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Monday, April 11, 2011

Watercolor Journaling at The Towers B & B

Yesterday morning I met my April watercolor journalers at one of the loveliest places in Milford, The Towers Bed & Breakfast on North West Front Street, in the heart of downtown Milford, Delaware. The Towers, built in 1783 as a colonial building constructed during the Revolutionary War, was dramatically remodeled in 1891 in the lavish "steamboat Gothic" style. In the early 19th century it was home to Delaware 's most famous poet, John Lofland, a rival to Edgar Allen Poe! It was later owned by William Burton, Delaware's governor during the Civil War. This frilly Victorian is featured in the book "America's Painted Ladies: The Ultimate Celebration of our Victorians" by Elizabeth Pomada and MIchael Larsen.

The elaborate woodwork was crafted by an Italian cabinet maker and skilled carpenters from Milford's shipyards were hired to execute the designs. Click here for a brief history of The Towers. In the mid-1980s, the home, in serious disrepair, was purchased and extensively remodeled. It was painted pink with lavender, yellow and blue accents, and the interior was returned to its Victorian charm. It is now owned by Dan and Rhonda Bond, (also owners of the delightful LadyBug Shop across the street from the B&B).

Dan & Rhonda Bond, owners of The Towers Bed & Breakfast

The Sunroom, a detail

We spent the first part of the morning in the bright, cheery and aptly named "Sun Room" that looks out on the garden. I gave a brief lesson on color theory and the elements of design and we proceeded into the ground floor of the Towers to find interesting things to capture with pen and brush. A bit intimidated at first by the absolutely gorgeous antique furnishings, everyone managed to find something of interest to focus on.

Dining Room and Statuary

Photo from last year's Watercolor Journaling Workshop in the Gardens at the Towers

After a sharing session we went out into the garden. I get so engrossed in these sessions, teaching and helping that I did not manage to take one photo of my students hard at work! I borrowed these photos from the Towers website but hope you will visit their site and read more about it. My family has stayed there several times when I have had "overflow company" I couldn't accommodate in our home and they loved it, being able to walk around the downtown, enjoy the Riverwalk and the shops along N.W. Walnut Street.

Here are a few views of the interior (borrowed from their website)

Entry Hall and N.W. Front St.

Parlor and exterior view

Sitting Room and Breakfast

A journal entry of mine of the exterior of The Towers Bed & Breakfast

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