HOMEPAGE: A Home of Art
Thursday, July 14, 2005
‘We’d been living down closer to the water,” says Edward Norton Ward, the Peninsula’s renowned oil painter, “but we had growing children and needed more house. When we saw this one, we figured it would get the kids interested because it had a pool.”
Now, Ward and his ideal accomplice (and wife), Johanna, are on their way to Oregon. “Well,” he says, “I guess the move was up for a vote and so we’re going—my wife’s three votes to my one,” he laughs.
While Ward talks about all the fly fishing he’s looking forward to in Oregon, he strolls out toward the neatly and sumptuously planted pots that line the deck and stairs leading to more pots below in the backyard. It’s there that the pool once held sway over the house, but was finally removed and replaced by a remarkably appealing, immaculately kept garden. On the other side of it, Charlie’s painting studio completes the bracketing around a yard where mature oak, maple and birch trees reign gently above landscaping by Johanna.
“We turned the old pool house into my studio years ago,” he says, stepping inside and immediately commenting on all the paraphernalia on his desk, which he uses for tying flies. It’s a sworn truth among a certain breed of fishermen that fly tying is a premiere art in itself and it’s clear Ward is gifted with that talent as well.
His paintings aren’t stacked in the studio since most have somewhere to go as soon as they are finished. The walls are hung with several, for the most part landscapes. Ward points to an unusually small canvas depicting offshore waves folding into a foggy sunset. “My wife decided that one goes in her private collection,” he says with a customary hint of mischief.
Looking up toward the house from the studio door, one can see what was invisible from the street. There are two stories, the second with the house’s three bedrooms. Johanna uses one for her sewing.
On the ground floor, the living room has a good-sized brick fireplace and a bank of windows onto the garden, and it’s very comfy. Off the formal dining room is a deck where when the sliders are open, and where jays have been known to walk over the threshold and wait for pieces of the homemade breads that both Edward and Johanna each bake.
The Ward kitchen is so invitingly French that one could believe only the tastiest of foods would be conceived there. Johanna also has designed the breakfast nook, “where we eat every meal,” Ward says. Who wouldn’t? With beautiful garden views and a crisp white-on-white format that sets up the touches of color in the napkins and plates, a person could easily imagine themselves at an auberge in France.
Also on the ground floor is the master, one that Ward likes to say he has been kicked out of because he snores.
“It doesn’t matter,” he says. “All the fun in bed happens when you’re awake anyway,” and with that, goes upstairs to show his “really manly room.” The walls are replete with paintings of his good friends, as is much of the rest of the house. “We had lots more paintings up, but my wife watched one of those home shows that says clutter doesn’t sell,” Ward laughs.
It’s a safe bet that there has never been a bit of anything like clutter in the Ward home; it is the epitome of a house dearly loved.
Price $1,395,000. 1038 Jewell Ave., Pacific Grove. Contact Mark Wilson, The Mitchell Group Real Estate, 238-5446.