a local plein air master

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i had seen one of his paintings somewhere before at some point or another.  a very lovely oil painting of a local inland empire winery.  one of the last to still produce wines from this once great wine producing land of southern california.  at any rate, i’d forgotten about that painting. 

a week or so ago the brown eyed girl and i did a bit of wine tasting at one of the last old time wineries still around here in socal.  i mentioned it to my friend, dfr, and he sent me an email with that very painting in it.  it was also the winery we had been at tasting wine. 

this is it: ‘j. filippi winery’ by john budicin. 

a very striking painting to be sure.  just amazing.  it harkens back to the old days of guasti when wine was the king of the inland empire.  the guasti/cucamonga/ontario area to be sure.  over 5,000 acres of grapes on the vine.  a staggering amount of acres and grape vines.

i googled the painting and found out it was painted by john budicin.  as it turns out a local oil painter of some renown.  you can find him on the web at http://johnbudicin.com

i wanted to do a blog with the filippi winery painting as a sorta backdrop.  a continuation of my old ‘photographic memories(?)’ blogs from earlier in the year but with john budicin’s paintings instead of the old b/w photos. 

the old photos are haunting.  at least to me as an aging old timer local yokel.  on the other hand, john budicin’s paintings of southern california, grapes, and wine making are a vibrant testament to the wonderful history of those long ago halcyon days of wine making history.  along with the the simple yet breathtaking landscape of southern california as well.  

mission and zinfandel grapes were predominate here in the inland empire.  the old zins were just amazing and they made a rich ruby red zinfandel that those of us that grew up here drinking that wine are still looking for in other zinfandel’s from around the state.  the taste of those zins is buried deep in my brain.  john’s painting, ‘do not serve before it’s time’, brings me back to the redwood cellar days of my youth and young adulthood.  you can almost smell what the wines tasted like with his painting of the old cellar.

‘do not serve before it’s time’ an oil by john budicin.

there was something about those old redwood tanks that imparted something to the already tasty grapes.  it’s something you just can’t and don’t find anymore in very many places.  i suppose it’s really what wine making used to be all about.  though times and methods do change.  although most of you all know i haven’t given up drinking my dago reds or my search for the dago red of my youth. 

zinfandel grapes on the vine.  two more oils by john, ‘evening zins’, and ‘are they zin?’  atom heart mother to any old time, old line inland empire italian or anyone else who grew up here or lived here back in the day.  back in the day when grapes were king.

‘evening zins’ an oil by john budicin.

‘are they zin?’ an oil by john budicin.

i’m including a few other of john’s socal landscapes as well.  i find them quite nice and refreshing.  refreshing because if you travel around southern california you can still find those vistas tucked safely away, at least for the time being.  safe so far from the developers and rampant insanity that is southern california today.

‘evening sonata’ an oil by john budicin.

‘santa ana wash’ an oil by john budicin.

‘california gold’ an oil by john budicin.

i want to thank john budicin for allowing me to put a few of his paintings here in this blog.  i called the phone number on his web page and he actually answered the phone himself.  a very nice and gracious man.  thanks john, for your very lovely paintings.  you’ve done socal very proud indeed.



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