Sunday, August 14, 2011

The garden at French Laundry

Easels in the garden at French Laundry

Last week I had the privilege of teaching an afternoon art workshop in the garden of Thomas Keller's French Laundry restaurant in Yountville, California. I'd never been to the garden before – I didn't know it was open to the public.

A view of the garden, looking to the west

It was a beautiful day. The garden sits across the road from the restaurant, with a lovely view toward the western hills.

Empty easels, after the workshop

As the sun leaned further to the west, and the light grew more golden, there seemed to be a bit of magic about this spot of earth. My students had been painting using the shapes and colors of the garden as inspiration, and I wished I had time to sit down and paint something myself.

Artichokes gone to seed, and a view of the greenhouse

I contented myself with taking photographs to paint from later. So it looks as though I'll be doing some garden paintings....

French Laundry in the background

As I was cleaning brushes and packing up after the workshop, cars began to arrive for the dinner hour... a new orange Eclipse convertible, a new white Eclipse convertible, a black limo, a second black limo, another new white convertible. Hmmm. Guess which car belongs to someone who isn't staying for dinner? And who hasn't waited a year for a reservation? Hint: it has easels loaded up in the back....

And, yes, that's a limo driver in the gray suit, under the tree....

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