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Virtual Paintout - Detroit - August 2013

 I guess I was initially struck by the similarity of this building to the one I had just been drawing in Brussels (my Brussels sketch)Industrial architecture from the past is so painterly -- so many different colors on the faded red brick facades. In Brussels they've converted the 1810 "Moulins de Ruysbroeck" into impressive lofts. When I researched my Detroit building, I was surprised to find lots of articles on the Internet.  Known as the "Globe Trading Company building", it is charged with history as it was formerly part of the huge Detroit Dry Dock Complex where Henry Ford once worked as an apprentice before getting involved in cars. Sadly, I also found photos of its recent demolition. I guess it was too late and too expensive to renovate.

"Globe Trading Company"
5x7 inch, oil on canvas panel
(private collection, USA)

I was inspired to paint another industrial landscape in Detroit when I stumbled on Alfred Street -- with its bright skies, clouds and vivid colors -- located in the Eastern Market district.

"Eastern Market District"
6x8 inch, o
il on canvas panel
(private collection, USA)

PS:  This is the first time I have submitted three paintings (the maximum allowed on VPO) since my first Virtual Paintout in May 2010! I've posted the other painting ("Heading downtown") on my Flickr account: 

Link to the Business Insider article that featured the Detroit Virtual Paintout:  link


  1. About the Globe Building - they aren't demolishing it! The Department of Natural Resources is building an outdoor recreation center. It should have archery classes, nature classes, and other stuff in association with the state park next door. You really should come to Detroit to check it out when its done! I swear, despite all of our bad PR and the "Ruin Porn", this really is one of the most beautiful cities around.

  2. Thanks for your comment Teresa. I had found a CBS Detroit article on the Internet called "Demolition of historic Globe Trading Co. building in Detroit" with photos of piles of rubble but I hear now they are making an effort to preserve part of the building. I hope everyone there will be happy with the result once they've completed the "Outdoor Adventure & Discovery Center". I'll keep an eye out for its inauguration on the Internet!