Yesterday was tuesday, October 6, 2009. I headed back up to the Haight-Brown vineyard in Litchfield to work on the big barrel painting. It was another one of those early fall days where the sun was shining and it was mildly warm. A great day to be outside. As a painter I try to capture a scene or moment in time visually. If I can get the viewer to feel what I was feeling as I painted the picture, then I consider the painting to be successful. I often think that if I could capture the scent of the air that I breathe in as I stand amidst the rows of sun-baked vineyards and freshly cut lawns I could make a lot of money.
Here are some interesting facts about the Haight-Brown Vineyard. Mr. Haight decided to start a vineyard and make a local wine in the early 1970’s. Apparently, at this time there weren’t any vineyards in the state of Connecticut. He went to some local colleges and universities to get some help in planting and starting a vineyard and all of them told him it is not possible and it won’t work. Mr. Haight ignored the advice of the agricultural experts. On his own he researched the types of grapes that would do well in this North Eastern climate and planted away. A couple of years later he made his first wines.
Mr. Haight also had ambitions to be the premier champagne making vineyard and initially made champagnes along with the wines. The main building that houses the wine tasting rooms and gift shop was built in the 1980’s and was intended to be the place to go for champagne. At this time they do not make champagne anymore but are well known for their award-winning wines.
When I was painting the barrel yesterday, a few visitors stopped by to take a look at what I was painting. One visitor was a local pet shop owner and was interested in having a wine/art event at her store in Torrington. Another visitor was a retired English teacher from Ohio. His daughter lives in Connecticut and they were touring the area. I told him 6 of my paintings will be on a calendar soon and I am pretty sure this barrel painting will be one of them. Another couple was from Kansas City. We had a good trip down memory lane talking about Kansas City. The Kansas City Art Institute is my undergraduate alma mater and that is where I learned how to paint like the Impressionists. And lastly two, couples, one still in their first year of marriage were walking the vineyards and tasting the wines. I find people interesting and like to hear where they’re from and where they are going. I think one more day painting this barrel and it will be done.