Tasting rooms are increasingly becoming a place to find local art in addition to wine; sometimes the art is even inspired by wine.
Claudia Solomon’s paintings feature shadows and light in the places she sees every day. That plays out in her vibrant, boldly colored wine bottles in one oil piece that is hanging in the Stolo Family Vineyards through January.
Playing with color is a constant in Solomon’s work.
“I just love oils; they’re so soft and pliable, and you can mix the colors inside each other,” she said. “With the bottles, I put down a color then put more color in it and softly brush it to create another color. It’s like finger-painting with a brush.”
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Solomon’s subjects vary, but they nearly always include what and who she sees where she lives.
“I choose objects and things, then paint them in an unusual way,” she said. “Like, I’ll paint a flower close up. I’m interested in textures, highlights and shading — that’s what attracts me, shadows and contrasts.”
Solomon has been painting since the early 1970s mostly in oil, sometimes in acrylic, and will hang around 10 canvases at Stolo in this second show she’s had there.
“I’ve been painting most of my life but started painting on canvases in my early 20s,” she said. “I do decorative acrylic painting on wood, furniture and walls and work mostly in oils on canvas.”
In her artist bio, Solomon describes early memories of her grandfather when he showed her how to draw and make paper dolls. From there, she worked in dirt and water in the form of mud pies in her backyard and then moved to finger-painting, which continues to influence her work today.
Her formal training began at Pasadena City College. She has taken numerous workshops with established artists including Jo Sonja Jensen, Helen Barrick, Libby Tolley, Joy Krull, Doug Bond, Art Sherwyn, Steve Kellogg and Kris Doe.
Other wineries feature artwork too. Castoro is showing the work of Carol MacLeod, an artist from San Diego County who paints the Central Coast wine country.
MacLeod works in watercolor to capture the allure of vineyard landscapes, mountains and water.