Spring Obsession

John and Gail Kautz toast the Spring Obsession 2017 winner with the wine that inspired it.

The 2017 Spring Obsession Art Show found guests at Ironstone Vineyards outside Murphys exploring the brightness of a new season on March 4. At a reception celebrating the 20th annual art show and sale, the Kautz family, which owns the winery, selected “A Spring Hue” as the winner. The painting by Ann Nall is the 2017 Spring Obsession poster art.

Nall started painting in 1985 as a way to escape the pressures of work. Her first art class was held in the basement of a small community center in Virginia. Over time her hobby became her focus. Upon retirement, art became her career. She has exhibited in many juried and one-person shows throughout the country.

Painting primarily in watercolor, Nall’s work is characterized by soft, gentle colors. She has specialized in animal portraits and has been praised for infusing her animal paintings with life.

Nall said creating her art gives her life energy, focus and a sense of well-being, “gifts” she does not take for granted, she said.

Approximately 125 paintings were entered in the 2017 Spring Obsession show. Chris Gomez, who manages the Heritage Museum at the winery and coordinates the art show and sale, said that somewhere between 125 and 200 paintings have been entered in the Spring Obsession event since it began 20 years ago.

“There is only one way to get a good show,” said Ironstone owner John Kautz, “to have someone like Chris Gomez who is heading it up.” He added that to adjudicate the show, the family looks hard for judges. “The real challenge is finding some really good and recognized judges who know what the hell they’re doing.”

His wife Gail Kautz said she appreciates what the artists who submit entries do.

“I’m always impressed with people who can take a blank piece of paper and canvas and bring it to life,” she said.

The Spring Obsession art show can be viewed in the Alhambra Music Room at least through the end of March. It’s free to view. For more, visit ironstonevineyards.com or call 728-1251. Spring Obsession posters are also available for purchase.

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