|Bienville Square Fountain|
Mobile, Alabama has got to be one of the most lovely cities I have ever seen. As a child, all I remember about it was lots and lots of pine straw, nettles that gave me a rash, the humidity, and dirt. Most likely that stemmed from growing up in the country rather than the city, but as I grew older I began to notice the quiet beauty of our town, especially spring when the azaleas and hydrangeas were blooming. When I decided to turn my interests to art, I marveled at the landmark paintings done by other artists because I had never noticed how beautiful our city really was, until I saw it through their eyes. I began to take a closer look at our town, especially the landmarks that were important to me and quickly realized that I had missed out on appreciating Mobile for what it has to offer, and decided it was time to honor it with my own paintings.
Thank goodness I had taken lots of photographs in my day because I needed them as references for each landmark. I guess there was part of me that found Mobile's images captivating, so I ruffled through several and decided that Bienville Fountain would be a must, along with the Cathedral. Bienville Square is home to our fountain, which is actually home to many folks who love to enjoy a tasty meal under the canopy of the oaks. Often, there is live music at the square and always someone or something interesting to look at. Not to mention quite friendly squirrels and many years ago a most unusual fire hydrant. It is considered part of the heart of downtown, and a big heart it has.
|Bienville Square Fire Hydrant|
The Cathedral is a grand church, with glistening, gold crossed tops that overlooks Cathedral Square and its patrons. Lots of art happenings goes on at the square because Space 301, The Mobile Arts Council, and The Paper Wasp all call the square home. The Spot of Tea rests in between them, is quite famous for its strawberry tea, and tourists and locals alike seem to congregate in the square, all in the protective shadows of the Cathedral.
|The Cathedral at the Square|
|View From Space 301|
Wintzell's is a famous restaurant on Dauphin Street, right across the street from the Cathedral Square Gallery where you can see these paintings, is known for offering some of the best oysters found in the South. While you eat, you can spend time conversing with friends, or simply reading the thousands of iconic sayings on the wall amidst the pictures of famous folks who had graced the place. Ben Franklin would have been proud. The Bike Shop, or Dauphin Street Taqueria, is a local bar/eatery with an authentic, double-decked bus parked right outside. If the bus isn't enough to peek your interest, then the fish tacos must. Hands down, best fish tacos I have ever eaten.
|The Bike Shop on Dauphin|
|It's Miller Time at Wintzell's|
When it comes to quaint stops, Bienville Books and the Haunted Book Loft has got to be top on the list. My favorite bookstore of all time, offers vintage and hard to find books at prices you wouldn't believe if I told you. They also offer this wonderful t-shirt that says, "I Read Dead People," which makes me laugh every time I see it.
|Bienville Books on Dauphin at Royal|
So far, I have about 15 pieces in my series with plans to finish it up with 30 paintings showcasing the unique beauty and attractions our city has to offer. My next blog will focus on the beautiful Spring Hill College campus which is near and dear to our family's heart. Until then, if you have friends looking to visit Mobile, share this blog with them. I have included several links they might find helpful. You can view all of my landmark paintings HERE and you can purchase prints of them through my Ardithian Arts Etsy Shop. Mobile, a beautiful city where you hardly ever meet a stranger. Just ask Henry, King of Clark's Gas Station.
|Henry, King of Clark's Station|