Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Betsy's Garden

A while ago I posted about this amazing house. Last weekend my mom organized a garden art class at the marvelous estate of Betsy and Kirby Torrance. The landscape is exquisite. I spent less time drawing (bad pupil!) and more time picking Libby's brain about how to create textural experiences with the foliage of plants. In my garden, I'm still trying to make sure the flower's colors don't clash. Anyway, I snapped some pictures of the house and grounds, hoping to sketch it all later, and I thought I'd share. The front is this great manicured expanse of lawn, but the back is this lush English wilderness.
The little outbuilding above is the folly, Betsy's art studio. The interior is still rich with her Fauve aesthetic, from the couch cushions to the Matisse inspired chandelier, and it's littered with her bright airy paintings. It's hard to fathom Betsy's absence. She is still everywhere in this place, her presence was so strong, and her memory is perhaps even stronger, that it's easier to believe she's just at her casita in Mexico. It's even harder to fathom that this house may be out of the Torrance family within the next month or so. My brain can only handle the lasting impression of a person or the great impermanence of everything. I'm not equipped to compute both simultaneously. Good grief, is it any wonder I couldn't bring myself to sit still and draw?

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