Friday, March 23, 2012

Spring in Filoli Gardens

"Tulip time in Filoli Gardens"
7" x 10" Watercolor 

"Cherry Blossoms in Filoli Gardens"
11" x 12" Watercolor

Filoli  is a property owned by the National Trust for Historic Preservation. Their website states:

Filoli was built for Mr. and Mrs. William Bowers Bourn, prominent San Franciscans whose chief source of wealth was the Empire Mine, a hard-rock gold mine in Grass Valley, California. Mr. Bourn was also owner and president of the Spring Valley Water Company whose property comprised Crystal Springs Lake and the surrounding lands, areas that are now part of the San Francisco Water Department. He selected the southern end of Crystal Springs Lake as the site for his estate.

The estate is about 45 miles north of my home and I was invited to go for the monthly artist access by friends. 

We enjoyed lunch in the very busy cafe, followed by a self-tour of the gardens and mansion. We checked in for our after-hours session about 3:15 and we would be allowed to stay on the closed property until 6:30. It was a chilly day -- my family in Vermont has exchanged weather with us, so we painted on a cool, windy afternoon while they enjoyed temps in the 80s. We had elected to end our session at 5:30. Friend Susan and I selected the walled garden as a shelter from the wind. I captured a few of the 60,000 tulips in bloom at the moment. We were told they have 18 full-time gardeners, some of whom live with their family on the property and enjoy the pool after hours. The cafe, tours, and garden shop are all staffed by volunteers who give many hours to help preserve this place and keep it open to all of us.

Later I captured some of the garden shapes and one of the lovely cherry trees. Unfortunately, in order to stay warm I did not have the prime view that is shown in the photo.

The front entry of the mansion 

 The back of the mansion
The walled garden


CrimsonLeaves said...

Absolutely gorgeous gardens!! I love how you've handled the sun's rays in the cherry tree piece too, Mary. Sounds like you had an amazing time!

Barbra Joan said...

Mary, this is an adventure in itself to see this mansion !
Your rendering of flowers and blossoms put us in the mood.
Do hope you have no problems with the blog.

Tim Robinson said...

Wow, pretty interesting post!

Christiane Kingsley said...

Beautiful paintings and beautiful photos, Mary. Thank you for sharing this lovely place with us.

hmuxo said...

I love Tulip time...lovely colors...

Rosemary said...

Oh Mary - do I ever admire your going outside to paint when it's so cold! The gardens are amazing. You did a great job with the tulips - fresh and colorful! Thanks for sharing the photos and the experience!

Jerry said...

Gorgeous Tulips Mary, I love the way you managed to depict such a lot with so few brush strokes.

Mary said...

These gardens are beautiful, Mary--so glad you had the opportunity not only to visit, but also to paint there. Kudos for braving the chilly weather; it was worth it for your lovely paintings and excellent photos.

I also liked seeing your show take-down in the previous post and hope that your home/studio open house is fun and successful. I have had very good results with such receptions.