Last week I didn’t get over to the Finlay Orchard House to sketch since we were traveling. (see previous post) However, I did make it over there today. It was toasty and beautiful and I came away with a little bit of a sunburn. Note to self: take the time for the sunscreen girl!
I had decided to do the green house on the corner of the property where Walnut street intersects with Yampa. The stone wall excludes it from the Finlay Orchard house, but the land is part of that property. As noted in a previous post, a neighbor informed me that a friend of the family was given the land to build a house on.
I parked in some shade across the street from the house and set up my gear in front of my car. Knowing that I had been observed before by locals I wondered who I would meet today.
I set about my sketch by beginning with a pencil drawing. About two thirds of the way through I noticed that the tilting porch roof was affecting how I was drawing all the other horizontal lines. I had the whole house tipping to the left. Ugh! So I had to immediately set about correcting that and getting everything the way it should be.
Just as I was finishing the ink drawing a dump truck went by, stopped, and backed up a bit. I was a little alarmed, hoping he saw me there. As I was deciding if I needed to holler the driver jumped out and came over. He had seen me drawing in the area previously and wanted to see what I was doing. He apparently approved of both my sketch and the fact that the old property was being renovated. Then he was on his way again.
As I was almost done with the painting phase a local lady pulled up in her large, old car, right in front and to the right of me facing any oncoming traffic. She wanted to tell me that she’d seen me around, to see what my sketch looked like, and let me know that she had grown up in the neighborhood. She was appreciative of the fact that the old property was finally going to be renovated and restored. I wasn’t as attentive to her as I might have been and was brief in my responses because she had made herself a hindrance to the proper flow of traffic. I’m sure we got a few glares from passing vehicles.
When I was finally done, I took a picture of the completed sketch, packed my gear up, and got in the car to do my usual Instagram post. That’s when a gentleman came along and asked if I was the artist who had been sketching the property. I said yes, and we introduced ourselves. After showing him what I had produced over the last few weeks we had a lovely chat. He told me that he is one of the two men who own the property and are renovating it. It’s been a bit of a rocky road since having such an eyesore has generated so much loathing and frustration for the neighborhood. However, they’ve done their best to be good neighbors by letting people know what their intentions are as well as keeping their work as tidy as possible.
Apparently it is a very good thing that I chose this week to do my sketch of the green house since it is the first of the three to be restored. He said that it will be returned to its original glory with later additions and changes reversed. I am so excited to see what happens next. When it’s done the main house and the “servant house” will be next.
He also told me that they are going to plant apple trees in the open area, a way of reconnecting to the history of the place. That is going to be beautiful!
If you’ve been following along on this documentary sketching adventure, make life a little easier by subscribing to this blog. If you’ve just joined me here, take the time to read my previous posts about this property transformation. You can find them all under the category Old Finlay Orchard House.