Art imitates life every time artist Christina LoCascio picks up her paintbrush. “I’m married to a winemaker, I live on the vineyard, we have a winery and a tasting room, I paint with the wine, I can go out into the vineyard, I can paint in the vineyard,” says a grateful LoCascio.
There, LoCascio paints with the wine that they make together; if her subject is their Grenache vines, she paints with their Grenache—and she might be sipping it too.
“I’m lucky to have so many aspects of my life related, and they’re all kind of tied in to wine,” says LoCascio.
The 2001 graduate of UCSB dabbled in winemaking after graduation while working for wineries in Temecula. It is there that she designed her first wine label, spilling wine on paper, and so began her fascination with painting with wine.
“I use white wine and I use red wine. I use the wine straight from the bottle, but I also let the wine sit in a shallow dish and evaporate,” explains LoCascio. “So, I have this nice sediment that I can rehydrate with wine from the bottle, and it’s really dark. I like using that approach…White wine lifts the red wine stain. So if I want a softer edge, I wet the paper with white wine rather than water.”
When she was the tasting room manager at Artiste Winery in Los Olivos a decade ago, LoCascio’s wine art graced several wine labels. She started building her portfolio and showing (and selling) her work.
In addition to vineyard landscapes, she has painted moody monochromatic scenes of Europe, and a sensual figurative series featuring her college roommate, a dancer with State Street Ballet, as one of her models.
LoCascio calls her most recent work “exploding wine bottles.”
“What I’m doing is actually spilling the wine onto the paper. I let that dry, and then once it’s dry, I go back to the studio and make a still life portrait of the bottle using the wine spill to create interesting negative space,” she says. “Wine spills, wine dripping, wine splashes give a little bit of energy to the piece.”
She finds beauty in the muted shades of wine.
“It’s not like I’m missing color. Color has never really been a big part of the element of my art,” she adds. “That’s my style. It’s organic. It’s earthy.”
For more information about Christina LoCascio, visit ChristinaLoCascio.com. Her art and Larner Wines can be found at Los Olivos General Store, 2900 Grand Ave., Los Olivos.