Monday, July 11, 2011

Estate Belvedere

I was really looking forward to painting at Estate Belvedere. I'd passed the Flamboyant tree-graced entrance on the way to LaVallee many times in the past 42 years but had never been there. In addition to formal gardens and breathtaking views of the north shore, the estate has a sugar mill dating back to 1763 and beautifully preserved ruins.
Friday morning I was awoken at 4:30 by claps of thunder accompanied by some hard rains. Usually I have my car loaded with my easel and "stuff" before sunrise but it was raining too hard. I kept waiting for the rain to stop.. Finally, around 8AM it turned to a drizzle so I loaded my car, gathered together some extra clothes, in case I got wet, packed my raincoat and an umbrella, and was off to paint at Estate Belvedere.
Upon reaching Estate Belvedere I found myself driving in behind Elizabeth, so I was relieved that at least my driving directions had been clear, even if the weather wasn't. We were greeted by Chad, the property's manager, who familiarized us with where we might paint. Elwin arrived and we talked about the weather. The prediction was that there was an 80% chance of rain. It looked like we'd have to stand out in the open to paint the ruins and the sugar mill, so we only took photos of them and went looking for something else we could paint while undercover. We were joined by Chris who came to take pictures, and Marilyn, Emy, Carolyn, and Sondra.
Would you believe that the morning turned into a beautiful one, at least at Estate Belvedere?! Although thoughts of woulda, shoulda, coulda danced in our heads by Show and Tell time, we all agreed that we'd had a good time painting. I realized that sometimes the challenges of plein air force you to look at subjects you might not have normally looked at twice... and a lovely painting results. If you look at our Estate Belvedere artworks, I think you'll agree that that's exactly what happened on that fine July day. Chad said we could come back to paint again and we've already decided we're going to take him up on his offer!

No comments: