Orientation and Wine Labels

A month ago, I got a call from a friend to create an image for her wine label, Bluebird Hill.  Neil and Sue Shay have a local vineyard/winery and needed some art to grace their new label.  Bluebird Hill Farm hosts a small craft wine enterprise and along with the vineyard and wine, they are running a bed and breakfast in their private hilltop retreat.  You can learn more about them here:  Bluebird Hill Farm  and on their Facebook page : Bluebird Hill .


This morning, Sue and I photographed the bluebird painting and discussed whether it was flying north across a sunset as the view looked west (as I thought), or was it flying south across the sunrise to the east?  Since Sue provided the photo of the view (and  I inserted a bird into the final painting) I figured she knew the image better than me!  But I can be stubborn… having lived out here for going on 30 years, and having seen these mountains for that long and having spent last month rendering the view, surely we were looking west.  Right?

Well, I just looked at their web page again, and Sue’s landscape photo is the star of the home page.  The whole time I was painting it, I thought I was painting the coast range behind our homes (I live south of Bluebird Hill Farm).   It took me a moment to place where I was in Sue’s photo, but I see now the actual image does look to the south/southeast with the sunrise coming up exactly where it should be!

For someone who prides herself on maintaining her orientation, this took me by surprise. I had spent all this time thinking I was facing one way, when I was really facing another.  There’s a lesson here somewhere, probably something about not making assumptions, or maybe even being more careful when cropping images for reference material.  All  I can say is, I’m glad I wasn’t actually out in the woods trying to make my way to the trail head or back to the car after tromping around off trail (as I frequently do).  Lesson actually learned? Don’t get too cocky thinking you know where you are!

Also, laughing at yourself is a good thing.  I’ll post the actual label once Sue gets the image to her graphic designer and they work out how the design nests together with the painting.  Until then, it will grace the walls of her home and eventually, the tasting room.  Cheers everyone!