Grand Rapids Artist Stephanie Schlatter Explores Art in
"On the Michigan Wine Trail"
(GRAND RAPIDS, MICH) – September 12, 2011 – Artist Stephanie Schlatter has traveled some of the most interesting places of the world studying art: Paris, Spain, and Mexico, for instance. However, what has caught her eye recently is in her own back yard, the link between art and wine in one of the areas growing in sophistication and reputation for producing fine wines: Michigan. She has been posting a journal of her journey on
YouTube that she calls “On the Michigan Wine Trail.”
Back in June 2011, Stephanie visited wineries and vineyards with names like
Black Star Farms,
Bower's Harbor Vineyards,
Good Harbor Vineyards,
Silver Leaf, and
2 Lads in Northern Michigan’s Leelanau and Old Mission peninsulas. There, she met winemakers who agreed that there is as much art to making wine as there is science.
“They do all see themselves as artists,” says Stephanie, “and appreciate the art of winemaking and they don’t seem at all confused about how I’m visualizing this process.” For Stephanie, it’s more than about making wines, it’s the whole experience that occurs as you taste the wine. “When I drink wine, it’s more than just smelling and tasting; there’s a visualization that happens.” She provides an example as she sips a Pinot Noir Chardonnay blend from Black Star Farms: “Even though the wine is nice and dry and complex, what I’m seeing is a really simple, very calm background, almost a Rothko painting, with soft lines going through it and darker shades to add depth.” An interview captured on video shows how this translates into a painting.
Although Stephanie has been classically trained while studying in Paris, learning to paint the details of what you see, she experienced a revelation while studying in Mexico, where she learned to paint the central nature of what you experience in a setting. “I want to paint for you how I feel about a place,” says Stephanie, “not represent every leaf in every detail but the heart of the place and how I feel about it.” She has been painting from within the vineyards and capturing the essence of glowing leaves of a brilliant sunset and the cool, calm of an evening.
Stephanie’s journey On the Michigan Wine Trail continues. She begins a tour with owners and growers in Southern Michigan and visits more wineries and vineyards in Northern Michigan in the fall. “I don’t see an end in sight to this project,” says Stephanie. “The journey continues next spring, too. I look forward to continued relationships with these vineyards and continued explorations.” During the trip, she hopes to tap experiences and inspire a few canvases into art.