There's a beautiful, historic home sitting on a hill above the Ohio River in a town next door to our town. "Hillforest" was built for the Thomas Gaff family, who lived there from 1855 through 1891.

There were three Gaff brothers who developed much of the town of Aurora and relied heavily on riverboats for their businesses. Notice the look of a 'pilot house' atop the mansion, and how the front porch resembles a steamboat deck. Designed by Isaiah Thomas, this home has since been carefully preserved in its Italian Renaissance style and is a favorite spot for visitors to stop, especially to see the gorgeous suspended staircase inside.

Just about every artist in this county has painted this house from one angle or another, so several years ago, I had to give it a try, too. I combined my taping technique with some miskit control (for the curved areas of the house and the big Sycamore) to create this painting. The picture now hangs in the Dearborn County Country Club.

An interesting historic fact about the Gaff family - - - their riverboat, The Forest Queen, was used successfully at the siege of Vicksburg as the headquarters of William Tecumseh Sherman for the Union cause during the Civil War.

"TOWN TREASURE" Transparent Watercolor on 140#CP Arches 30 x 13" Collected


RHCarpenter said...

I don't know if it was intentional or not, but it looks like the house and the tree are floating :) Beautiful painting - one I won't be tackling any time soon but I would love to see it IRL - is it in Aurora?

Sandy Maudlin said...

The home is really gorgeous. And it's not supposed to be floating - the darks look darker on my screen than they actually were. Stone wall runs in front of home and there's a wooded area around it. Better watch out for my values tho.

Sandy Maudlin said...

I adjusted the lightness of the posted painting so hopefully it looks lighter now like I believe the original is.

Dawn said...

wow love those colors Sandy, this is a lovely home. The light in the painting is amazing, lovely job!