Monday, June 04, 2007

A Good Year, a painting of wine and roses

SOLD "A Good Year", 12x16, oil on Claussens linen panel
Back in March, the hubby and I took a fun trip up the coast of California, which included a visit of course to wine country! There were so many wineries in Napa and Sonoma Valley that it became difficult to determine which to visit and which ones to pass over. We found 2 fabulous finds that day, but I'll save #2 for another day. We thoroughly enjoyed the winery of August Briggs in Calistoga and have wine in our rack to prove it. This is one of the very few wineries in California that does not charge a tasting fee, and yet the education that accompanied our journey into that very special wine cellar was almost as stellar as the samplings that we enjoyed. Although I prefer white wine over red, the robust and fragrant reds that I experienced that day could convert me into a cross-drinker! I highly recommend this winery for many reasons, and that is why I decided to include one of the August Briggs bottles in one of my very rare realism paintings.

This past weekend I determined that it was high time that I invested another effort into my realism painting. Although I find colorist impressionism much more fun to do than realism, I truly appreciate the paintstaking efforts that go into realistic still life paintings. One of my biggest problems in attempting believable still life paintings, is a total lack of north light indoor lighting inside my home. So, instead of fighting against confusing light sources in my studio, I finally decided to take the setting out to my front porch, where I was able to catch a very nice north light (albeit outdoor) on my bottle of August Briggs cabernet. I also pulled out a tablecloth that I'd purchased in Heidelburg, Germany, and a lovely hand-painted carafe that I'd purchased in Strasbourg, France, and the overall composition seemed as ripe and lively as the grapes that most certainly went into that cabernet sauvignon.

I titled this painting "A Good Year" after Peter Mayle's book and the delightful movie starring Russell Crowe, (which incidently had little resemblance to the novel itself). The title also serves as a swan song to my endless drivel about the benefits of living in Pennsylvania over Florida. Yes, for me, it's been a very good year.

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1 comment:

Cynthia said...

I hardly comment anywhere any more, but I check here every time I see you've updated. I absolutely adore this one.