“A work of art is above all an adventure of the mind.” – Eugene Ionesco
Each year Lynn Wallin (my artistic soulmate) and I plan a art painting vacation. Our respective husbands are very supportive of this endeavor as they get to play endless rounds of golf while we pursue our creative passion. This year we decided upon the California Wine Country, with it's countless opportunities for plein air art painting and for golf...everyone wins. Wine country isn't just about wine...it is a lifestyle. The picturesque rolling hills planted with vineyards and wineries dot the landscape and provide endless opportunities for creativity.
Day 1 of our adventure began by heading south towards Sonoma. Without the comforts of my studio in Orlando I found myself having to prop my easel on the trunk of the rental car and sitting on the hotel luggage rack. It was a sight to behold, however was quickly forgotten as I lifted my paintbrush and started sketching and filling in the canvas with what was before me. This painting is representative of the Sonoma landscape which is ringed by world class wineries
|On the Road To Sonoma|
Day 2 of our creative pursuit started with Lynn and I heading out in the early hours to capture the morning light in the valley. After two hours of scouting for a location that had that 'WOW' factor we came upon "Clos Du Val". Clos du Val is a world-class vineyard and has been producing wines for over 40 years. They are best known for their Cabernet Sauvignon. On this particular day we were not blessed with the ideal conditions for plein air art painting. However we were not to be deterred. The wind was blowing so hard Lynn had to tether her easel to the trunk of the tree to keep it from blowing over. I had to sit on the infamous hotel luggage stand and hold on to my paint box. Despite the conditions this painting is my favorite of the three pieces, so much so that I painted a larger on 16x20.
|Clos Du Val|
Day 3 of our adventure and we headed north to Yountville. Napa Valley is not large; it is about 30 miles long and 5 miles wide at its widest point which made traversing the many areas relatively easy. Yountville is the unofficial culinary capital of the Napa Valley and centrally located. The red barn framed by the California eucalyptus trees and the Mayacamus mountains in the background were hard to resist so we set up our makeshift art studio and wallowed away several hours filling in the blank canvas with our paint brushes.
At day's end Lynn and I setup yet another makeshift studio in the courtyard of our hotel to allow us to continue working on our paintings. Bruce and Ned decided to join us after their hard earned rounds of golf and we all participated in the "fruit of the vine". The image below is included with much humor; men and their toys. In this case, our creative pursuits were trumped by technology. Nonetheless we look forward to our journey together in 2014.