Monday, August 15, 2011

Cooper Vines

By now, in mid-August, the grapes are almost ripe and they will be ready to pick soon. The bunches hang underneath the leafy canopy, which has been carefully pruned to admit just the right amount of sunlight. Under the sun, the vines are golden green. But there are perils for the beautiful harvest: birds, mammals, and insects try to feed on the succulent grapes. Vineyards try many methods for chasing off these unwanted creatures. At Cooper Vineyards, where this image was painted, they have an outdoor sound system broadcast loud recordings of predator bird calls as well as distress calls from various species, warning other birds away from the area.

I sat on the modernist wine deck of the new Cooper Vineyards building and painted this scene. There were no other guests there on a weekday afternoon and so I enjoyed the quiet of a country summer afternoon (minus their pop soundtrack which I mostly ignored). It was quiet except for the artificial bird-scaring racket which burst forth every few minutes. All worth it for the safety of the grapes.

Watercolor of the vine rows is about 9" x 7", August 11, 2011.

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