"A Toast to Love and Wine" Premieres at the 2011 "Greatest of the Grape"

A Toast to Love and Wine 30x24 acrylic ©Sandi Whetzel
Originally uploaded by sandiwhetzel

It's a very romantic "wine pairing". It's a wine fantasy. It gives new meaning to red, red wine...

My original concept for creating this painting was for the viewer to see a beautiful sunset through the wine glass placed on the beach. As you are drawn closer into the scene to take in more detail, you eventually discover just the simple, basic highlighted silhouette of a lovely lady nestled in the glass. The intention was to obscure her more by the shadows in the wine so that you didn't see her at first glance.

However, after all the effort it took to render her graceful form so well in preparation for a perfectly highlighted silhouette, I didn't have the heart to obscure her in the wine shadows at all. And if I were to obscure her more, there would have to be more interest in the sky to hold the viewer's interest before discovering her.

Finally, the man climbing up the stem of the goblet was to be the second element of surprise. To carry that off, I probably should have indicated a beach line to ground him to the beach. Well, maybe these are ideas for another painting. Sometimes in the painting process, you just have to go where the painting leads you.

As it turned out, I think there are just enough elements in the painting as I rendered it; creating a little seductive mystery for viewers to draw their own conclusions.  The viewers decide if he is on the beach, climbing up the goblet to get to her, or, if he found her under the sea and is scooping her up. Or is it all a dream? And what about her? Is she dreaming of him, too, or is she totally oblivious to what is taking place? That's totally up to you, the viewer. You decide. Maybe that's partly why this painting has had so much appeal—each individual viewer gets to participate in the fantasy; imagining their own story line for the painting.

“Here's to love and wine!” Enjoy!

And now a post script:  This original painting sold to a new private collector during its debut showing at the 41st Annual "Greatest of the Grape" event, March 5, 2011.  My art booth was very busy and sales were really good.  A high quality reproduction of my other recent painting, "...and Let There Be Wine!", see it here, was used as the theme and promotion piece for this event.  Another private collector and his wife were determined to win the silent auction bid for that hand embellished reproduction on canvas.  Now they own three of my paintings.  Love those collectors!

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