My Moleskine came very handy when taking my trip. In the past I've taken sketchbooks to some of my weekend getaway trips but nothing comes of it because the books are too big and difficult to handle. Not this time. This was my first time taking a Moleskine out and about just for sketching and I love it. It was small enough to carry around in my hand, and what I love the most is that the pages open up easily, making drawing towards the spine a breeze. This book was my Asheville companion.
On the first night I went out to dinner at a place called the Leaping Frog. This was a very interesting restaurant since their menu featured three kinds of cuisine. The first part was American-Italian, followed by German and then Indian. The sketches above are of the small olive oil bowl with bread we were brought by the waitress before our dinner came. The first sketch was of the way she put it down on the table. The second one I go creative with the composition.
I also had a chance to sketch at the Botanical Gardens. I loved the way the stream flowed right under the bridge. It reminded me of a Corot painting I love. I know I'm not any where near Corot but you can't blame me for trying! Right?
There was so much natural beauty in Asheville that it was just too much to take. Even the garden of the White Gate Inn was amazing. One of the two owners of the Inn, Ralph, loves gardening and he created an amazing oasis for his guests by planting different beautiful plants and flowers. Not to mention the koy fish in his two small ponds. The sketch of the flowers above were done while I sat and relaxed in their garden. The color of the petals were a beautiful fiery orange. Simply amazing!
This is another testament of the natural beauty of Asheville. This was the view from the back porch of the Biltmore House. This 250 room palace sitting on top of 8,000 acres was more than words could explain. The landscaping of this estate was designed by Frederick Law Olmsted, the same guy who created Central Park. The trees in this place were out of fairy tales, standing tall with huge domes of leaves.
This quick sketch was done while having lunch in the Stable Cafe after the Biltmore tour. Yes the cafe used to be the stable housing Biltmore's horses. I loved the little shelve on the wall which had a small white plate with a pile of paper napkins on top. On the left there were three pitchers containing water, iced tea, and some other drink. It reminded me of a still life included in Velazquez's Forge of Vulcan. I'll start my series of postings about the Biltmore Estate in the coming days. There was so much I need to break it up into four parts.