On our way up the coast one Route 1, we stopped at Hearst Castle. What a strange place. Beautifully maintained in many ways, but certainly beyond over the top. I can only imagine it in its heyday, with guests arriving by plane and out of place animals roaming the countryside. There must have always been subplots in every step, every interaction. There’s a Bronte tone to it, I think, even today, though that’s softened a bit by Alex Trebek’s voice giving the back story on the bus ride up the hill.
I have a few paintings I want to do based on our tour there. I want to bring out that tension between the manicured and the sublime, and give a sense of those imagined subplots. Here’s a concept sketch I did of one of the views. Maybe my notes are legible. Here again I will handle things roughly, especially in the foreground, and mix in some gouache to heighten the tension.
Thanks for reading.