Filoli is a historic country estate open to the public in Woodside, California, about 25 miles south of San Francisco. Sitting on over 600 acres of pristine California land, in the heart of the Bay Area, it is a true treasure to visit. From the classic European style mansion (built in the early 1900’s and most notably known for the mansion of the 80’s television show Dynasty) to the acres of traditional gardens and grounds, it truly is a paradise setting.
Filoli offers estate and garden tours, and also hosts many other exhibits and events including a quarterly Artist access day. Being so close to my home, it’s a wonderful way to get out in picturesque scenery and do some en plein air sketching.
For this outing, I decided to sketch just in the garden and forgo the mansion noting I will have to return for another session. To warm up, I captured this ornate iron gate, separating the main garden area from the rose garden within about 15-20 minutes.
Next up, since the afternoon was quite warm, I naturally gravitated towards the water. Above is a corner of the reflecting pond, filled with blooming water lilies. The moss greens and opacity of the water were a definite contrast to the next sketch I drew.
For my last sketch of the afternoon, I headed to the gorgeous turquoise swimming pool. Although Filoli is better known for it’s gardens and mansion, I couldn’t pass up on the pool. It was too tantalizing given the weather.
There’s nothing like an en plein air outing to get the creative juices flowing. I look forward to sharing more drawings of Filoli when I return.