July 22nd, 2009

Local Utah painter Penelope Moore is working on a new commission for the Eyrie Vineyards Winery in Oregon. Moore and her partner Aaron Memmott met this client at their “It’s a Lush Life” opening at Gallery MAR, last weekend, during the annual Park City Food and Wine classic. What a whirlwind of a weekend, as the artists went from the Main Street show, to the mountaintop for a wine tasting and auction, to the Taste of the Canyons (where they had an art booth and exhibition space).

A little background on this cutting-edge winery: In January 1965, after earning a degree in viticulture and oenology from UC/Davis, and research in Europe, a 25-year old named David Lett moved to Oregon “with 3,000 grape cuttings and a theory.” He planted the cuttings in a rented nursery plot, and went looking for the perfect vineyard site. It was the first planting of Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, and related varieties in the Willamette Valley, and the first Pinot Gris in America. The Eyrie Vineyards, founded by David and Diana Lett in 1966, is located in the Red Hills of Dundee, about 30 miles SW of Portland. It was named for the red-tailed hawks who make their home (EYE-ree) in the fir trees at the top of the first vineyard plantings. The winery is in nearby McMinnville.

Penelope Moore has created several commission for wineries and oenophiles alike, and this new work promising to be a warm, rich piece with tones of burgundies and canary yellow. The photo and still life set-up was created at Gallery MAR, as you can see from the image below (note the yellow wall). I can’t wait to see the beautiful, finished painting!