There is a small winery in Amador, set upon the top of a hill, named "Driven." To one side of the tasting room is a large field filled with rusted vehicles: trucks, tractors, busses, cars. Behind and over to the other side of the tasting room is a traditional junk yard filled with an array of items that had once had a useful life but were now sitting out in the sun and rain. At first I thought these were items waiting for someone to find a use for them again. But I've since learned that the owner, Rudy Chinco, won't sell a single item. And as you go through the yard, you notice the placement of objects and you begin to understand that this is Rudy's art. I love junk yards, but I love Rudy's the most.
I love the history of the simple objects there, things that worked and made life better for someone. I walk among them and touch odd looking parts and wonder what they were used for or marvel at the objects still recognizable despite their current circumstances. While you might think there is a bit of sadness in the display of things past their prime, I see wonderful colors and textures and interesting shapes. These abandoned objects are beautiful and unique. Sometimes, what captures me is the juxtaposition of old manmade objects with nature. Driven is perfectly suited for this contrast, set as it is in the lovely wine country of Amador.
Driven is an interesting place to visit. The wine tasting room theme is vehicles, as one might guess. The bottles have tire treads running across them and their blends are named after vehicles. The first time we visited, we were not impressed with their red wines, but when we went back earlier this year, we were pleasantly surprised at how good they were. We've been back again and once again, the reds were quite tasty. Their primitivo is estate grown and is one of my favorites.
My Driven Series is made up of paintings that capture some of the beauty and history that moves me. It is my way to honor these things that once were so useful and now ... are simply beautiful. [Click on each painting to enlarge it and see more information about the painting.]