“Sunset on Green Hill Farm,” 36 x 48 acrylic on gallery-wrapped canvas Original artwork by Tonya Rieley Hengerer This coming May 8th will mark 18 years since restoration was completed on my family’s circa 1790s ancestral home. My family’s home place was purchased by my great-grandparents in 1912. The reference photo that inspired this painting was taken from an upstairs window, and it’s the view I see first thing every morning. I have appreciated countless colorful sunsets from this vantage point, and one of my favorite scenes includes the sheep grazing or lying peacefully in the pasture. When I look out at the mountain and fields, I have a sense of calm that I only have when I’m at home. “I hear the mountain birds, the sound of rivers singing A song I’ve often heard, it flows through me now So clear and so loud I stand where I am and forever I’m dreaming of home… It’s carried in the air, the breeze of early morning I see the land so fair, my heart opens wide…” ~Philippe Rombi Wishing everyone a lovely weekend!
Wine requires two assessments: Subjective and Objective. Just because we like a wine, doesn’t mean it’s a great wine. One way to illustrate this point is with art. You may not want to hang a reproduction of a Claude Monet painting in your home, but you agree that Monet is a great artist. So, getting to the point where you have both a subjective and objective opinion is one of the most rewarding stages in developing knowledge and comfort in wine; thus, allowing you to separate your liking of something from its quality. So, the point is this: You can love a wine but understand that it’s not a great wine. For example, I have weekly wines and weekend wines. Weekly wines are inexpensive wines ($15-25) we enjoy with our simple evening meals; however, weekend wines are the special ones ($50 or more) we may take to a favorite gourmet restaurant that has a corkage fee. Most of us know what we like, but having an objective opinion means increasing our knowledge base. So, let’s get started! The Five Ss: –See –Swirl –Sniff –Sip –Savor All together, they’ll enable you to maximize your enjoyment of your next glass of wine. SEE A wine’s color can tell you a lot: Taste, intensity, condition, and most likely, its aromas and flavors. The best way to examine the color is to tilt the glass over a white surface, such as a white table […]
When I think of old houses or antiques, I’m reminded of the Japanese philosophy called wabi-sabi. Loosely translated, it’s the art of finding beauty in imperfection, revering authenticity above all. It celebrates cracks and scratches and all other marks that time, weather, and loving use leave behind. A good lesson in appreciating old houses, and…life in general. Some of the things that I love best about old houses are the creaky, uneven floors, the lack of right angles, wavy glass windows, hand-planed woodwork, and hints of the lives of those who lived there long ago. It’s this character, charm, and history that attracted me to the idea of restoring a 200-hundred-year-old house that’s been in my family for over 100 years—my family’s ancestral home or homeplace. I relish the sense of continuity; I literally follow in the footsteps of my ancestors as I walk through this house and around the farm. As one can imagine, caring for and maintaining this home is of the utmost importance to me. So, it shouldn’t be a surprise that the other thing I love as much as an old house is a well-appointed, everything in its place, clean house. I know that it’s mainly because I’m wired this way. However, the other view is that restoring my family’s homeplace was a significant effort and expense, and I value and want to take care of it. So, messy, unclean rooms, scratches on the floors, and dings […]