Wednesday, September 11, 2019
The Old Church
Today's sketching site is now used as a concert venue but its history is remarkable. I usually edit out people because they move making them hard to capture but I suddenly realized the people in front of me were not moving during the performance. However, the musicians did so I still have to figure out a representational pose for them. The concert only lasted one hour so we drew as fast as we could until the end. My drawing is far from done but the basic framework is there. I would really like to draw the outside while the weather holds up. The building is really quite exquisite.
The Old Church was built in 1882. It is the oldest church building in downtown Portland. it has been remarkably unaltered since its construction in the 1880's.
American Gothic Carpenter is an American style dating from the 19th century that reinterprets Gothic architecture in wood rather than stone. It was most commonly used for houses and churches. These structures typically feature elaborate, curved woodwork, which was enabled by the invention of the steam powered scroll saw. Likely the most widely seen example of Carpenter Gothic architecture is the house in the background of Grant Wood’s painting, American Gothic (1930). The Old Church has many original leaded, frosted, and stained glass windows, created by Povey Brothers Studio.
While The Old Church’s interior is relatively simple it abounds in detail both functional and decorative. In the auditorium, the heart of The Old Church, cast iron Corinthian columns support a vaulted ceiling with plaster ribs painted the color of stone. The gentle curve of the hand carved fir pews, broken by aisles sloping to the stage, gives an intimacy to the hall, despite it seating capacity of 3oo. The focal point of the auditorium is the Hook & Hastings tracker action pipe organ, given to the church at its founding by the Ladd family and still much loved. Original fittings abound, including ornate floor heating grills, door hinges and handles, elaborate plaster window moldings, and built-in umbrella racks with drains.
#portland #urbansketching #sketching #bonnywagoner