Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Montacute House in Somerset, England

On the morning of March 24th, 2013, I set out from Hollowell Cottage in Crewkerne, Somerset. I had a lovely stay and would love to devote an entire blog post to the experience alone, but the following images of Montacute House were captured shortly after I had finished my scrumptious full English breakfast (complete with free range eggs) and perfectly pleasant conversations.Here's my review for now:  "Three months after my visit and I am still reminiscing about my holiday at Hollowell Cottage. Nestled in the picturesque country side of Somerset, the thatched roof cottage was the quintessential English abode. After a long day of travelling, Heather even had a tray of coffee and a slice of carrot cake waiting for me. All the accommodations were top notch. The bedroom was equipped with a DVD player and the hallway was fully stocked with a library of DVD’s and reading material. The proper English breakfast was the definition of delicious, complete with locally produced bacon and eggs. I’m hard pressed to believe there is another B&B in all of England that could compare in terms of quality comfort and hospitality. It was an absolute delight!"  

The plan at the beginning of my trip had to be altered due to the treacherous rain in the region of Devon. I had initially wanted to visit Flete House in Devon which serves as Mrs. Jennings' Estate in Ang Lee's Sense and Sensibility, but my inexperience with driving on the left side of the road prompted me to explore a smaller area. I believe the hostess of Hollowell Cottage, Heather, suggested that Montacute was nearby and worth seeing. To my wonder, it was also featured in Sense and Sensibility as well as the 2005 drama, Wallace and Gromit: Curse of the Were-Rabbit.

 Here, Marianne is about to pass through the gate to the gardens, insisting that the ominous clouds that threaten rain are actually impostors.
 This is the "wibbly-wobbly" shrub according to the tour guide that can be detected in Ang Lee's film. I didn't realize it at the moment, but this was one of those English mornings that I wish I could relive now that I am Stateside.

 I remember being freezing, but I wouldn't have wanted to experience this location any other way. Of course, I didn't attempt to walk to Combe Magna to recite a Shakespearean Sonnet from the hilltop, but I was definitely able to stroll through the gardens and reflect about life.

 Here's a scene from the movie. I regret not stopping my car at the gate for another picture of Montacute from the road, but there didn't seem to be a place to pull over. The roads in England are rather peculiar in that way. I seriously regret not having the opportunity to get out of my car in Castle Combe especially!

I really hope that I will be able to paint this soon.

I actually think this would make a darling composition.

 I wanted to capture Elinor's worried view. I'm not quite sure if this is it. I took a backup, just in case.

 Or maybe this was her view...

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

The Fox and the Hound

I'm not sure if the blistering heat is making me look forward to Autumn or if I'm just accustomed to living in such a frigid climate that I am utterly beside myself when the sun actually shines. Either way, I have begun to long for Fall.  This painting of little Chloe was painted for a client of mine last fall, therefore it is representing my hunger for hot apple crisp, brisk nature walks, and reading mystery novels by the fireside. I drew inspiration from the style of Ralph Lauren and the traditional English Fox Hunt.

If you click on the  image below, you will be directed to the treasury that I created around this painting of Chloe. 
"I'd like to draw you out. You've rather a look of another world about you.." - Lord Rochester

If you like these images and want to browse through more of this nature, please visit the tumblr page from which they originated:

I am hoping that this post will inspire me to finally post on several estates that I want to share with my readers. I had the most amazing time that I will be disappointing myself if I do not record the visits. Hopefully you'll see more soon.
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