The Holy City ~ Charleston!

When we were in Charleston, SC, over Christmas, it was the first time we had been there in years. We were walking up Meeting Street after visiting a few art galleries and as we approached Broad Street a wondrous, white, architectural masterpiece on the corner towered toward the heavens. I stood in amazement admiring the St. Michael’s Episcopal Church.

It is the oldest church edifice in Charleston, opening its current location in 1761!  Many houses of worship grace the skyline in Charleston. Because of its acceptance of people from all faiths and its practice of religious tolerance, Charleston became known as the Holy City.

I knew I wanted to paint the St. Michael’s Church the minute I saw it.  I took a number of photographs of it that day from a variety of views along Meeting Street.  This particular view I liked the most, with the church centered between the colorful buildings and the street lined with palms trees. The sun was strong, coming from overtop the buildings, highlighting one side of the steeple and placing the other in strong shadow.  

The Holy City by William R. Beebe, 10 x 12, oil on board, $1800 

The Holy City by William R. Beebe, 10 x 12, oil on board, $1800 

The painting is a small one 10” by 12”. I knew I couldn’t get all of the detail in on such a small painting, so I thought I’d have some fun with it and work on lighting and color. I used bold colors to create strong lights and darks.  

I’m sure it is the first of many paintings I’ll do featuring the St. Michael’s Church.  I can visualize painting it on a large scale. I would also enjoy painting a rooftop look over the city with the steeple featured prominently against the water in the distance.  

Once we move there I’ll be all over town with my camera searching for creative perspectives of downtown Charleston. I’m considering painting another popular and well-known location in town next, the Battery.

I hope you like my painting The Holy City.  It will take a couple of weeks to dry and then it’ll get two coats of varnish, a Larson Juhl frame, and it will be ready to go!

Thanks for your interest in my art and for taking the time to read my journal.  Please check back soon to see if the Battery is on my easel. 


One of the joys of being an artist is having the freedom to follow my passion
— William R. Beebe
What's next? Drawing by William R. Beebe

What's next?

Drawing by William R. Beebe