I’ve been having fun recently. I’ve been driving through what must be some of the most beautiful scenery on the east coast – vineyard country in central Virginia. The green, rolling hills, winding, twisty roads, and modest architecture make you feel lucky to be there. So, of course I have to try to capture it on canvas.
Last week and in the coming weeks, I visited a number of vineyards. Some, like Barboursville Vineyards, are big and prosperous, having been established 20 or 30 years ago. They have a lovely tasting room and restaurant. Some are more modest. One or two, unfortunately, are obviously struggling. The people, though, are genuinely friendly. I highly recommend a day trip or even a weekend.
Besides the leisurely drive through the countryside, absorbing the atmosphere, I take lots of photos, such as the one here. Most are to inform me about the region – color, vegetation, how things grow there. I take a few notes. If they’re available, I’ll chat with the owners. I don’t, unfortunately, drink the wine. It doesn’t take much to make be happy, but I have to stay awake and sober for driving those twisty roads.
Back in the Studio
Back in the studio, I sort through the photos, choose the ones I like best, and get started. The pictures below, show a timeline from new canvas to final painting. Unfortunately, I don’t have a series of one painting, but you can gauge the process. If you look closely, you may notice the red peeking through here and there. I like the effect, thinking it adds some sparkle that is missing when the background is white. (The old masters used gray, brown, or occasionally red.)
These paintings and all paintings on this website are for sale! Unless they’ve already been sold, of course, but they’re marked. You can figure it out.
What’s your favorite vineyard or other Virginia-Carolina scene?