Art and wine go hand in hand. This month our tasting room is featuring artwork from local Sacramento artist Cara Gregor. Her paintings and drawings exhibit a striking array of color exploration with bold, defined lines and whimsical shapes. Much of her work is also uniquely printed onto magnets, cards and other great materials. We asked Cara to give us some insight into her world as an artist.
Q: When did you first start painting and what inspired you to do so?
A: I first started painting when I was about 15 years old. I had always loved art as a kid and had sketch books since I was 3 or 4. I think it was a way for my mom to keep me quiet. Anyway, I always loved to draw and work with colors. In high school, my best friend, who also loved art, introduced me to acrylic paints. We lived in Sonora, a small foothill town that did not have much access to art supplies. So we would go the one store that sold art and craft supplies together and paint. We painted the same things at first. Eventually she lost interest and went on to other projects, and I started painting more and exploring colors. My first paintings were of the coastline in Monterey, Ca and pictures that inspired me. I also painted a kingfisher because I loved the way his feathers glistened with different colors and layers.
Q: What inspires your artwork now?
A: As I was writing this I realized that what first inspired me to paint as a kid, still inspires me today. I love the way colors are what they are, but when you really look at them with an open mind and for what they really are you see so much more. Green is not just green, a tomato is not just red. There are so many different shades and layers. My current pieces are of different cactus and succulents. These plants inspire for so many reasons, but a big one is the layer of color in them when you really look at them.
Q: Why do you choose acrylics as your medium?
A: Acrylics are very forgiving!!!! I am a self taught artist and I often approach a canvas with a vague idea that needs to be worked out. I’m not exactly sure how I’m going to get there and have to work with a medium that allows for change and character. I also love the way acrylics feel as you paint. They are smooth, beautiful, and messy.
I also work with pen and ink when I’m feeling more methodical, and fabrics when I’m feeling more dexterous. There are a lot of ways to create. Different ideas demand different mediums, and different moods or feelings also demand different mediums. I was drawing succulents for months and could not get the feeling I was going for or the colors exactly right. . . Turns out I needed to paint them!
Q: Is there an artist who has been influential in your life in regards to your artwork?
A: Yes. You can probably tell in my style but I loved Van Gogh, Georgia O’Keeffe, and Frida Kahlo as a kid. My art teacher, Mr. Gourly, was the first person to really encourage me in art. Whenever I start to doubt myself I think about him and how he saw some potential in me.
Q: How has your style changed over the years?
A: I like to think it has improved! (ha ha). When I look at my first paintings I was still learning what I wanted and how to use the paints. I tried to paint what other people might like or thought was good. Now I have come into my own and feel comfortable exploring and creating in the way I see the world.
Q: How do you feel about wine? …and art together?!
A: I think both art and wine help you discover more about yourself and release the creative juices inside all of us. I’m excited to start the Wine & Paint Classes with Heringer. It will be a fun way to meet new people and help others create.
For more information and to see more artwork from Cara, visit her website CaraEmilia.com.
To learn more about the Wine & Paint art classes at Heringer Estates, click here.