Bragging Monday

My painting, The Lighthousekeeper’s House, won 3rd Place at the 16th Annual Ironstone Spring Obsession Show over the weekend. A big thank you to the judges and to Ironstone Vineyards (especially to Chris Gomez), and congratulations to all of the prize winners and artists. They said at the reception that they had over 250 applicants (I’m not sure if that’s paintings or artists), of which 100 were accepted.

At Ironstone Vineyards, the Lighthousekeeper's House
Here’s the painting with the 3rd place ribbon. The Lighthousekeeper’s House, 400 mm x 1000 mm, oil on canvas. ©2011 Stephanie Benedict

Ironstone had invited artists in the show to give demonstrations, set up booths, or paint on the grounds during the day. A handful of artists accepted, including me. I spent most of the afternoon out by their lake, listening to a flock of Canada geese squabble and painting. That one, though, turned out rather poorly (and that’s being kind).

I kept wondering why they were holding this “Spring Obsession” reception in March, when the vines haven’t even leafed out yet. The answer, it seems, is that this is the traditional time for the banks of daffodils at the winery to be in bloom. But we’ve had such a weird year again that the flowers haven’t really bloomed yet. I fear this weather is the new normal. There were some banks of daffodils in bloom, but most of them were in pots by the entrance to the winery.

Ironstone Vineyards Entrance
The entrance to the winery tasting room and museum. Not too many flowers were in bloom yet in March.

The show is a very nice one. I’m honored to have been given a prize among the high caliber of company. You can see a sampling of the work at Ironstone’s blog.

Spring Obsession will be on display through Mother’s Day. I hope that, if you’re in the area, you’ll stop by to see it.

And, by the way, I recommend their sparkling wine (California champagne). According to their website, it’s made with French Colombard grapes, rather than the more traditional chardonnay grapes. So it’s a little bit fruity, but it’s complex and refreshing. I give it five on the “yum” scale: yum yum yum yum yum.



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