"Good Neighbors" A Painting of Charleston Unitarian and St. John's Lutheran Churches

Charleston is nicknamed "The Holy City" because it has so many beautiful, historic churches. The Unitarian and St. John's Lutheran Churches have been "neighbors" on Archdale St. with adjoining churchyards for nearly 300 years. Yesterday's painting was of St. John's bell tower from the Unitarian Churchyard. Today I wanted to create a painting that would include both distinctive church bell towers which have become Charleston landmarks.

As I painted, Pumpkin the churchyard cat was on the job greeting visitors.

"Good Neighbors" A Painting of Charleston Unitarian and St. John's Lutheran Churches
11" x14" oil on panel
Price: SOLD

"St. John's Lutheran Church from the Unitarian Churchyard " Charleston, SC.

St. John's Lutheran and the Unitarian Church have been neighbors on Archdale St. in Charleston for almost 300 years.

The bell tower in today's painting is that of St. John's, the oldest Lutheran congregation in SC. The red roofed building is the Unitarian Church, whose congregation has been at this location for nearly 3 centuries. The churches and churchyards are as different as they are close.

St. John's churchyard is kept formal and closely tended.
The Unitarians believe in the unity of all creation and prefer to have their churchyard in a more natural state.

The grounds here are a free growing mixture of flowers, bushes, climbing vines and native trees, presided over by a self appointed church cat named "Pumpkin". (See the posting for Thurs. April, 26 "Good Company and Art Work at the Unitarian Churchyard".)

For many years, visitors to Charleston have enjoyed the beauty of these adjoining churches and grounds.

"St. John's Lutheran Church from the Unitarian Churchyard"
Oil painting on birch panel 14" x 11"
Price: Sold

"Stella Maris Church at Sunset" Sullivans Island, SC

Historic Stella Maris Catholic Church on Sullivan's Island bathed in the glow of sunset is my painting subject today.
The Church's distinctive bell tower with a statue of Mary looking out to sea is a Sullivan's Island landmark.

The congregation is so large, it overflows the church into the church hall on Sunday morning. It's also a popular choice for wedding ceremonies.

The present church was built of bricks recycled from nearby Fort Moultrie when it was damaged in the War Between the States. For over 100 years, ships sailing past Sullivan's Island have been reminded of both the destructive forces of war and the power of redemption by God's grace as they pass Fort Moultrie and Stella Maris Church at this same spot.

Please see my painting of Stella Maris from the harbor -"Stella Maris from the Sea". Scroll to the blog posting for Tues. April 10. That is an inspiring view - The statue on the bell tower rising above the trees with blessings for all.

"Stella Maris at Sunset"
Oil on panel 11" x 14"
Price: $475.00 (Sold)

"Wedding Chairs on the Beach" - A plein air landscape by painter Katherine M. Schneider

These beach chairs are a magnet for people. Every time I start a painting of them, someone comes up and sits in them when I'm half way into the painting. I look up and suddenly my empty chairs are full. This has happened three times.

The second couple who filled the chairs asked if they were "in the way of my painting the red roof house". When I replied that the chairs were the subject of my painting, they obliged by taking a walk before returning to sit and visit. They told me they had been married in the chairs here on the beach at this, their favorite vacation "get away" spot.

It is a beautiful spot to relax by Charleston harbor and watch the ships pass Fort Moultrie and Fort Sumter.

If I paint there again, I'll start by adding imaginary figures and wait til somebody shows up (as usual) to fill the chairs. It's nice to see them so well used by beach goers, but I like to think of them as "The Wedding Chairs".

"Wedding Chairs on the Beach"
Oil on canvas panel 11" x 14"
Price: $375.00

Plein Air Painters Katherine Schneider and Mary Hoffmann Paint on Sullivan's Island, SC

Charleston Outdoor Painting Association artists Katherine Schneider and Mary Hoffmann had a successful day of plein air painting on Sullivans Island today.

Mary beat the heat by painting where the sea breeze made the hot, humid day more bearable. The "New Moon" full tide had washed bright yellow sea weed onto the beach which she used in her seascape painting.

Kay painted Stella Maris church from the shade of historic Fort Moultrie National Monument in the morning and later retreated to the beach to join Mary in the sea breeze.

Plein air painting with other artists is a good way to make friends, improve painting skills and share a love of creating art. Even though it was hot , hot , hot- the artists enjoyed the chance to get out and paint together.

"Hazy, Lazy Day" Charleston Creek Plein Air Painting

This painting of Palmetto Islands County Park in Charleston shows a popular spot for fishing and crabbing. It's also one of my favorite spots to relax and paint.

This day the air over the marsh was so thick with humidity, it made the distant trees shimmer in a silver haze. It was a great day to "wet a line" or create a painting.

A little breeze. A lot of sunshine. A painting of a "Hazy, Lazy Day" in Charleston.

Oil on canvas 30"x 26" framed in gold leaf
Price: $675.00

Westminster Choir Spoleto Festival Concert

The beauty of the voices and technical precision of the choir is well known. The performance I heard in St. Matthew's Church was thrilling, enhanced by the historic Gothic building with great acoustics.

I also enjoyed having a chance to talk with choir members before the performance and learn about the choral program at Westminster.

I feel the creative energy of these vocal artists will influence my visual art. The act of creation takes many forms in life and in this festival. What a great opportunity for artists of all expressions!

"Bailey In Blue Ribbons" Portrait

I was recently honored to be in the Portrait Society of America's (PSA) quarterly publication for my participation in the art show "The Art of Diversity Among Women" an event in the "Generations of Women Moving History Forward" celebration for Women's History Month.

I am pictured here with Bailey Gregorie, who was one of four generations of women in her family present at the opening reception in Charleston at the Medical University of South Carolina.

"Bailey In Blue Ribbons" 14"x11" portrait commission

"Summer Breeze"

This is a breezy painting to match the breezy weather we've been having in the Lowcountry on the "First day of hurricane season".

The subject of the painting is Miss Maura, a lovely young lady and the older sister of Miss Ella in " Charleston Child" (see posting for May 9).

"Summer Breeze"
Pastel on paper
11"x 14"
Price: Sold

St. Matthews Spoleto Tea Room

Information on the 2008 Festival Tea Room is as follows:
Where: St. Matthew's Lutheran Church
403 King Street, Chas, SC
When: May 23 - June 1, 2008
1:00 pm - 5:00 pm
What: Serving tea and other beverages
finger sandwich plates
Homemade delicacies

My painting today is a scene from the tea room courtyard at St. Matthews. It's still on the easel waiting to be photographed for the blog . Until I get it posted, I wanted to tell a bit about the wonderful people and outreach programs at St Matthews.
The ladies of the church make great desserts to serve tea rooms guests. They transform the church's court yard into a lovely outside dining area complete with wrought iron cafe seating and live music. The inside dining area opens to the courtyard through French doors and displays original artwork by members of the Charleston Artist Guild. A unique gift boutique offers handmade and specialty items for sale.

The money raised from the tea room supports the church's many outreach programs, including an Alzheimer day program, teaching English as a second language, an after school care program, and computer classes, to name a few.

I was pleased to volunteer to help in the tea room as a member of the Charleston Artist Guild. The church has allowed our non-profit guild to use their building for workshops.

The tea room will be open through Sunday, June 3.