Tuesday, June 02, 2009
Sweetwater Branch Inn Garden-Plein air
"Sweetwater Branch Inn Garden", 11x14, oil on canvas panel- $145
During a recent trip to Gainesville, Florida (home of the University of Florida Gators!) I stayed at the beautiful Sweetwater Branch Inn. The Inn is a fairly extensive property, with lush, gorgeous grounds, banquet and business facilities, cottages and three beautifully restored Victorian mansions with long porches and rocking chairs where one can sip a glass of complimentary wine in the evening while breathing in the scent of the huge magnolias that grace the property. The gardens are a painter's delight and although the weather was not particularly cooperative while I was there, I managed to capture this glimpse of the trellis right above the footbridge that spans a lily pond , where friendly koi the size of chickens swim gracefully. Unfortunately, I had to finish the painting in my room, since it poured the next day, and since I was trying to paint from memory I missed the rock and birdhouse!
The staff was incredibly courteous and attentive, and morning breakfasts at the Inn were especially delightful, and varied from day to day with fresh fruit and numerous choices to please even the most selective palette. My favorites included the fritatta with fresh herbs and vegetables, the blueberry oatmeal casserole and the decadent Sweetwater French Toast Casserole. YUM! The rooms were beautifully appointed, and the room where I stayed had a large separate bathroom with clawfoot tub and shower, as well as a handsome carved fireplace in the bedroom.
Below is a picture of the lovely, Giovanna Room, where I stayed, as well as the adjoining sitting room where one can relax with other guests. You can glimpse my painting on the easel as well!
I would have liked to have had time to paint the gazebo and beautiful winding walkways, but the weather was not in my favor. Be sure to check out the Sweetwater Branch Inn, if you ever visit Gainesville, Florida, and you can go to their website to see more fabulous pictures of the exterior of the mansions by clicking this link.
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