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October 25, 2012
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Our Vendemmia by emilysodders Our Vendemmia by emilysodders
I don't typically participate in online contests, but when I saw that this one was partnered by Merrell, a company my husband and I proudly patron as evidenced by our closet, I reconsidered. That, and I was really inspired by the theme prompt. But who wouldn't be?

So...my concept is based on a combination of several memories and imagined moments. The scene is planted in the southwestern corner of New Hampshire, commonly known as "the Monadnock Region" which, as you may have guessed, is named after the popular and picturesque peak, Mt. Monadnock.

Allegedly, Mt. Monadnock is the 2nd most hiked mountain in the world, next to Mt. Fugi. And given the crowds of people I have seen hike up on a perfect, sunny day like the one I created in this scene, I can believe it. In truth, the little clay couple sitting on the peak (representing my husband and I) would be anything but alone in real life. Our solitude is part of the fantasy of this piece. But then again, being in love has its way of making a crowded place feel empty when you are with your beloved. That, and the idea of sculpting hundreds of little people was not appealing. Ha!

There's a lot of significance to this piece other than simply being surrounded by the natural beauty of autumn at a high-altitude.

Vendemmia, the harvest, is represented in this piece in a very metaphoric way. Yes, "Vendemmia" is written in the clouds and the letter "V" is a motif in the shape of the migratory flight formation of the Canada Geese and even the flaps of their wings...but that's where the literal qualities end.

We hike Mt. Monadnock annually, in part to commemorate our marriage. A healthy, happy marriage takes a lot of work, not unlike climbing a mountain. Needless to say, when we reach the top together, it is very rewarding. The great "harvest" is the love and renewal of our commitment to each other. Because that's what gets us through the winters in life. Or just back down the mountain because our legs are sore! A little sappy, perhaps, but that's who we are. That's our Vendemmia.

So, here we are, on the peak of Mt. Monadnock during the peak of fall foliage, watching the Canada Geese fly south for the winter and generally absorbing the fruit of our laborious hike both physically and emotionally. :)

Some special note about the creative process: not everything is how it seems.

The clouds and fall foliage of the forest is made with painted cotton balls- once dried, they hold their shape well, but remain light. And I'm thankful for that lightness, because the clouds are suspended by a very fine, transparent thread. It's strong and secure, but nearly imperceptible, lending to the illusion that the clouds are really floating.

Another surprise: look closely at the mountain. That's not clay or paper mache. That's a deconstructed Merrell hiking boot! No kidding! We are such a frugal couple, we have a hard time throwing away things that could still be of use, like an old pair of Merrells. Interestingly enough, we have the same sized feet, so these Merrells were worn by both of us- just going back to the whole theme of my diorama. As we purchased newer pairs, these became our work-in-the-garden set. Luckily we have others for the same purpose, so I was able to re-purpose these for art! (but I gotta admit, it was hard making the first cut!)

So yeah, that's about it. If you have questions and/or comments about it- I will be happy to reply to all! I had a lot of fun making this!
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:icona-nyul:
a-nyul Oct 31, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
Wow, those geese sure look better than my cranes. :XD:
Reply
:iconemilysodders:
emilysodders Oct 31, 2012  Professional Traditional Artist
You did a good job- you should be proud of your cranes!
Reply
:icona-nyul:
a-nyul Nov 1, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
Thank you, they are actually better than what I expected. :D
Good luck with the contest! ;)
Reply
:iconemilysodders:
emilysodders Nov 1, 2012  Professional Traditional Artist
Thanks! Likewise!
Reply
:icontatsuyabocchan:
tatsuyabocchan Oct 30, 2012  Professional General Artist
cool, i thought it's smart to use the product. big chance to win. but is it not too expensive too buuy new shoes because you use the old one for contest? how if you not win?
i can not use my shoes ;p but if money does not a problem, it is really great for you :)
Reply
:iconemilysodders:
emilysodders Oct 30, 2012  Professional Traditional Artist
Thanks. We already have a couple pairs of newer Merrells- the ones I used for this project were old, beat-up, retired. We aren't wealthy, but one of the few things we have to 'splurge' on are shoes because my husband had a tree land on his right foot several years ago, so his footwear is very important in determining whether or not he gets to keep his foot. When he wears a pair out lightly, he needs new ones. They have some life left in the old ones, and because I wear the same size shoe, I inherit them and wear the rest of the life out of them. So we have this cycle of recycling shoes, particularly Merrells because they offer the kind of support he needs to not be in pain all day. So could we use a new pair from the Vendemmia collection? Certainly! The money would be used to take care of some dental work and/or paying off one of my student loans. But if I don't win, it's not the end of the world. My art career is growing steadily and the income from that can buy more Merrells and dental work and pay off loans just as well. Thanks for the comment! Hope that answers your questions!
Reply
:icontatsuyabocchan:
tatsuyabocchan Oct 30, 2012  Professional General Artist
so it's basically not used anymore and when you see this contest, it's like..
"HEY! it's time for the old shoes come from warehouse!!"
haha... good luck then ^^
yours awesome.
Reply
:iconemilysodders:
emilysodders Oct 30, 2012  Professional Traditional Artist
Something like that, I guess!
Thanks again! I really appreciate it!
Reply
:iconmca2008:
mca2008 Oct 27, 2012  Student Digital Artist
This is pretty impressive, nice!
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:iconemilysodders:
emilysodders Oct 27, 2012  Professional Traditional Artist
Thanks a lot!
Reply
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