Christmas at the Vineyard


Today is Thursday October 15, 2009.  It snowed today.  The weatherman forecasted snow for tomorrow but further north.  He was off.  It snowed right here in southeastern Connecticut this morning.  Not a heavy snow but a very small thin flakey snow.  So it is officially snowing in the middle of October!  It is as though Mother Nature is saying,”I am sorry. I didn’t mean to hurt you but the brilliant and stunning fall that you started to fall in love with is over.”  To drive the steak further into my visual heart she adds, ” And I am ending it now today, all of a sudden.”  Did I not see it coming?  Or did I hear those weather warnings and ignore them once again?  How is it that mother nature can hold our hands so gently and then throw snow in our face?   

I haven’t been painting for nearly a week due to a holiday on monday which always means no school and kids are home.  I also do two other things to bring in an income.  One of them is substitute teaching,  Which I have yet to start up and the other is painting windows.  Painting windows is completely different from painting with oil on canvas in the great outdoors.  But as with most artists, we must keep our day job and pursue our passions on the side.  I consider myself pretty lucky to be able to actually paint with oil on canvas and make some money from it through Licensing.  It isn’t a well known field to artists at large.  But it is a very competitive industry and I always support my fellow licensed artists 100 percent.  Why should Hallmark make all the royalties off of great art? 

The next request by the calendar manufacturer was a Christmas in the vineyard painting.  Once again, right here in Shelton, the Jones Farm has the perfect fit for such a scene.  They also grow Christmas trees.  There are several fields in different locations,  I was going to drive over to pumpkin seed hill where the main vineyards are located, but ended up at the other location where the main buildings and wine tasting barn are located.  Which was a good thing because there is a relatively new vineyard on a hill that was planted just a couple of years ago.  It merges right into the Christmas trees on that same hill.  I walked and wandered among the vines and trees until I found this spot.  Then I ran back to my car and grabbed my easel and bag of paints and the picture above is what the start of this painting looks like. 

This is about an hours worth of painting.  I was debating whether to paint at all but since what started coming down from the sky was snow and not rain I stayed.  But not for long.  As soon as the snow became too slushy I packed it up.  Oil and water don’t mix.  The snow flakes melted on the new underpainting and left bits of water beaded up on the canvas.  Tomorrow looks like more rain.  Stay tuned.


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