The Artist’s Garden

ranch retreat

This secluded ranch has a quiet 19th century feel, yet is 20 minutes by car from Highway 101 and the town of Santa Maria, and a half hour’s drive to Pacific Coast beaches. Sowle Ranch is situated in a winding valley traversed by a dirt road passing through the creek bed. The Casita is on one end of the central quadrangle, the ranch house is on the second side, a grape arbor with picnic tables on the third, and large straw-bale art studio on the fourth. The studio has a Yamaha Ariel electronic piano, and the walls are nearly completely soundproof.

There are covered porches on both east and west ends of the studio as well as a bank of north-facing windows inside, set up for painting on gloomy days.

Cottonwood and sycamore trees, fresh air, pure and delicious well water, and ready-to-pick flowers and vegetables surround the buildings. A large swimming pool forms the center of the quadrangle, solar heated May through October. An infrared sauna for your use is available on a nearby covered porch.

The garden and buildings are surrounded by utter privacy, quiet, twelve hundred acres of cattle rangeland, and hills full of wildlife. In wet years, the running creek is a great painting feature.


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This historic ranch was originally over 4,000 acres. It was divided into three parts in the 1930s. Sowle Ranch retained the corrals, hay barn, and ranch bungalow built in 1914 from redwood that floated ashore after a shipwreck off Pt. Conception. A tiny 1880s stone schoolhouse once served this rural canyon; it stands next to the cowboy house a hundred yards behind the ranch house compound.