Wednesday, April 20, 2011

"Dripping with Charm", painting of 1125 Mill Creek Rd. Gladwyne by Maryanne Jacobsen

"Dripping with Charm"-a painting of a little blue cottage at 1125 Mill Creek Rd.-Gladwyne", 16x12, oil on Masonite

(Note: Please click on the photo to see the impasto better!)

I sold real estate for about 5 years before moving to Florida. I was in a pricey market on the Philadelphia Main Line, and it was never dull to take clients around and show them potential homes to buy, as they were all invariably interesting and beautiful. Some even had historical significance.

I recall one client in particular, who was considerably more entertaining than most, (of my clients) in that she invariably picked the weirdest, most controversial, or most glorious homes in that area to look at. She was also a physic, so she would get vibes about the previous owners whenever we walked into a house. (Nine times out of ten they were accurate!)

One day, she decided that she wanted to see a little blue 'Victorian cottage' in Gladwyne.

I think the term "cottage" is what grabbed her, as the house description in the MLS conjured up fantasies of a home dripping with charm, historically relevant and built in the 1800's upon a glorious lot with blooming azaleas, a creek and waterfall! In the end it took what seemed like hours for us to finally find this little dream house tucked quietly and peacefully behind the main road. Mill Creek Road is just one of about a half dozen dauntingly difficult to negotiate yet magnificent stretches of winding highway that is located in an area of prime real estate in lovely Lower Merion Township. The road ran snake- like along a fast-flowing creek that could quickly become treacherous after a rainfall, flanked by cascading hills and tall trees on either side of the 2 lane roadway.

We finally found her little blue house that day, towards sunset, after reading the stupid map at least a thousand times forwards, backwards and upside down, and taking way too many wrong turns in our endeavors to get there before dark. Seemingly the little blue cottage was tucked betwixt and between two worlds, for although it was just around the bend from the fast moving cars on Conshohocken State Road, the house was nestled quietly behind a fairy forest of trees, rushing water and fresh-blooming azaleas.

This was the year 2001, and Garmins and Magellans were not in vogue back then. It must have been May or early June when I shot this picture out side the house, because that azalea bush was screaming out for our attention with every ounce of energy it possessed!

In the end, my client elected not to buy the charming blue cottage for reasons which had nothing to do with charm or location, for there was certainly no denying the absolute beauty and isolation of that place, so conveniently located just ten short minutes from Philadelphia .

I took the photo of the little blue house with the very first digital camera that I ever owned. The photo is pretty pixelated, but there is still no denying the beauty of the scene.

I hope that my friend and ex-client is doing well. I have been thinking about her a lot lately for some reason. We had great fun looking at homes together, though I'll confess that the fun never translated into a sale for me.

Weirdly enough, after completing this painting, I did a quick google search on the computer of the realtor who had listed the home way back then, and as it turns out, this house is on the market again with the same realtor, Alan Wood of PFR Bryn Mawr. So if you are looking for a historically significant property in Lower Merion Township on a beautiful lot, just contact Alan for a preview. Here's a site with more info about this $649, 000 "cottage", as well as a google street map if you want to see the scene that I painted.

Painting this scene certainly brought back some cool memories. The Philadelphia Main Line is a lovely place. I used to take the hour long drive from Chester Springs to Narberth at least 4 times a week to dance at the Pennsylvania Academy of Ballet. A favorite restaurant of mine in Gladwyne was The Guard House, where many of the local realtors would gather and exchange stories. Although I don't live in the area any more, I can still appreciate its incredible beauty, especially along that remote stretch of Mill Creek Road , in Gladwyne, Lower Merion Township, through this photo and through my own humble painting of the scene.

If you are interested in purchasing this painting, please contact me at maryanne To visit my official website and learn more about me and my art, please go here.

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1 comment:

Anonymous said...

This was my grandmothers house. I have many fond memories running through these woods as a child. It was the schoolhouse for the mill workers at one time, which is why it is historically protected and not feasible for a young family like mine.