Sunday, May 29, 2011


Acrylic on gessoed hardboard, 16 x 12''
2011, #194

The bottles from this work all have special significance to a lady client who commissioned this painting as a surprise wedding anniversary gift for her husband. The husband is a scotch whiskey aficionado and the bottle was purchased on the day of their engagement. It was shared between the best man and groomsmen before the ceremony as a toast. The two other bottles were served at their wedding reception.

This 15 year old scotch whiskey - rare single barrel select is from the Glenora Distillers from Cape Breton Island. The red wine is a Californian Cabernet Sauvignon from Liberty School Winery. Last but not least is 1998 bottle of Dom Pérignon Champagne. Named after the French Benedictine monk (1638-1715) who was an important quality pioneer of champagne wine.  Dom Pérignon is a vintage champagne, meaning that it is not made in weak years, and all grapes used to make the wine were harvested in the same year. It only becomes available after spending 7 years at the Moët et Chandon wine cellar. The most recent vintage available is a 2002. It is a prestigious wine often traded at auction. A lot of two bottles of the legendary Dom Pérignon Rosé Vintage 1959 sold for US $84,700 in 2008.

When I did the photo study for the painting, I did some pictures resting on the April 2011 issue of American Art Collector magazine. It featured the romantic image ''Love on the road'' by Colorado artist Ron Hicks.  Keeping in context that this painting was to be a celebratory image and an ode to love.......I was happy when the client selected this image. The positioning of the bottles and the glare created by the outdoor light on the glossy magazine cover only retained the couple's embrace as the focal point. The abstract effect created on the surface of the wine is also coming from the outside light. A combination of depth of field (out of focus) and an overcast sky with the light filtering through the still bare branches of the enormous pear tree in our back yard. I borrowed the title from a Marc Chagall painting of the same name that also features a kissing couple. Click here to view.

''Love on the Road'' was part of Ron Hicks's solo show at Arcadia Fine Arts in New York City that was held from April 16 - May 7, 2011. I was elated after contacting Mr. Hicks who kindly granted me permission to use his image for my painting. His artwork blends representational and impressionist styles. They are sensual figurative period pieces set in the the first half of the 20th century. By creating romantic frozen moment in time they evoke an emotional response as part of a larger scenario that the viewer is left to pursue on their own. You can explore the artwork of Ron Hicks at this link.