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SIMPLY WINE! Most recent wine-themed painting by artist, Sandi Whetzel

Simply Wine! 12×24 ©Sandi Whetzel

Simple elegance, simply wine! And if there was any doubt, the cursive written wine design on the abstracted wine bottle literally spells it out. The inspiration for this abstract wine painting was the placement of two dining forks facing together so that their combined shape resembles a wine goblet, with hints of the fork tines serving as highlights.

First I sketched the design and decided that leaving out the top rims of the goblets and letting the goblet stems and wine bottle bottom fade into the background added to the simplicity of the design. The open feeling from the goblet stems up through the open rimless goblets was a calculated decision, as was making the one goblet stand taller, thinner and longer than the other one and making the tops and bottoms of the designs fade back to red. I chose the rainbow of colors ranging from red, orange, yellow orange and yellow to pop against the black background. It’s a simple, elegant design that took more thought than you might realize to create a simple, elegant, contemporary abstract painting. Because this well-thought design took less effort to execute, it will sell for less than other more complicated detailed paintings of the same size. It looks great on my sun-washed clay wall until somebody scoops it up from my next wine exhibit event.  Until then, I’m really enjoying its elegant simplicity and its getting rave reviews.

In other news, the Umpqua Valley Winegrowers of Oregon have once again picked one of my art images to promote the 2013 Greatest of the Grape event.  They chose my Grape de Menthe  painting of magenta and white striped grapes.  See it here  It will be on the posters, post cards and tickets to promote the event which occurs March 2nd, 2013 from 7-11 p.m. at the Seven Feathers Hotel and Casino, in Canyonville, OR.  I will be exhibiting as the Featured Artist at the event.  A hand-embellished high quality giclee reproduction of Grape de Menthe on gallery wrapped canvas will be auctioned off at the event. For ticket information click

To quickly see more of Sandi’s art, visit

Continue reading SIMPLY WINE! Most recent wine-themed painting by artist, Sandi Whetzel

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

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

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