These grapes have earned their stripes, literally. In my quest to capture the interest of grape and wine lovers, I wanted to do something really different and fun with grapes. I liked this sketch of a cluster of grapes because it had so many different shapes of grapes; some round and some showing off the oblong side views of grapes.
I had decided to paint the background of large violet stripes even before I knew how I would render the grapes. After a while it became apparent that the grapes could be striped as well. I finally resorted to using a magic marker to stripe a chicken egg so that I could observe what would happen to the stripes on it when I viewed it from various angles. As a result, each grape assumes its own personality.
The grapes situated in the rear of the cluster recede because I used cooler colors to set them back. The grapes take on even more dimension with the addition of shadows cast below them and a warm, golden light at the top of the grapes exposed to direct sunlight.
It was a challenge to come up with a title for this painting. The striped grapes reminded me of mint candies. Then I remembered that there is a liqueur, creme de menthe, that is a sweet, mint-flavored alcoholic beverage. It was fitting that these striped minty grapes destined for wine lovers should be called "Grape de Menthe". It was fun and challenging to dream up this new fun twist on grapes. The "Greatest of the Grape", Umpqua Valley Winegrowers premiere wine event, has picked this painting to promote their event March 2, 2013. This is the 3rd time they have used one of my images to promote the annual event. They will be auctioning a hand-embellished giclee reproduction of the image at the event.