During a special after-hours access for artists event, we visited Filoli to explore and sketch this amazing historic site. I started by sketching the doorway to the walled gardens (above).
Filoli is only 3o miles south of San Francisco but of another time and place entirely. Built in 1917 and lived in until 1975, the 654-acre property includes a 36,000 square foot Georgian country house and spectacular 16-acre English Renaissance garden.
After touring the house (where we spotted original Sargent portraits of the family) we only had a couple of hours left so I decided to set a timer on my phone to force myself to sketch quickly and keep moving. It created an unpleasant sense of urgency in a place that could have been all about serenity. I should have relaxed, explored the entire grounds, and then sketched my favorite spots.
Instead I spent time sketching the pool (interesting shadows; but not an original feature of the estate) so missed the spectacular rose gardens which I caught a glimpse of on my way out. I will definitely return for the next artist access day.