Merlot In The Morning 

18″ x 24″ watercolor on Aquarelle Arches watercolor block

I have been working for quite some time on a vineyard series of large paintings which include acrylics, oil and watercolor. This particular painting was taken from reference photos taken at quite literally the crack of dawn! Although this painting maintains my typical control with the paint, it is more stylized then my usual realistic approach.

Beginning stages of the painting:

My Window to a Vineyard

72″ x 96″ oil on stretched canvas

Wine country, Paso Robles, is home to friends of ours that own a 10 acre lot that they planted with Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot grapes. My husband and I have had the privilege to see it during the different seasons and help during harvest. Harvesting in 100+ degree heat is hard work and although we are glad to help, we have decided that for us, the best property to own is the one next to the vineyard. Our motto….. “access is better then ownership”.

Our home is not next to a vineyard so I decided to paint my very own vineyard to look out to. I began by building this 6′ x 8′ canvas The painting was too large for my art room so I set it up on 2 easels in the dining room and my husband set up the lighting for me. Below is a smaller section of the painting and of me adding final touches.

I’ve included a few photos from harvest.

Our Beloved Valley

IMG_0090“Blueberry fields in the morning” 18″ x 24″ oil on canvas

Santa Rosa Valley, CA is a 6.861 square mile stretch of hills, farmland, some horse ranches, homes and paths for hiking. The farms mainly produce avocados, blueberries and lemons but many home owners have oranges, grapefruit, apples and more.

IMG_1874For me, this area offers so much inspiration for painting and drawing. On one such venture, I headed over to Gerry Ranch which has acres and acres of blueberries and is also a beautiful wedding venue site. The owners were so gracious and have allowed me to wander there property to sketch and take photographs. 

From our yard: Bacon avocados (who knew you could grow bacon on a tree?!), Meyer lemons and mandarin oranges