12/30/2011 10:35AM ● Published by Style
Photo by Dante Fontana
On a lazy afternoon stroll, we take note of the sharp greens, bright yellows, vibrant oranges and warm browns in the lovely foliage that surrounds us.
We may even whip out our camera and snap a quick picture in the fading afternoon light. Yet, when an artist takes her hand to a paintbrush, we are gifted this scene in an entirely different way.
Pamela Findleton, award-winning artist and co-owner of Findleton Estate and Vineyard in Camino, California, is the vibrant and awe-inspiring talent behind all of the gorgeous wine labels that grace their various vintages. Though she grew up with a heart for the arts, Findleton did not pursue her passion until later in life. When asked about her youth, she says, “I remember looking at the art room (in high school) wishing I could be an artist.”
While raising her children, she volunteered in their classrooms giving lessons and augmenting the art program. In time, she decided to study art history on her own, teaching herself all she could, and then moving on to study under various local artists whom she had relationships with and admired. It wasn’t long before Findleton began hanging her work in local wineries and tasting rooms, as well as designing labels for both small and commercial wineries. After 10 years of gaining esteem in the wine community, she has branched out and now has several exhibitions of her work in local galleries.
The use of color in Findleton’s work is astounding. Instead of utilizing the colors of the subject that are obvious to the naked eye, the viewer is tantalized by the majestic blues in a fur coat of a bear or the sensual reds at the depths of still water. She works mostly in watercolors, on both canvas and wood. “I like using little wood panels because it makes the art more accessible to fans,” Findleton shares. She scoffs at being called an impressionist, even though her work lends itself to the genre. “It’s just who I am,” she explains. “When people call me an impressionist, I don’t see myself that way.”
There is no escaping the intense emotions that radiate from Findleton’s pieces. The subjects of her work range from wolves to beautiful women and local landscapes to wine bottles. Of particular intrigue is her “Spirit Animals” series, which combines human and animal figures into a cohesive and fluid image. When asked about the series, she explains, “I’ve been trying to work with combining the human with the animal…without making it look cute or scary. It’s taken me four years to figure it out.”
Though Findleton spent recent years running Fusion Gallery and Findleton Estate Wine Tasting, with co-owner Laura K. Butler, they have since closed its doors. Despite the setback, Findleton perseveres. Her work is currently on display in many galleries and wineries throughout the Sierra Foothills and the greater Sacramento area, including Marcus Ashley Fine Art Gallery, Bennett Gallery, and, of course, Findleton Estate and Vineyard.
Visit facebook.com/pamelafindleton for more information.