I talk a lot about finding inspiration in your surroundings. Recently I spent a weekend exploring the Biltmore in Asheville, North Carolina. It was amazing–patterns, textures and colors absolutely everywhere. I would highly recommend this experience as a vacation with family or friends. The house is so rich in history and the expansive grounds make a full weekend of fun.
I knew there was going to be stormy weather but wanted to keep things cheerful. It was also pretty warm and I was spending the majority of my time outside. So I packed our new Pomegranate bags with our light resort wear and a fun umbrella and hit the road.
The Biltmore Experience
The first day I took the evening rooftop tour. If you are wary of heights I warn you there are some steep steps in this. I considered it worth it as there were incredible views of the grounds. You also got to see a lot of the fine craftmanship that went into every detail of the house up close. I mean to think construction began in 1889, when most things were still done by hand. The copper work is so intricate, and the stone details such as gargoyles or chimney’s covered in fleur de lis’ is so inspiring.
I was lucky enough to visit at a time when they are currently displaying the first art exhibit in the history of the Biltmore. All of the glass work is done by artist Dale Chihuly. The pieces are scattered throughout the garden with bright pops of color and shape around every corner. Glass blowing is an extremely hard medium to work in, I was floored by the talent of Chihuly.
If you follow Pomegranate you will see that I am always drawn to plants and flowers. I really enjoyed the water gardens at the Biltmore. They’ve been around so long that some of the lily-pads are some of the largest I’ve ever seen.
Be Inspired By Your Surrondings
And this is what I mean by take inspiration from your surroundings. A lot of artists don’t produce work because they can’t think of something to make or paint or draw. I try to paint something every day to keep my creative gates open. I’ve found that this leads to having ideas flood in all the time. When I don’t paint something for a few days, I notice it’s more of a struggle to come up with new patterns. Now, painting something everyday can have it’s challenges too. That’s why I choose to pick something simple I’ve seen. This day I found inspiration in the water gardens, so when I got back to the hotel I painted something quick and fun. Some days I paint things that I really love, some days it’s just something I’ll probably throw away. But that’s what it’s about, perfection is only in your mind.
I hope you get a chance to visit the extraordinary Biltmore and that you find inspiration wherever you are whatever your creative outlet may be. I personally can’t wait to get home and set a Vanderbilt inspired table….do the florists sell Lily-pads??