Residency Reflections: Chalk Hill Artist Residency August 2019

Vineyards for miles and miles!

Sonoma County is covered with winery ranches and vineyards. I drove around nearby towns every so often during my two weeks here to take in the sights and smells and sounds. I remember a moment of awe driving down Alexander Valley road across a bridge, when a ginormous vineyard opened up to my left and right. I couldn’t slow down to take it all in really, but imprinted in my memory are rows or green grape trees stretching out as far as I could see. What a sight.

My time at Chalk Hill was focused on experimentation of oil painting techniques and plein air. I was also making progress in art business planning, thinking about where I want to take my art in the future. I’m not a landscape painter, I just am currently painting landscapes to know how to paint them well.

After my residency, we were able to do an open studio that showcases the work we did while there. I painted some more after my residency, including this teal cow bell that was a lot of fun to paint.

The open studio did get postponed a few times, due to the Kincade fires that sparked again in the county. I could go onto a tangent about how frustrating the lack of action is on big corporations part to do something about climate change, but I digress.

We finally got our open studio going in November. Unfortunately I didn’t sell anything, nor did I get any new email subscribers, but rather than write this off as a failure, I’m instead looking more critically about who my target market actually is with my work.

All in all, Sonoma County has beautiful vineyard scenery that makes for a nice change from the mountain and red rock landscapes in Utah. It was refreshing and a nice challenge to paint different things I wasn’t used to.