Thursday, February 21, 2013

Flower Building Falls Church

Falls Church has been a mild and quiet suburb of Washington, DC for more than a century, and it is hard to find excitement, either in social life or in the architecture of the town. In the last years of the first 2000 decade, though, someone thought that building an eccentric building on a main road would make Falls Church more interesting. Thus was born the "Flower Building," designed and built by local Northern Virginia architects and builders. The "Flower Building" is office and retail and also contains the new home of  Falls Church's main post office. It is promised to be ecologically correct. Its main visual impact is that a section of it has been decorated with a flower pattern reminiscent of the chintz usually used in upholstery. The flower pattern is based on a real plant species, the bittersweet nightshade vine or Solanum dulcamara, which by the way is poisonous, though I don't think the designers knew that. The plant details, including purple flowers and red berries, are painted concrete forms applique'd onto the  building's walls.

This is in my "Then and Now" series of paintings of Falls Church buildings for Trader Joe's. It's the post office as it exists now. I will be adding Trader Joe's logo and theme images around the edges, which are unfinished since they will be covered. In the sky to the left, clouds gather as a thunderstorm approaches.

I painted another version of this on a small wooden plaque which was used to designate whether a cash register was open or closed. The plaque dates from summer 2010. These plaque paintings of Falls Church and Tysons Corner scenes were decommissioned in 2012 and donated to a collector.

Acrylic on Masonite, 4' x 3', February 2013. Plaque: acrylic on wood, about 12" wide, summer 2010.

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