to the east. Upon turning down E. Harris Street, I had my first view of the Cathedral. I was amazed to see the Cathedral awash in sparkling lemon light, lowering into cobalt blue just as in Monet's Rouen Cathedral, Facade at Sunset. A few minutes later, the lemon deepened into a tangerine with a deeper cobalt blue splashing the bottom half of the facade.

I painted a "study" of the Cathedral today.  A lot of detail has been left out and my drawing is not perfect. Even so, the painting was somewhat difficult.

My aim was to capture my emotional reaction to the scene and I believe I accomplished that goal. I do wish to execute a more detailed painting of the Cathedral...if I can do so without the process becoming a mechanical exercise. It might be best to do a detailed drawing as a work of art if I want detail.  At any rate, I will be painting this lovely Cathedral in different lighting situations.

Study of Cathedral of St. John the Baptist
12 x 12
oil on gallery wrap canvas


  1. Exquisite piece. quite evocative.

    1. Thank you so much! The lighting had me at the first hint of sunset.