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A WINE ODYSSEY: The Wine Painting that Started an Artistic Wine Adventure

“Wine on the Vine” 28×22 acrylic©Sandi Whetzel
My wine odyssey emerged from my love of curvaceous lines and shapes. Early in my art career I was strongly attracted to curvilinear, graceful shapes and patterns in my sensuous flora subjects. After several years, I took a slight artistic detour when I entered a painting competition to promote the “Greatest of the Grape”, a premiere wine event. They wanted a painting to illustrate the theme of “Wine on the Vine” and reflect the ‘elegance of the evening’. To win, I knew I’d have to create a concept that said, “Wine on the Vine” better than any other. 
This painting challenge was pivotal. I had limited experience inventing paintings from my imagination and I had not painted anything related to wine. I started thinking about all things wine–grapevines, vineyards, wine bottles, goblets toasting, grapes, cheese wedges, finely set tables, formally attired maitre d’s, etc. However, I was looking for an exceptional concept.
I honed in on the curvaceous shapes of wine bottles; thinking I might paint some abstracted wine bottles nestled among grapevines. I sketched five robustly curved wine bottles in a group of three and two others hanging from grapevine stems. The graceful bottles were placed at slightly different angles; gently swaying in the wind. More ideas for the concept presented themselves as I continued the sketch. When I was satisfied with the arrangement of the wine bottles, it suddenly occurred to me that I could add a big cluster of grapes growing inside each bottle; each cluster of a different hue. 
I gathered fallen, dried grape leaves to observe their wind-twisted shapes and vein patterns. I sketched many leaves before determining their arrangement in the painting. To reflect ‘the elegance of the evening’ , I was inspired to place a golden moon rendered in a pearly pigment with upraised texture in just the right spot above the grapevines. I chose to paint the glow of the moon radiating out in circular brush strokes of a blue evening sky. As I gathered dried grapevine tendrils for observation, I was fascinated with their twisting, winding structure. I strategically placed a few tendrils in the painting.
The ideas for the painting continued to flow as I got deeper into details of the painting. I added glistening highlights, colored reflections and shadows to the grapes, bottles and leaves to show the sparkle of moonlight and reveal form and transparency. The wind-blown grape leaves and the climbing tendrils, the angled placement of the bottles, all following the radiating pattern of the moonlit sky, created an elegant, rhythmic movement that was appealing to many viewers. 
The painting was a success because it came entirely from my imagination.  I devoted much thought to every element of the design to express “Wine on the Vine” as well as it could be stated.  This experience of creating something from my imagination to illustrate a predetermined theme was very rewarding.  It will always remind me of what can be when you trust your imagination to lead you in your creative endeavors.
The response to this first wine painting was so great that I was inspired to enter other competitions to promote wine and other events. Each competition resulted in paintings of subject matter that I might never have tackled without these challenges. The wine paintings were selling more than my other graceful subjects. Wineries and wine enthusiasts were popping up all over the Umpqua Valley in Oregon where I reside. Between wine events, I started dreaming up other ideas for wine paintings to fit my own wine themes of whimsy, or elegant celebration, or romantic fantasy. My wine odyssey continues.  For a slideshow of my wine series, click here
With each painting my goal is to outshine the previous one. I aim to impress and connect with wine enthusiasts emotionally. It’s almost as if I am creating commercials for the wine industry. In my wine frame-of-mind, I ask myself, what feelings are associated with wine and how can I convey those feelings in ways that are exceptional? If I can add a romantic hook, all the better. My passion for curvy shapes easily creeps into graceful wine goblets and wine bottles and the things I associate with them. Bold, stimulating, eye-catching color and novel subject matter, fluid lines, movement and rhythm are all part of the design to draw the viewer into the wine odyssey experience. 
My wine series will be exhibited at the Umpqua Valley Wine, Art and Music Festival, Saturday and Sunday, Sept. 10 & 11, 2011 on the Umpqua Community College Campus, Roseburg, Oregon, exit 129 off I-5.  My booth is located across from the food court and at the rear of the entertainment seating.  Festival hours are Sat., from 11-9:30 pm and Sun., from 11-5:00 pm.  For a schedule of events, click here

