I walked into Amboise from the railroad station across this bridge over the Seine and was met by the chateau towering above me. I found a hotel and headed there immediately to both tour and sketch. I felt such a closeness to my Grandmother Wellford as I toured the place. The summer I was 17, she took me on a six week trip to England and Scotland. We got Britrail passes, got off the train at each stop, wheeled our suitcases to the tourist information place to find a place to stay, and rolled our suitcases there as well. We were a month into the trip before we had a firm place we knew we would stay that night (with a friend of hers in Edinburgh).
We also toured many stately homes together, she looking closely at every piece of antique furniture and me spending extra time in each garden. She would love seeing these chateaux with me, and I'm so grateful to her for giving me the early can-do feeling of traveling on trains in a foreign country. It was a wonderfully powerful thing to do for a 17 year old girl, and I am eternally grateful to her, as well as to my parents who traveled with us early and often.
I did my first sketch after touring the chateau and finding my way to the top of the garden.
This is the view over the walls and down into the square below.
Here's the stunning old tree in the garden that caught my eye.
Quick watercolor of the sunset last night. I was done for the day and taking a walk after dinner, and this view caught my eye.
The chateau where Leonardo spent his last years.
A very quick sketch done at dinner tonight. They were closing and wanted my table and chair.
Martha Kelly is an artist and illustrator who lives and works in Memphis, Tennessee.
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