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Look for "wine painting" on the internet, and the email address details are largely paintings of wine, bottles, or vineyards. Many reflect the style of paintings that hang in wine cellars or around the walls of the Olive Garden. Not many are actually paintings created using wine. Not only are few individuals exploring this art form but those who are seem hardly able to distinguish the theme from your subject matter. In short, it's apparently hard to describe the semantics of painting WITH wine versus paintings OF wine. This raises the obvious question: Is there a difference between the two styles, and is also that difference even worth exploring?

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The fast answer is, Yes. There's absolutely a benefit to doing any type of art that forces individuals to climb out of the cave and understand that they were just looking in the shadows. To further this out-of-the-box mentality, art students tend to be challenged to make a "painting" without the need for any traditional media. It's surprising what you can do with mud, lipstick, and any number of drinks.

However, wine, as a possible artistic medium, has a few limitations. Like any other monochromatic pigment, there are only so many layers that may be built up and so many values which can be manipulated. Also, since the medium is hardly thicker than water, tight detail may be tricky... to say the least.

On the more optimistic side, the advantages of this style greatly outweigh the hindrances. As an example, by painting with wine, the artist can depict a vineyard using the grapes that originated in that exact location. It is not necessarily original, but it's a fun thought.

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Wine makers often refer to terroir (from the word terre, meaning land) being a defining element which makes their wine distinct and special. It's the soil, the climate, the vines' natural surroundings that are incorporated into the wine's qualities. This can make the difference between a $10,000 bottle of Romanee-Conti plus a $10 California pinot. However, for all your good terroir does, it's a one-way relationship from soil to bottle. Wineries, vineyards, and tasting rooms tend to be hungry for a procedure that goes the other direction. Using the specific wine produced from that location and painting the surroundings completes the cycle, bringing the vineyard back to itself.

While there are many painters out there who depict still lifes of bottles, or dark wine sloshing into glasses, there are few taking the road less traveled and, as we know, that makes all the difference.

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