Monthly Archives: August 2011

L. Mawby: Inspiration from the Vineyard


L. Mawby: Inspiration from the VineyardIt’s one of those beautiful, warm, glowing September days in Michigan. Me and my notebook are enjoying the patio at L. Mawby Vineyards, home of the famed Michigan sparkling wines.

I’m still savoring my glass of Cremant Classic by L. Mawby, but the whitefish pate and crackers are all gone. Mesmerized by the view of the lush vineyards and hills in the distance, I breath in pure Michigan.

Tilting my head back to enjoy the sun on my face, the words begin to fill my head, I open my eyes to fill my notebook with little poems, inspired by all I see before me and the lovely sparkling wine. Words seemed to flow in this fertile environment.

Recently I had the opportunity to set down with owner and winemaker Larry Mawby… It was no surprise to me when I learned that Larry is also a poet. Winemakers are artist in their own right and I half expect them to have other creative outlets.

As for Larry, he was not at a loss for words in discussing art and wine. We compared our creative process learning that while Larry uses science and I use paint, our journey into creation shares a very similar path. We both see the process as a journey where the mind must remain open, twisting and turning to accommodate a desired result. I felt a kinship in relating to the ups and downs of creating and the inner journey one goes on to end with an external finished product.

I asked Larry if they at L. Mawby make a reserve wine. They do, its made in limited production, about 500 bottles. What do you call it I asked? Larry smiled sheepishly and answered “Sand Painter”  the name is relating to it’s impermanence… It’s here today and gone tomorrow, but while it’s here it is a beautiful creation to behold!

Next time I sit down with Larry I think we should get him a canvas and some paint to see how he visualizes his wines… I think that’s an invitation, what do you think?

In the mean time, I encourage you to pop open a bottle created by the artists at L. Mawby and find out what you see. Better yet, treat yourself to a visit to the vineyard and a glass on the patio… that will really get your creative juices going, Pun intended!

The Birth of a Cause


Art Aid for TesfaIt’s 1998 and I’m sitting in Durbar Square Katmandu taking in all the wonderment around me. I see a little girl no more than 10 years old approaching me. Her big brown eyes shine as she fires off a variety of languages in an attempt to find the one I speak. I recognize a few, French, Spanish, English. I am humbled that I can’t identify more. I use my best travelers Spanish on her, but I am no match for this wise one…

She has gum to sell me to help with family finances, this is what she does instead of going to school. Forced by a world that isn’t fair… she learns languages from tourists. I pause and send a request to the universe that her personality and perseverance will serve her to the fullest someday. I leave feeling helpless and wonder what I could do, how can I help?

I was 24 and backpacking my way around the world. I could do that, and apparently my passport and a little ambition afforded me more opportunity’s in life than the sweet children I meet all over the developing world. I was learning so much from the people and ways of life I found outside my own boarders. I was gaining so much… how could I give back?

The years went on and my passport stamps added up. As did my love of art. Art changed my life, it has that power. What would happen if I could give children in the developing world exposure to the world of art… and if that art could help support  their education?

That what if… became a reality in 2007. I told anyone who would listen my dream to share art in the developing world. Someone knew someone in Ethiopia and I boarded a plane… founding Art Aid for Tesfa.

Art Aid for Tesfa