[caption id="attachment_37" align="alignnone" width="500" caption="Tim and Chiara Mondovi at Continuum Estate vineyards"][/caption] This past Monday afternoon I wound slowly over the mountain from Kenwood to St. Helena, California. Then I finally arrived at the Silverado Trail but missed the right towards Sage Canyon Road. The beginning of a private commission that I am so looking forward to creating for Mr. and Mrs. Moran, friends of Tim Mondavi. I called Tim Mondavi and he graciously acted as my personal phone guided GPS. I lost phone reception but made my way to the Lake Hennessey boat ramp where he met me with a warm and enthusiastic smile. From there, we began my welcome tour of his Continuum Estate vineyards. We went to the house where I was greeted by his daughters, Carrisa and Chiara Mondovi. Chiara showed me her huge golden painting of an ancient vine that is the central image on the Continuum Estate wine label. Tim, Chiara, and I piled into the car and drove through the vineyard. It was stunning. As we drove along I took in the vistas and sketched paintings in my mind. I kept asking them to stop so that I could get a closer look, to spend a moment at their favorite spots. As I looked around, I listened as Tim described the history of his land and its relationship to his family’s history, to their destiny. I shared my journey of becoming a painter and my exploration of color inspired by moments in Wine Country. It was clear that Tim has a sense of purpose and passion for this place that I can relate to as a painter. Tim asked what I would be painting. “Just what I feel like painting, I’ll select subjects and times of day that I respond to. I’ll feel it then I’ll know it.” Following your passion, your own inclinations, Tim agreed is the only way to really create. It's personal, heartfelt. It can't be directed by another, maybe inspired, but not directed. That’s how the best art, and the best wine, are created - from the heart.