Pack Square Panorama Afternoon Light


10 x 30 in. oil on stretched linen.

The styles of architecture reflect the temperament of different designers, and the moods of the city at different periods. Downtown, for example, side by side tower the mountain city’s own structural odd couple — a flashy Art Deco-style city hall, its peaking mountain silhouette veiled with a pink and green tiled octagonal roof, and, next to city hall, in sharply masculine, conventional juxtaposition, the Buncombe County Courthouse.

The two structures surprisingly were completed in the same year, 1928, and were to have been designed by the same man, Douglas Ellington, who popularized the Art Deco style he had come to admire as a student in Paris. As work started on the city hall building, however, local officials decided its design was too extravagant and had someone else take over the county building project.

I thought I was out to paint the color of the light like Monet, but ended feeling the spirit of Edward Hopper in the way the buildings sit kind of lonesome in front of the mountains.