Wine Country Artist
Residents of the Santa Barbara wine country and our visitors know that there is more to this area that is intoxicating than our wines; our environment itself is just as exhilarating and just as delicious.
Artist Nancy R. Wise and her husband, Randy, have a real appreciation, not only for the wines of California and of the world, but for our most beautiful places, too.
There’s been many glasses of wine that have been savored by people throughout the world who haven’t a clue about the beauty of the region that bore the fruit of the glass.
For the last 5 years Nancy and Randy have been pursuing a dream. They love wine and have travelled the world tasting the world’s bounty – France, Italy, Sicily, Spain, Portugal, Australia, New Zealand, Greece, Turkey (yes, Turkey has made wine for over 2000 years), England (yes, England makes wine too!), Japan (sake!), Arizona, Washington, Oregon and their home state, California, one of the world’s greatest wine-growing regions. And in the future they say Germany, Argentina and Chile are on the radar.
But in addition to their wine travels they travel for art. For 40 years Nancy has been involved in the arts – oil painting and watercolor, photography, sculpture and ceramics. But she explained that painting has always been her first love and over the last 30 years that has been her focus.
As her career evolved she discovered what she loved. In her early years she painted the spectacular mountains of the Wasach Range in Utah. The beauty and majesty of the landscape captured her and although she experimented with other subjects she always returned to her landscapes. After moving to California she found her style harmonized with a select group of artists known as the California Impressionists and thus began a lifelong exploration of our glorious State – California; an artist’s paradise!
Well, there was bound to be a collision. In one momentous weekend art met wine. There they were on a wine tasting expedition in the Santa Barbara Wine Country when Nancy encountered empty walls! Now you have to realize what an empty wall means to an artist – OPPORTUNITY.
And if you have ever been wine tasting in the California Central Coast you can appreciate the inspiration of the landscape. It’s not like Napa. Napa is cultured and groomed. The Central Coast is rustic, a bit rugged; it’s still basically ranch and farm country surrounded by those amber rolling hills dotted with Oaks framed against blue skies as the Pacific Ocean fog clouds burn back toward the coast.
As you can imagine Nancy was smitten. Tasting rooms with empty walls surrounded by spectacular landscapes were irresistible. And thus the Wine Country Artist was born.
It has been five years since her epiphany. Nancy’s art now graces tasting rooms throughout the valley. You may know some of these names: Foley Estates, Zaca Mesa, Sanford, Firestone, Alma Rosa, Lincourt, Santa Barbara Wine Company, San Marcos Creek and Riverbench. These original large oil paintings celebrate the distinctive beauty of each winery.
If you’re up in the Wine Country it would be worth stopping in to taste their great wines and enjoy these unique views of your favorite wine estates.
While a picture may be worth a thousand words it cannot substitute for the live experience of viewing original art. But a picture IS better than words. So they have created a website where you can at least view her art in preparation for your next Santa Barbara wine tasting trip!
And if you love art and you love wine you might want to sign up for their monthly wine art give-away. Every month they draw one name from all those that have signed up with their email address and send the winner a beautifully framed 9”x12” giclee reproduction on canvas of their favorite winery.
And finally, just to tweak your interest, here is the painting Nancy did
for Zaca Mesa:
Life is too short to drink bad wine!
Bio: Randy Wise was raised in a middle class Southern California suburban family. Up until just a few years ago, he thought he was at the cutting edge of haute’ cuisine when he would buy a micro brew beer at his local Trader Joe’s to go along with his take-home In-n-Out double double with fries.
But a trip to the little town of Agrigento in Sicily and a bottle of a deep red Nero d’Avola, thankfully, brought him to his senses and he’s been a wine maniac ever since.
Family members and friends are doing all they can to stop Randy from turning into a sommelier and foodie, but it’s been difficult; he just loves fine food and wine.
But Randy is being helped by his loyal wife, Nancy. A life long artist, she has decided to see what she can do to sublimate his lust for the finest things in life by involving him in her life work: the painting of the vineyards and tasting rooms of Santa Barbara’s wine country.
Nancy’s vivid portrayals of the birthplaces of some of the world’s finest wines seem to be creating an intoxicating effect on Randy that’s turning him around. He’s gone from tasting a half dozen wines a day to a half dozen a week.
We don’t truly know if it’s the paintings or his love for Nancy that is responsible for this turnaround. Perhaps you should judge for yourself… you can view the paintings and get to know Nancy too at www.winecountryartist.com