Saturday, December 19, 2009
We managed to feature a lot of art in the windows. Several of Karl Jensen's beautiful sculptures, Quent's "Henry's Night Out," "Elegance" in natural sand by Bill Mack, "New Year's Eve" by Bryan Larsen, "A Paige in My Book" by Perrin Sparks, "Vow" by Michael Wilkinson, "There's Opportunity Here" by Bryan Larsen, "Holiday" by Jerald Rough' , "Les Filles D'Avignon" by Danielle Anjou and "Something Worth Celebrating" by Thomas Arvid. You can click on the photos to enjoy larger versions.
If you are still hunting for that special something? Remember that our gift certificates are a popular way to give that someone special a present that will last a lifetime.
Happy Holidays from all of us at QCFA. We hope that your celebrations are joyful and that 2010
brings with it health, happiness & success.
Thursday, November 12, 2009
In honor of this auspicious event, we are offering a selection of Bryan Larsen originals via silent auction. Or if you prefer, "esthetic adoption." You are invited to contact the gallery, on or before 3pm Pacific time, Wednesday, November 18, 2009 with your bid on any of the artwork posted here. Be fair. If you are the highest bidder over the private reserve price, you win! If you bid retail or higher, we will also include a personal dedication on the art to you from Bryan. How sweet is that?
All of these originals are very affordable to begin with and may make the perfect holiday gift for your favorite Bryan Larsen fan. Unless of course, you want one all for yourself! ;)
Here are the items up for adoption: (including the one above)
Each of the images links to its corresponding page on our site which includes the dimensions and retail price. These pieces are unframed. We do have a terrific framer available if you would like us to have your art framed for you before we ship it.
Bids must be received by e-mail (firstname.lastname@example.org) on or before 3:00pm (Pacific Time) on Wednesday, November 18, 2009. Bids will be acknowledged via e-mail and winners will be notified by e-mail or telephone. Please feel free to call or e-mail me at email@example.com with any questions. Winning bids do not include nominal shipping charges.
Have fun, bid well and good luck! This is a great opportunity to own a Bryan Larsen original and provide the artist with some well deserved capital.
As always, we appreciate and look forward to earning your business!
Monday, October 19, 2009
It has not taken us long to make ourselves at home in this beautiful valley. Quent and I, along with one of our dearest friends, Jody, recently lent our unskilled grape-picking hands to some of our wine-making friends. The results? Well let's just say that we still have all of our digits, even though I proudly bear a small scar on my left hand from my first attempt.
Working shoulder to shoulder with the hard working people who do this for a living, you gain a far greater appreciation for the amount of back-breaking labor that goes into making these amazing elixirs. My first picking experience was thanks to our good friends who own Ceja Vineyards. Jody was visiting us from Michigan and together we learned how to properly wield a harvest knife. Its short, curved blade and lightweight handle are typical of knives used during the annual harvest of wine grapes in the area. Although grape-picking machines are used in the large vineyards of California's Central Valley, hand tools like this are preferred on the estate vineyards in Napa.
Jody and I helped the Cejas pick Pinot grapes that were being sold to Mumm Napa to make sparkling wine. After about an hour and a half, Jody and I had picked about 400 pounds of grapes. And there is no telling how many we ate in the process.
A ton of grapes yields about 143 gallons of wine. There are 2.38 gallons of wine in a case (12 bottles), so a ton of wine will produce about 60 cases. Since there are 12 bottles in a case, a ton of grapes makes roughly 720 bottles of wine. The average wine bottle holds .750 ml, and one gram = 0.0044092 pounds, so for each bottle of wine, one needs about 2.78 pounds of grapes. It takes about 630 grapes to produce one bottle of wine. Jody and I picked enough grapes to make approximately 144 bottles and I think we each ate a bottle's worth of the tasty little jewels. Soon after we were rewarded with a delicious lunch prepared by Mamma Juanita, the Ceja family's matriarch. She prepared lunch for all of the pickers. It was the most wonderful chicken mole that I have ever had the pleasure of enjoying!
