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"Knowles Tower Afternoon Sun"

Original Dark Roast Watercolor™ painting:
Using Barnie's Coffee Kitchen:
Barnie's Blend Coffee


Anyone who knows me, knows that I can be quite eclectic, whether musical tastes, Literature, food, and of course artistic style and types of subjects I like to paint. One of the benefits (for myself) of painting with coffee is the simple fact that everything I paint is rendered in warm sepia tones. This allows me the freedom of painting many subjects while still maintaining continuity within my collections. So, I can be led away by the design of intricate leaves and pine needles on the ground, reflections in chrome and steel or even the structures of stone and granite. I usually have one or two of each, working in process, to satisfy my changing moods throughout the day.


During one of my trips to paint live in Orlando, a good friend of mine suggested that I take a field trip and visit Rollins College and specifically Knowles Chapel. WOW! It truly is a beautiful example of Gothic architecture. I strolled around the grounds looking for inspiration and happened to be walking parallel to Holt Ave as I looked back up over my shoulder and up through the trees. The rays of the late afternoon sun were evidently at the perfect angle to wash the West face of the Knowles Tower with a dazzling glow in contrast to the dark blue sky and scattered clouds. I knew I had found "my spot" as I positioned myself so the tree branches and leaves framed all of it together. Enjoy!


Knowles Chapel

Ground was broken for the chapel on March 9, 1931 and the cornerstone was laid on May 12 of the same year. The dedication service for the chapel took place just a year later on March 29, 1932. Dean of the Chapel Charles Atwood Campbell conducted the service assisted by Warren and President Hamilton Holt.

The chapel was designed by the well-known American ecclesiastical architect Ralph Adams Cram of Boston. The cost of construction in the early 1930s was $250,000.

Ralph Adams Cram

The architect for the Knowles Memorial Chapel was considered the foremost Gothic architecture expert of his time. In over two dozen books, Ralph Adams Cram articulated not only his architectural principles but his philosophy of art, religions and culture. No single architect has had more influence on college and university construction in the United States. Cram designed chapels and often overall campus designs, such as at West Point, Bryn Mawr, Sweet Briar, Williams, Wheaton, Notre Dame and Rice among many others. Cram also designed over 75 cathedrals and churches in Europe and throughout the United States in Florida, Boston, Texas and California.


Cram, the internationally known architect and medieval scholar, visited Rollins in 1938 and appeared in President Hamilton Holt’s Animated Magazine. Among his most notable buildings are St. Thomas and St. John the Divine, both in New York City, and the Princeton University Graduate College Refectory. On the day of his death in 1942, among the many quotes from leaders of the day is one from Franklin Delano Roosevelt, who lamented, “A towering figure has been lost to our cultural life.”


After his death, his daughter wrote, “As you were well aware, the Knowles Chapel at Rollins was his favorite.”



Click on the image below to view a larger High Resolution image


Dark Roast Watercolor Coffee Painting of the Knowles Tower in the afternoon Sun, Winter Park, Florida


"Knowles Tower Afternoon Sun"


18" wide x 26" high © Copyright Steven D. Mikel


Thank-You Barnie's Coffee Kitchen for supporting the Arts
Barnie's Coffee Kitchen