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A WINE ODYSSEY: The Wine Painting that Started an Artistic Wine Adventure

“Wine on the Vine” 28×22 acrylic©Sandi WhetzelMy wine odyssey emerged from my love of curvaceous lines and shapes. Early in my art career I was strongly attracted to curvilinear, graceful shapes and patterns in my sensuous flora subjects. After seve…

Continue reading A WINE ODYSSEY: The Wine Painting that Started an Artistic Wine Adventure

ART, ROMANCE AND LOVE: A REVOLUTIONARY ART VENUE IN ASHLAND, OR

Earth, Wind, Fire 30×24 acrylic©Sandi Whetzel

LOVE Revolution ٠ Art and Gifts is a new innovative gallery and boutique presenting an enlightened approach to romance and relationships. It started as a love affair between two people who met in Ashland, Oregon and continues to be thatonce in a lifetime’ relationship.

Brenda and Mitchell’s expansive love cannot be contained. They have been inspired to inspire. Through a collaboration of artists and wise counsel, they have created a space to uplift our souls, get our minds to wonder “why not?” and inspire the body to dance, sing and celebrate this precious moment in life. Their revolution is about loving the unique being that is you and finding that irrepressible inner joy that must radiate to the world.
LOVE Revolution is located on the downstairs level of the building complex at 111 East Main Street, Ashland, OR, next to Paddington Station.
One of the featured artists at this new gallery space is Sandi Whetzel, of Days Creek, OR. The gallery at LOVE Revolution is a great example of the artist’s willingness to think outside of the box regarding exposure to her engaging art. Her sinuous, vibrantly colored abstractions of plant life and trees lend an animated, buoyant feeling to the gallery. Each of Whetzel’s acrylic paintings have curvaceous, fluid movement in common. Some of the pieces are fanciful, while others suggest elegant, sensuous qualities. The radiant chroma, stimulating motifs and rhythmic movements throughout Sandi’s art works are sure to tickle your senses.
Sandi’s contemporary paintings are distinguished by breath taking, harmonious color and her passion for graceful, curvilinear forms. The artist is also known for her signature paintings to promote the Oregon wine industry. Recently Whetzel has shown her art in other Ashland venues; Liquid Assets Wine Bar, the Key of C, Boulevard Coffee and Lithia Springs Resort. Part of her wine series is scheduled to exhibit at Liquid Assets Wine Bar mid-September through mid-November and her art will exhibit at Ashland’s Pangea Restaurant next Spring. You can see more of Whetzel’s art here or view a slide show here
The art works of eight other local artists, two of which are sculptors, are also gracing the well-lit gallery space. All art is themed on LOVE Revolution’s business model of love, sensuality and spirituality.
LOVE Revolution’s products include original works of art, love-themed gifts and educational material. As an important and distinguishing aspect to the business, the management will host educational talks and events presented by doctors, therapists and educators on topics including relationships, lifestyle, feminine empowerment, communication and sexual health. LOVE Revolution is intended to uplift the community, bolster neighboring businesses and provide much sought-after products and services from reputable sources.
Ashland’s newest gallery and gift boutique will celebrate their grand opening Friday, August 5 with a ribbon cutting ceremony at 3:00 pm. The management at LOVE’S invites you to start off your First Friday Art Walk early to share in the celebration and be the first to see the compelling art at Ashland’s newest gallery. The celebration will continue throughout the First Friday Art Walk that evening with wine, music and opportunities to meet the artists. Most First Friday Art Walk participating locations close at 8 pm, but Ashland’s newest Art Walk gallery destination will remain open until 10 pm. LOVE Revolution will be the place to wind up your stroll in your quest for enchanting art.

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