VSW: Getty Tomb by Sullivan

W16 4 14 VSW GETTY TOMB CHICAGO 08Thanks to a tour of Chicago + Louis Sullivan, I found the Getty Tomb in Graceland
(which the name always makes me think of Elvis, of course.)
I couldn’t get the Getty Tomb out of my head.
Best to get it on paper.
The colors are pretty garish, but they somehow work.  Isn’t that the way with color?
The doors were originally bronze; they say they are patinated, but they almost look painted…  and so often people do paint bronze.  No idea.
I think these mausoleum doors should be entered in the Thursday Doors, a first for me.
(check it out, Norm’s amazing doors.  There are others, and you can follow them!)

I use my sketchbooks to play with techniques and ideas.
I still am far from where I want to be in my watercolor abilities;
I am not concerned about my ability to draw should I put my mind to it.
(Someday I will show drawings from my portfolio.)

I enjoyed playing a bit with drawing without linework (how else do I wean myself from detail?) and so sketched loosely then went in with color.  I love the second image.
I want to find a way to combine the two techniques but when I start linework
I tend to get into the drawing groove… So perhaps for a bit no lines!

I wonder why the oriental theme, the mandalas, the starburst and beehives embedded into the concrete on the upper half of the structure.  Wiki doesn’t cover my questions, and I may have to go back into Architectural books (storage) to see if it is mentioned.
The Getty family in California was quite flamboyant — thinking of the Getty Museum in the Villa in the Palisades.  I’ve tried to find out about the family, if they two were
related in a quick search, but no luck.  Will keep digging.

I could write this all out, or lift Wikipedia’s writing, which is adequate to the task:

“The [Carrie Eliza] Getty Tomb has been said to be the most significant piece of architecture in Graceland cemetery and the beginning of Sullivan’s involvement in the architectural style known as the Chicago School.”
(I had no idea.)
“The tomb… is composed of limestone masonry construction. Roughly a cube in shape, the bottom half of the tomb is composed of large, smooth limestone blocks. The upper half is composed of a rectangular pattern of octagons, each containing an eight-pointed starburst design.  The cornice is banded with smooth limestone above intricate spiraling patterns below, and the top-edge of the roofline is straight and horizontal on the front and back and scalloped in a concave fashion on the sides.  When approaching the tomb, the obvious focus is the ornate doorway.  An intricately ornamented bronze gate and door, patinated green over time,  are spanned by a broad semi-circular archway. The voussoirs, emanating radially in long thin wedges, share alternating plain and intricately carved concentric bands. The twin gates as well as the door behind share a combination of geometric and floral details that incorporate the starburst seen in the upper patterned walls. The three other sides of the tomb house semi-circular, bronze-clad
windows that mimick the arch and door details of the front. “

I know I rarely show the photos I worked from, but these are exceptional photos
by David Gleason; I appreciate his allowing them to be used, from… Wikipedia.

I’ve made a temporary square for the Thursday Doors to tell people about it.
It is NOT authorized by the creator of the challenge, Norm.
I’ll work on a better one…  Then ask him if he wants it.

W16 THURSDAY DOORS SQMoleskin 8×11 watercolor journal, Platinum Carbon pen and misbehaving Hero pen
with De Atramentis Document Brown ink,
and Greenleaf & Blueberry, Daniel Smith , Holbein, and QoR watercolors.


I started a Facebook group page (you must join to view) to allow everyone to share their virtual sketches, and also where we will, from time to time, take virtual sketch walks together.  Come join us On Facebook if you are inclined!
If you want to know more about what a virtual sketchwalk is review my first post.
I also created an accompanying Flickr group!


I agree to Creative Commons Attribution-Non-Commercial 4.0 International License, which you can learn more about by visiting the site, or,
visit my web page for a more user-friendly summary on my terms.
My images/blog posts may be reposted; please link back to dkatiepowellart.

About dkatiepowellart

hollywood baby turned beach gurl turned steel&glass city gurl turned cowgurl turned herb gurl turned green city gurl. . . artist writer photographer. . . cat lover but misses our big dogs, gone to heaven. . . buddhist and interested in the study of spiritual traditions. . . foodie, organic, lover of all things mik, partner in conservation business mpfconservation, consummate blogger, making a dream happen, insomniac who is either reading buddhist teachings or not-so-bloody mysteries or autobio journal thangs early in the morning when i can't sleep
This entry was posted in architecture, art journal, challenge, pen & ink, process, sketchbook, virtual sketching, watercolor and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

22 Responses to VSW: Getty Tomb by Sullivan

  1. Dan Antion says:

    I’m glad this got stuck in your mind. The results are pretty cool to look at.


  2. Norm 2.0 says:

    Sketches and watercolours of doors? I like it! Welcome and thanks for joining in 🙂


  3. Maarit says:

    So beautiful. Happy Friday!

    Love and hugs


  4. Faye says:

    Such beautiful drawings and paintings! You really have a talent for architecture!


  5. Rasz says:

    Thank you for this great post. I got to see your awesome sketches, pictures of what you sketched so very well and a little history too! What more could I ask for in a GREAT post! Thank you for all you share. Happy PPF. Hugs, Rasz


  6. dweezer19 says:

    Lovely drawings and interesting doors! I think I may never wean myself from detail. Sigh. Why painting is still difficult for me.


    • Thanks Cheryl — Do you do the Thursday doors thang? I love detail but I am so trying to get a handle on watercolors and my ink drawings can get in the way — so am trying all kinds of things to move to a looser style, then I will come back to center!


  7. lynnbluesky says:

    These are great and so fun to see the original as well.


  8. This is simply gorgeous… The colours work beautifully and there is such life in your sketches… They are making me swoon a bit…xx


  9. What a great idea, sketching a Thursday Door. I love it!


  10. Welcome to the challenge. I like your unique entries.



I love hearing from visitors!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.