• Sip and paint

    Look for "wine painting" on the internet, and the email address details are largely paintings of wine, bottles, or vineyards. Many reflect design for paintings that hang in wine cellars or on the walls of the Olive Garden. Not many are actually paintings made with wine. Not only are few individuals exploring this art form but those who are seem hardly capable of distinguish the theme in the subject matter. In short, it's apparently tough to describe the semantics of painting WITH wine versus paintings OF wine. This enhances the obvious question: Is there a difference between the two styles, and is that difference even worth exploring?

    The fast answer is, Yes. There's absolutely a benefit to doing just about any art that forces people to climb out of the cave and understand that they were just looking at the shadows. To further this out-of-the-box mentality, art students are often challenged to make a "painting" without the need for any traditional media. It's surprising what can be done with mud, lipstick, and any number of drinks.

    However, wine, being an artistic medium, has a few limitations. Like every other monochromatic pigment, there are just so many layers that can be built up and so many values that may be manipulated. Also, since the medium is hardly thicker than water, tight detail may be tricky... to say the least.

    Wine and paint

    On the more optimistic side, the advantages of this style greatly outweigh the hindrances. As an example, by painting with wine, the artist can depict a vineyard using the grapes that originated from that exact location. It isn't necessarily original, however it is a fun thought.

    Wine makers often refer to terroir (from the word terre, meaning land) as a defining element that makes their wine distinct and special. It's the soil, the climate, the vines' natural surroundings which can be incorporated into the wine's qualities. This could make the difference between a $10,000 bottle of Romanee-Conti along with a $10 California pinot. However, for all the good terroir does, it is a one-way relationship from soil to bottle. Wineries, vineyards, and tasting rooms are often hungry for a procedure that goes the other direction. Using the specific wine made out of that location and painting the planet completes the cycle, bringing the vineyard back to itself.

    While there are numerous painters out there who depict still lifes of bottles, or burgandy or merlot wine sloshing into glasses, there aren't many taking the road less traveled and, as everyone knows, that makes all the difference.

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