Monday, March 23, 2009

found the camera.

Lots of pictures today and then I've got to get down to biznaz...

So, in reverse order over the weekend:
I recommend wine flights. Rob is sampling; we tried the Syrahs and Merlots and they were... fine. Nice after roaming the grounds for several hours.

Stepping backwards...

It's always nice, IMHO, to visit greenhouses full of big healthy happy plants, especially when you're coming off winter. And it's good inspiration for creating, all those overlapping leaves and blooms. The conservatory at Biltmore is BIG and lovely, though I'm still biased towards the Garfield Park Conservatory in Chicago, which is biggER and less pricey. The building itself is really impressive, and gives a nice glimpse of the house through the trees, when you're standing down at the doorway (which is just barely visible here. Really, it's big.)
Gotta admit, the whole place is like a fairy tale. Another few weeks and everything will be blooming-- you could see all the buds coming up and just starting to open outside.

Prior to the gardens, we toured the house itself:

Again, tons of visual feasting. We didn't really get any photos of the house up close (and of course no photos allowed inside)... we end up looking at all the teeny stuff or architectural details that most people won't bother with. There's gargoyles everywhere and they're ALL DIFFERENT. The amount of design that went into all the individual decoration is mind boggling. There's a neat little exhibit in one of the basement rooms that shows a lot of the construction of the house, including a photo of some of the zillions of plaster models made by the architect as a guide for the stone carvers. I can't imagine how many crates full of models got shuttled back and forth from NYC to Asheville while all this was going on.

So now we're back to Howard Street!

Rob helped me get my table set up and pieces hung on the impromptu wall (door wrapped in fabric) since I was a shaky panicked mess. I couldn't even get through my cup of coffee that morning. My table mate didn't come, so I had the raffle items next to me, which was really very nice and kept me making conversation.

Foot traffic was steady-- these shots were taken right as we were opening the doors.

And now, I've got to get back in the studio, which still looks like it did Friday night before I finished packing for the show, only with more stuff spread out... maybe next week I'll get caught up on the housecleaning. Lots of work to get done in the next few days, and I'm still sketching off trees we spotted in walking around the grounds at Biltmore, so not to fear-- more updates to come.

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