Wednesday, January 19, 2011

I went to church today

I had today off from work, so I wandered into the Quarter with sketch book in hand. Sorry to rub it into the rest of the country, but it was in the mid sixties and sunny. Tourists and Quarter Rats milled about, listened to music and lounged in the grass at Jackson Square. I'm getting familiar enough with the streets, coffee shops and cool niches that I almost feel like a local.

Most of my "architectural charactures" I draw from memory, composites of buildings that I visually inhaled on my excursions.  I thought that I would attempt the New Orleans crown jewel of St. Louis cathedral. I have been a bit intimidated to tackle a drawing of the most photographed structure in the Crescent City. For this piece of art I would have to sit in front of it for almost four hours, eyes darting back and forth between my paper and the church hundreds of times.

St Louis Cathedral is one of the oldest continuous operating cathedrals in the nation. The original one was destroyed by a hurricane in 1722, a fire destroyed the second one in 1788. The present one was finished in 1794 and has been the crown of the French Quarter easily viewed from the Mississippi. I'm sure many an early visitor passing on the river awed at it's spires. During hurricane Katrina the roof leaked severely damaging a million dollar pipe organ. Two large oak trees fell almost missing a statue of Jesus. The falling tree took off only Jesus' thumb, allowing him to only being able to hitch hike in one direction. 

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