Friday, July 16, 2010


© J. Licsko 2010
oil o canvas

As mentioned in a previous post "Painting Glass", I live in the Paso Robles wine county, where the win-win collaboration of art and wine is reaching new heights. If you haven't been to Paso Robles in the last couple of years, I encourage you to visit. We have a new annual art festival. The new Studios on the Park, showcases the studios of nearly twenty working artists. The "Studios" building also houses the Paso Robles Art Association's new "Showroom Gallery" where shows change at least every five weeks. The quality of life on the "Central Coast" has pulled many nationally recognized  artists to make their homes here.  Overall, the quality of art is very good, as is the wine. Almost all art events, and fundraisers, are accompanied by an opportunity to taste a local vintner's best wines. Artists hang shows in tasting rooms, vintners pour at art openings. Both groups are frequent donors to fundraising events.

Photo: © Elvis Kokopelli
Thank you - Thank you very much!!!

Perhaps the best loved, and most effective celebration of human generosity is the Central Coast Wine Classic Foundation based nearby in Avila Beach. This non-profit organization raises funds and has bestowed grants totaling $1,370,025 to 62 non-profits in the last six years alone. This year I attended the 26th annual auction. It was fun to watch auction patrons magnanimously bidding for paintings, trips, rare wines, a Lexus, even four places as guests of Emeril Lagasse at his popular Carnivale du Vin. Thanks to superb organization, great volunteers, a good time was had by all, and many worthy projects will get the funding they been hoping for.

"Celebration" is from my series that have been inspired by the social side of wine, the enjoyment of wine. With glass in hand, it is easy to become entranced by the reflections of light on the glass, the elegant shapes of the bottles and stemmed glasses, the rich reds, and subtle tints of the whites. Painting glass and wine together opens up an opportunity for prismatic color, and abstract compositions, seen best when they are painted large. At five feet by five feet, "Celebration" is my largest canvas to date. 

I am very pleased to have had my painting included in CCWC's 2010 auction, and to be invited back for 2011. My experience was gratifying from beginning to end.