“The colors of the rainbow, so pretty in the sky, are also on the faces of people going by…” are words from the song What a Wonderful World. So too are trees of green, skies of blue, people shaking hands… As I painted my first painting of Charleston, SC, entitled Colors of the Rainbow I couldn’t help but hear the song in my head and think how fitting.
Rainbow Row is an historic stretch of 13 colorful Georgian style row homes on East Bay Street in Charleston. Painted in pastel Caribbean colors the stretch of homes is one of the most photographed locations and popular tourist destinations in downtown Charleston.
Since I love color and charming architecture, I thought my first painting of Charleston should be a painting of Rainbow Row. I know some might find it cliché and an uncreative choice but I would have to kindly disagree. The row of 13 homes creates a wide horizontal setting. I chose to square off a section and focus in on the roofline from a unique perspective.
It is depicted on a sunny day at Christmas time, with a Crepe Myrtle holding onto its fall colored leaves. The tree on the left has lost its leaves, while one of the large, old trees along the street creates a nice, green canopy for the tourists going by.
I first drew a relatively detailed and exact drawing on a gessoed hardboard. As I took the painting through a path towards realism, I knew in the end I would break down the hard edges and push it towards Impressionism.
In the end, I feel it makes a more interesting painting with the painterly touches of added texture and colors.
I hope you like Colors of the Rainbow. With a future move to Charleston in our plans, I’m hoping to paint many more scenes of Rainbow Row along with endless other street scenes, garden scenes, water and marsh scenes. Charleston is a painter’s paradise, or at least this painter’s paradise, and I welcome the inspiration!
Thank you as always for reading my journal and for your interest in my art. Please check back soon to see what’s on the easel next!