After lunch and a quick critique of our artwork by Karen Druker, several of us took the house tour, led by Emma, a member of the Hidden Villa staff. She started the tour on the bridge leading to the house. She took us around the back, and we entered through the servants' entrance and into the kitchen. I was astonished to see how large the house is at the back. It is the bedroom wing and it runs perpendicular to main living areas that we toured first on Thursday. Emma told us that the house has 10 bedrooms, and that the Duvenecks liked to have house guests, so all the bedrooms were usually occupied." Marilyn
From our hosts:
We are thrilled to be hosting the Plein Air Painting Group from the Santa Clara Valley Watercolor Society today. Feel free to quietly observe these talented artists as they carry on a fine Hidden Villa tradition in various locations around the farm.
What is Plein Air Painting?
Artists have painted outdoors since the origins of art, but working in natural light gained international recognition in the mid-19th century as it was taken on by the Hudson River School, Barbizon School, and Impressionist painters like Claude Monet and Camille Pissarro. Plein Air painting translates from the French language to "open [in full] air". This painting style focuses on each painter's acute observations of minute moments in the natural world. Today, the Santa Clara Valley Watercolor Society carries on this art form at the farm which you are about to explore for yourself. Have fun!
The Plein Air Legacy of Frank Duveneck Sr.
Hidden Villa was founded in 1924 by the visionary and philanthropic Frank and Josephine Duveneck. Hidden Villa's legacy of Plein Air painting traces back to Frank Boott Duveneck's father, Frank Duveneck Sr.
Frank Duveneck Sr. was born in Covington, Kentucky in the year 1848. Frank began his painting career in churches at a young age, and pursued this passion by studying at the Royal Academy of Munich, Germany.
While his paintings were mostly ignored in his Kentucky hometown, they attracted a great deal of national attention through shows with the Boston Art Club around 1875. By the age of 27, Frank was a celebrated artist, once called "the unsuspected genius" by Henry James.
Frank Sr. went on to open multiple art schools in the village of Polling in Bavaria, as well as Munich, where his career took flight. His students (known as the "Duveneck Boys"), included John Twachtman, Otto Bacher, Julius Rolschoven, and John White Alexander. Frank's paintings decorate the Duveneck House on Hidden Villa's property to this day.
There were 10 artists, 1 guest ( we found Jane Saltman hiding in the garden after lunch and after starting to leave the site). Even though we had a small group, each one of them was bubbling with energy and came to the paint out with an aim of making it special! I didn't see a single piece of small paper, everyone drew bigger and better! The farm had a special light, which was bewitching. The cool air did make a head hat a must have but didn't freeze the painters' fingers. Next time, I might think of going later in the day with a sketch pad to rapid sketch the farm animals.
|Marilyn at the kiosk|
|Marilyn's painting of the White Barn|
|Nancy's first painting|
|Nancy's second painting|
|Uma's first painting|
|Uma's second painting|