Color, Texture, Art, Wine
I feel about wine-related art the same way I feel about the "Whale Art" one is subjected to in galleries along the California coast and particularly prevalent in the various art outlets in Carmel and Monterey, California:
I am generally untouched and unmoved.
Art and wine have been forever linked ever since marketers discovered that while in "Wine Country" visitors were in a mood to take something less consumable home with them that reminded them of the uniqueness of the area. The vineyard landscape genre was born.
Maybe it's my constant exposure to the real beauty of wine country that makes me impervious to this kind of thing. Maybe its the generally bland nature of the works that depict vineyards that turn me off. I haven't cared to think about it beyond the simple acknowledgment that the Vineyard Genre does nothing for me.
But then I came across Leanne Laine.
Leanne Laine creates wine related art pieces that are explosions of color and texture and seem rarely to deal with "The Vineyard Autumn". I came across her work many years ago when I was helping design a new tasting room for a client. They wanted art on the wall not to send home with visitors but to enhance the room, catch the eye an set a mood. Leanne Laine's wine pieces do just that.
Before jumping into fine arts, Leanne was an accomplished performance artist, working primarily in sound and movement. Yet she eventually made her way to the more lucrative corporate world where she spent time working before being downsized—the kind of unfortunate experience many of us have faced. However, she took it as an opportunity. As is written in her biography on her website:
"Although unexpected encounters like this are becoming far
too expected in today’s age, it can still be very disheartening
for many. However, losing her job turned out to be a blessing in disguise.
Instead of loathing in devastation, Leanne felt it was the time to accomplish
her dream of becoming her own boss by turning her part-time love for
art into a full-time career."
That love for art—or rather her artistic craft—is, by the way, self taught.
I may have been immediately touched by Leanne's works simply because they were so different than the typical art that showed up in wine country. But it also had to do with a certain kineticism of color and brush one just doesn't find too often where wine is concerned and that appears to appeal to my own graphic sensibilities. Oddly, I respond to the vibrancy of Leanne's works even though I've developed a taste for dark, brooding, somewhat ominous styles of graphic design and fine art.
I should note that Leanne does not merely work at creating artistic renditions of wine and the wine culture. Her attention is also paid to the abstract, images of women, florals, people and other subject matter. But it is the attention she's paid to wine that has brought her the greatest acclaim.
Leanne has been very successful and I attribute this to both her talent as a painter, her wonderful disposition, and her business savvy. There is nothing about Leanne that harkens to the brooding, self absorbed artist stereotype.
So, here's the point. If you work in a winery, tasting room, wine bar, wine retail shop, restaurant or other venue that benefits from striking visuals that speak to wine or the drinking arts, you really must explore the works of Leanne Laine. They may not speak to you as they do me. But, you will find them out of the ordinary where "wine art" is concerned.