A week or two later, Quent and I were invited by our friend Chuck Custodio, a.k.a Trahan Winery, to an after-dark harvest party at Carneros Della Notte. There, we were treated to a lovely outdoor-dinner adjacent to their vineyards. After wards, a live band played, while, armed with our harvest knives, we picked grapes under a beautiful harvest moon. Extra lights illuminated the many rows of juicy clusters that would soon fall victim to our blades. The grapes at this stage are so ripe, that often, when you take them in your hand to separate them from the vine, the plump orbs burst, spilling their juices before you can place the cluster in the bin. I was having so much fun that I even forgot about some of the eight legged creatures that like to hang out amongst the vines. Upon filing several bins, and bidding our new friends a good evening, we left for home, covered with dust from the vineyards and sticky with the juice that got away.For weeks the air was sweet with the smells of harvest. The rains have come now and soon it will be time to prune the vines in preparation for their winter slumber. While we wait for signs of Spring next year, we will enjoy the fruits of those who labored years before us. We now enjoy each sip with a new appreciation for the efforts of so many that go into making incredible wines.
Saturday, October 17, 2009
It occurred to me today that those of you who are unable to make the journey to Napa to see what I'm talking about, might like to enjoy a peek inside our sunlit world and see the art as we have it displayed in the gallery.
We rotate the art in the gallery often. With so many wonderful paintings and sculpture on display, it can be an all day project. But what a fun and rewarding project it is. More than one guest in the gallery has caught us in the process of rearranging the art when they have come to visit and they are amazed at how many different displays we can create in our 3600 square feet of space.
Have I tempted you yet? You know you want to be here too. Keep us in mind when you start talking about your next vacation. Ten months out of the year, Napa is incredibly beautiful. The other two months, December and January, are pretty wet, but the gallery and the wine-tasting rooms are all indoors! :)
Let us know if you'll be heading in our direction and we'll help you find places to quench you thirst, satisfy your hunger and rest your head when you are not enjoying the gallery. Come explore our valley and experience our art in person! Don't worry, if you don't make it to Napa, I'll continue to post the occasional sneak peek.
Sunday, September 27, 2009
Mr. Arvid worked on his latest original, graciously answered questions and posed for pictures with his adoring fans and collectors. In this picture from left to right: Robert and Celia Stewart, Linda Cordair, Thomas Arvid, Dr Dae Hyun Chung and Quent Cordair.
Thanks to everyone who came out for the event. We'll be offering a copy of Thomas Arvid's wine journal and a bottle fabulous Ceja wine to anyone who purchases any of Thomas Arvid's work this month.
You can view Thomas Arvid's paintings in our beautiful downtown gallery, on our web site and in the AVIA Napa Hotel.
We look forward to seeing and posting (with your permission of course) pictures of your favorite Thomas Arvid painting hanging in your home or office. Celebrate the wonders of Thomas Arvid's work with us. Each is a very limited-edition and something you will treasure for many years to come.
Friday, September 11, 2009
Like most of us, I remember exactly where I was on 9/11. Living in Florida at the time, I was busy at work when someone came in into the office from the break room with the news. The rest of the day was spent watching in horror as the day's events unfolded.
Shortly before that tragic day, a wonderful artist named Bryan Larsen, completed a painting that featured a dashing young architect taking pride in his greatest masterpiece. In "A New Height" the World Trade Center is featured prominently in the painting. (follow the link to see the entire painting) The original oil on linen was purchased very quickly, after which Bryan Larsen made a limited number of signed and numbered prints on canvas available. In an effort to make this image available to almost anyone, Bryan even offered a poster of the painting. It was obvious that people would need and want something positive to remember these beautiful buildings and those who lost their lives in the attack. A limited number of these prints are still available.
On September 14, 2001, my husband Quent, wrote a profound letter to our friends, family and associates. The letter is posted on our web site just below the image of the painting. Each year, I read with pride the words that my husband so eloquently wrote. Thank you Bryan and Quent for giving us all something wonderfully positive to share with each other.
