© 2010 Michael Anderson Tallest building in southern Illinois

Spivey Building, East St. Louis, IL

Tallest building in southern Illinois

Now a crumbling, vacant shell  the twelve-story Spivey Building towers over East St. Louis, IL. From time to time fragments of the Sullivan-esque glazed terra cotta tiles that adorn the upper floors  fall to the sidewalk below which occasionally must be blocked off to pedestrians for safety reasons. When it opened in 1929 the Spivey Building was the tallest in Illinois south of Springfield. As unlikely as it seems it still is.

5 Responses to “Spivey Building, East St. Louis, IL”

  1. Steven says:

    I like how the window on the backside of the building is showing through that front window. And the composition makes this one work, I think.

    Do you you mind if I ask about how you work? Are your colors straight out of a tube? Or do you use pans? Or are you punching them digitally, post-scan? They look phenomenal. I can never get radiant colors like these.

  2. I was deliberately trying to hold that little sliver as the brightest spot in this sketch because that is what I observed when I drew the building. It is the only spot on the sketch left unpainted. Thanks so much for your comment on the colors. I have twelve half inch square pans in my Zig field box which I fill with tube colors. I use a limited palette that was suggested to me in a workhop by Ratindra Das who I call my watercolor guru. Opera rose, Quinacrindone Gold and Winsor Blue are the primaries and they are very intense colors. To those I add nine “convenience” colors just so I can vary the tyrannical greens of the midwest, the blues of the sky pieces and tweak the reds/yellows when needed: olive or sap green, viridian, cobalt green, ultramarine, cadmium red, cadmium yellow, winsor orange, quinacrindone red, and burnt sienna. I don’t adjust hue or saturation post-scan although I will dodge the shadows a bit along the unpainted edges of the page created by the watercolor buckle. I really appreciate your encouraging comments.

  3. Steven says:

    Thanks Michael. Very helpful. I’m looking at changing my pans from off-the-shelf stuff to a more selective palette. I struggle with having to work dried pans over and over again while sketching on-site. Just takes a lot of time wetting down crust colors.

    Thanks so much for sharing. I’m grateful.