View from vow.

View from vow.

My sister recently got married. It was one of those cool destination weddings. But it wasn’t like a bunch of 20 year olds running off to Hawaii to party and get married on the sand. This was sophisticated and tres chic and very laid back. We all met on a Thursday in the Sonoma Valley in California. Some of us stayed in hotels nearby Santa Rosa and the wedding couple and their family stayed in a stylish house up on the hill overlooking the amazing wine country. It was a blast! I had never really seen the American wine country. After coming from France it was such a delight to see what the American’s can do with vines of deep purple and red. France has most astounding vineyards and winemakers. We tasted them in dreamy fashion alongside the Rhone River or in the Loire Valley. It was all so breathtaking that I had really no expectations in Sonoma. What could be better than the wine country in France? Well I was pleasantly surprised.

We arrived on Wednesday evening. Our hotel was fine but not a lot of ambiance. But lucky me, I got to go meet my two sisters and my sister’s best friend for a day of wine tasting. It all began in a big black car with a personal driver! He started us off with a bottle of champagne. We all of course said no thank you because it was 10am. Ha ha! We sipped and raised our glass to the beginning of a great day. The scenery was lovely but unalike the beauty in France. France has massive views of vineyards along old stony roads. Big castles that host wine tasting and some even were made for Popes. But here in this little part of the world we saw smaller quant vineyards; mostly small family owned and run. Many of them didn’t even distribute their wines. They relied on tourists and people who come back or become members. The wine stewards who were giving us tastings were very knowledgeable in their craft. Each had something different to offer. One might be homey and welcoming with warm bread and a picnic basket and others were a bit more pretentious with huge beautiful dogs with grins and wagging tails to meet us. The experience of that day was fantastic. I was able to spend a whole day with the two most beautiful and caring people I know, my sisters. We enjoyed each other and the spirit of love just before the vows.

I took many photos as did my hubby Ron. I decided to use one of the photos to paint a painting for the happy couple. But I didn’t want it to be like the ones my mom did. Don’t get me wrong, I love the paintings of my dear departed mother. I just wanted it to be different. So I decided to take the view from the ceremony site and paint it with lawn chairs for two. I call it ‘view from vow” since this is the spot they said their vows.

One of my favorite artists is Van Gogh. I tried my hand at his style. It is much harder than it looks. I read a bunch about him and it is fascinating how he painted and lived.

Most know the basics of the painter Vincent Van Gogh. He was born in 1853 in the Netherlands, lived several places in France including Provence and Paris. He cut off his ear, went “mad’ and died young; never selling a painting while he lived. He started painting at an early age taking after his mother’s love for nature and painting. Painting many styles starting in early in life he used darker palettes, earth tones and more detail. Later, after meeting many impressionist artists his style changed to lighter color palettes and smaller brush strokes. He focused on the vibrancy of color with less detail.

Van Gogh’s art also embodied the highly emotive style of expressionism. Expressionists depict the artists emotions about the subject rather than the reality of it. In this style, the artist conveys his interpretation and perception of the surrounding world through his art.
Van Gogh had a squiggled stroke in his paintings, a form of pointillism, this gave his paintings a sense of whimsy and movement. The use of small dots of color gives the art a sense of vibrancy when seen from a distance. Believe me trying to be less detailed is much harder than it looks. I often have to put the brush down and walk away. Come back in a few minutes to take a fresh look from across the room. My version is still a work in progress but I wanted to share at this stage of my art journey we can call the “Van Gogh journey.’

I have included pictures of my color palette and under-painting to illustrate how I went through the process.

Also the website link to some of the winerys we saw that day.


starry night


mountain painting by Van Gogh.


Palette of color

photo (13)

Under painting or block in of my version