Art Beaujolais Nouveau
Local painter Belinda Rogers finalist in wine label art contest
Some artists have a reputation for defying labels; others embrace them — especially when their work graces a bottle of internationally renowned Beaujolais Nouveau, the world's most popular vin de primeur (a wine sold the same year it's harvested).
That's exactly where self-taught artist Belinda Rogers may see her painting, "Vineyard Light," featured on a national stage come the third Thursday of November, when this year's nouveau is released in stores across the U.S. "Vineyard Light" is one of 14 finalists selected from thousands of submissions in the fourth annual Beaujolais Nouveau Artist Label Competition.
If voted the best of the bunch (pardon the pun), Rogers would receive a $3,500 artist grant along with the satisfaction of her work being the visual expression of this much celebrated libation — it is often a race to procure a bottle for the holidays. Beaujolais Nouveau is a fresh (only 6-8 weeks old), fruity red produced from the Gamay grape of France's Beaujolais region and is the signature offering of family-owned-and-operated Les Vins Georges Duboeuf. Specially designed labels have always been associated with each vintage, but only recently did the winery extend an open invitation to U.S. artists to create the label for U.S. distribution.
Rogers submitted a painting in four different mediums — watercolor, oil, acrylic, and mixed media — for the contest, working purely from imagination (no reference photo). "Vineyard Light" uses broad swaths of color to evoke something like a daydream, as of picnickers catching themselves dozing off and reopening their eyes to a September afternoon's languid brilliance. She achieves this effect through the use of palette knives, versatile tools that allow painters to effectively "frost" their canvas like a cake, layering and texturizing according to their vision. Rogers favors a feel that is "loose and abstract."
Definition is something she believes she has plenty enough of, both as an attorney and a mother of two young children. Art for her is a way to balance creativity and responsibility, a positive outlet that demands little more than letting go. For others to reap the mental and emotional benefits of painting, she advises they do the same.
"Since I have started to put my art out there through Instagram and my website, people always say 'I wish I could do that, but I am not artistic' or 'I couldn't do that' or 'I wouldn't know where to start,'" explains Rodgers. "I encourage anyone who has wanted to start painting or embark on some other creative venture to start. All you need is a pen, paper and to not take yourself too seriously!
We'll toast to that.
Vote for "Vineyard Light" at https://nouveaulabelcontest.com/2020-finalists through May 1. Email firstname.lastname@example.org whenever, but make sure you haven't had too much to drink.