Copyright © Richard Harpum
In 2012 my wife and I took a vacation in the USA and spent two wonderful weeks visiting several old friends that we had made when we lived in South Carolina in the 1990s.
During our stay we visited Charleston, South Carolina with some close friends and spent a couple of days touring the area and enjoying the classical architecture of the city. As we explored the streets the Historic District, we popped into the Meeting Street Inn (no 173) and were immediately impressed by the wonderful atmosphere in the garden courtyard. I knew immediately that I wanted to paint it.
The building dates back to 1874 and over the years has had a variety of uses, including a saloon, restaurant, fashionable boutique, auto parts store and bicycle rentals store.
Then, in 1981 the property was renovated, enlarged and transformed into the Meeting Street Inn. The Inn thrived until its parent company failed in the late 1980's and it gradually deteriorated until it was acquired by the current owner in 1992, since when it has been converted into a luxury inn and hotel.
What inspired me to paint this scene was the wonderful light. It was a beautiful day and the dappled light playing across the courtyard captured my imagination.
Although I knew this painting was going to be a challenge, it turned out to be far more time-consuming than I had expected. However, I enjoyed the experience and am pleased with the final result. Although there is no clear focal point, my hope is that people will spend time exploring the painting and picking out some of the interesting features of this wonderful place.
This painting won the Atelier Interactive Award in the 2013 ‘The Artist & Leisure Painters’ Patchings Competition and Exhibition.
* Prices in US Dollars and Euros are those used by the artist but may vary depending upon the prevailing exchange rates and the method of payment.
** A Studio Proof canvas print is a giclée print on canvas that is hand-embellished by the artist using the same medium as the original painting (usually acrylic), signed, numbered and then coated in 3 layers of UV-resistant varnish. It is then mounted on stretchers ready for framing.
*** Giclée printing is an advanced form of ink jet printing that applies a wide range of colored inks that are designed to be light-fast for at least 75 years.