Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Skimmerhorn Grapes

Skimmerhorn Grapes   2015 oil 24" x 18"

Two weeks ago this grape painting was just a concept, a belated, idle promise. When I finally set aside a block of time to make it a reality I invited Judy Dahl to paint along with me. I've got to hand it to her for being brave in biting off an unfamiliar subject on such a large scale. Judy turned up every day that I spent on this painting, to work hard and very diligently on her "twin piece".

With Judy at the Linderman Law Art Room 

There are a multitude of ways to begin a painting. For each work, I let The Muse dictate the approach and this time she said "Start with an un-tinted (white) canvas and paint your drawing with burnt umber."  I find it best to establish the darkest darks and lightest lights, then wash in the mid-tones using paint thinned with odour-less thinner.

For this image I drew from two different photos I'd taken one October afternoon at the gorgeous Skimmerhorn Winery in Creston, B.C.

Skimmerhorn Grapes at the end of day one

With the composition established and because burnt umber is a fast drying pigment we were able able to proceed in colour the very next day.

Conclusion of day two

After the first day of "colouring it in" it tends to bog down to where it may not be easy to see the progression, but below are the subsequent days ...

Conclusion of day three

Conclusion of day four

Firstly, I'm blessed to know the satisfaction of painting, period, but then when I'm so fortunate to be on the receiving end of immense gratitude, it doubles my pleasure and joy.

On January 28th, I finally delivered on my promise ...

Skimmerhorn Grapes lives at Debie and Dean's house now

I am no stranger to painting grapes, they are a theme I return to again and again. Anywhere in the world, I chase down autumn vineyards to photograph plump, ripe specimens hanging heavily on the vines. From my archives here are a few other paintings that you may be interested in seeing.

The Noble Vine 2003 oil 18" x 24"

Grapes Over a Doorway in Gault, France   2004 oil 24" x 14"

Jewels of Provence   2004 oil 18" x 24"


  1. Absolutely gorgeous!!! As well as your beautiful treatment of the grapes themselves, I am in love with your stems and vines. Fabulous!

  2. Love them all Alice, specially the glow they have. :)

  3. Such a glorious painting, Alice, and it's lovely to see Judy working along beside you. I have been enamoured of your grape paintings for years, and cherish seeing such lovely ones here. Juicy, mouth-watering and filled with light, they are gorgeous.

    1. Always appreciate your compliments Win.
      Yes, it's marvelous to see Judy immerse herself.
      Last night she sent me the first instalment of her homework, the sketch for the next grape painting!