Once upon a time, avid global adventurer Stephanie Schlatter used a camera to make memories of the places and people who impacted and inspired her along the way. “Then I discovered the beauty of painting,” says the West Michigan-based artist, “and began to express the essence of my experiences on canvas.”
Sharing the joy of her art satisfies her need to give back to the places she visits and — she has also discovered — can help those who live there. “Finding myself in the developing world, exposed to that beauty yet heart-wrenching poverty, was a call-to-action for me,” reflects Schlatter, who founded Ethiopia Reads Art Aid and supports education through auctions and exhibits overseas.
But the artist — who works in acrylics, mixed media and oil pastel, plus oil pastel on photographs — is also deeply drawn to the lush, rolling landscape of her own home state, particularly inspiring sites she finds in Northern Michigan’s wine country on the Leelanau and Old Mission peninsulas. In 2011, as she began immersing herself in these vineyards and wineries and in conversations with owners and winemakers, exploration of the link between art and wine evolved into her acclaimed “On the Michigan Wine Trail” series.
Then I discovered the beauty of painting, and began to express the essence of my experiences on canvas.
— Stephanie Schlatter
Wine, like art, can be adjusted and changed to achieve the desired end product, Schlatter learned.
“It depends on the fruit, the climate, the barrels and the land,” she notes Black Star Farms’ production winemaker, Valdi Banov, explained, “very much like the artist is dependent on the canvas, the paint, the subjects and the inspiration.”
View Schlatter’s impressions of Northern Michigan wine country, see other galleries and learn about workshop offerings at stephanieschlatterart.com.