Delphiniums in the Rain

We are in the final push to put our current home on the market this week, so when I woke up this morning looking at the very gray sky and the mountain of work I had to do at home, I almost didn't go out to paint. Luckily my darling husband wouldn't hear of my excuses and practically kicked me out the door. ;-) I had been invited to paint with friends in this beautiful walled garden at a private turn-of-the-century residence tucked back in rolling hills near the banks of the James River. The drive up to the site was stunning in itself. Beautiful bucolic fields were lined with stately mature trees of all kinds. But it wasn't until I entered the garden past the roses and rounded a corner to take in this view that I audibly gasped. I remember my first thought when I saw this beautiful flower lined walkway was that I hoped I had brought the right blues.

  "Delphiniums at Redesdale" Oil on panel, 12x9"   Jennifer E Young

"Delphiniums at Redesdale" Oil on panel, 12x9"  Jennifer E Young

I am told that this garden was designed by Charles Gillette, who is pretty famous around Virginia for his formal garden designs on stately homes such as Agecroft Hall, The Virginia House, and Tuckahoe Plantation. I believe he also had a hand in some of the early designs of the  Lewis Ginter Botanical Gardens.

The rain fell softly off and on during this painting. Every once in a while sunlight and a bit of blue sky peeped through, but luckily not enough to "ruin" my cloudy day painting. At several points things got pretty soggy, and I found myself jostling my brushes, paper towels, and my painting umbrella, which I was using as a rain umbrella for myself, my painting, and my palette. But it all worked out in the end, so I guess that's what matters!