The Old Courthouse

The Old Courthouse clock tower was a historic icon I thought would always be around. Its majestic presence reminded I-25 travelers they were halfway to south metro-Denver or Colorado Springs. Though the clock hadn’t worked in years, its presence was a connection to early Douglas County residents. However, in 1978 everything changed when a young girl decided to spring her boyfriend out of jail by setting a diversionary fire. She burned the whole courthouse. I learned later, she also burned original furniture; the entire building inside and out was a historic treasure. I created this bronze as part of a collection of hand-made hand-cast paper and bronze images I was doing at the time. I wanted to preserve the memory of the Old Courthouse for future generations of its historic importance.

I began doing three-dimensional wall hangings using hand-made hand-cast paper. But like many things one thing led to another; my cast paper flowed into bronzes. I call it my bronze period. I used a start-up foundry on eighth and I-25 who helped me do the clean-up work. Normally a foundry would not let a novice like me into its foundry. I learned fast covering the whole-body including hair was essential. By the end of the day, I looked like one of the guys. I will always treasure that experience but, would not repeat it. It’s hard dirty work.

Today I work primarily with oil on canvas; I love painting realism. That is why the Old Court House was such an appeal. People also like my use of impressionistic backgrounds in my portraits. When I presented the first bronze to Douglas County Commissioners, they liked it so much, they commissioned me to do a second for the county courthouse. Both bronzes still hang in the Douglas County Courthouse and Commissioner’s building today as a permanent display.

Douglas County Courthouse

Douglas County Courthouse

Image courtesy of DCL Archives and Local History, Castle Rock, Colorado

Item protected under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial License (CC BY-NC)