My goal is to circulate both the image and the letter around the world this week. The world needs more Rational Art and we aim to provide it. Feel free to blog, Tweet, e-mail or Facebook the link. We appreciate your assistance in getting this image to anyone who will benefit from seeing it.
Friday, July 31, 2009
Ok, I know you're jealous that I get to spend every day here. If it will make you feel better, I had to wade through sales tax today all by myself. :( Yuck! Our delightful book keeper broke her foot recently and my trusty business consultant, Tina, was nowhere to be found. Mind you, it took me a lot longer to complete the forms than it would either of them, but it had to be postmarked today. So I hunkered down, held back the tears and dug in. I'm actually quite proud of myself for figuring it out. But don't worry ladies, I do NOT want your job. The sales tax paperwork is all yours next quarter.
After finishing the aforementioned, I was treated to a visit from QCFA artist, Thomas Arvid, his right hand, Rob Preiditsch and a few of his friends. After enjoying the gallery and a little business, I walked them down to the AVIA Hotel, where, courtesy of the hotel's General Manager, Kristine Youngberg, we shared a lovely bottle of Schramsburg's bubbles. Ahh, cold sparkling wine on a warm summer's day, atop Napa's newest hotel with some wonderful people. What a treat! I'm sorry you missed it. Seriously, you should come next time. It's what we do here. :)
Earlier this month we hosted the VIP reception for the Festival del Sole in the gallery and even managed to find time to attend a couple of their wonderful events. The Festival features concerts by some of the world’s most celebrated musical artists, five-star cuisine, art exhibits, and wines from Napa’s top vintners, blended in a unique celebration of the art of life. We thoroughly enjoyed Sarah Chang's performance at the Lincoln Theater. I even stood in line after wards to have her sign a cd for us for the gallery. Later, we enjoyed a very nice winemaker's dinner at Far Niente, where I was fortunate enought to be seated next to Mr. Jan Schrem, the owner of Clos Pegase Winery. What a delightful man. I hope to have the pleasure of getting to know him better and plan to visit his winery very soon.
So yes, Quent and I are a little tired, but Napa's season has just begun and we look forward to sharing it with you. Our beautiful gallery, the art within it, the wine, new friends and so much more. Just let us know when you will be here!
Thursday, July 16, 2009
One of Sarah's favorite works in the gallery is "How Far We've Come" by Bryan Larsen. She enjoys the uplifting nature of the painting and considers the painting a window to the future. I love watching her enjoy it when she spends time in the gallery. She is also a big fan of "Deliberation." She was flattered when several gallery guests asked her if she modeled for the painting. We should have taken a picture of her with the painting to share with Bryan. We'll have to do that next time.
One of Sarah's favorite summer activities in Napa is our weekly Chef's Market. If Sarah were still here, she would be across the street from the gallery tonight purchasing her favorite Armenian Cucumbers. I would love to send her some, but who knows what they would look like, much less what they would taste like by the time they arrived in Florida.
Here is a picture of this week's crop, just for you Sarah. By the way, Mark (the produce guy), says hi and wants to know when you'll be back for more.
If you have never tasted one of these striped Armenian delights, and you can find one, Sarah and I highly recommend them. They are crunchy, light and very flavorful. Something tells me that Sarah may be back for more before the season is over.
Saturday, July 4, 2009
It has been 14 years since Quent began his quest to bring Romantic Realism back to the forefront of the art community where it belongs. From a small studio on the San Francisco peninsula that he rented to complete "Lunch Break", came an opportunity to market not only his art, but art that was being created by some of his friends. Several years later, along came a woman who fell in love with the Man and his gallery. Three guesses who that was. ;) I decided that the world needed to know about this incredible place and the art within it. Two years later we would double the size of the gallery, expanding into the newly vacated space next door. Three more years and it was time to spread our wings again as we began plans to expand the gallery once more.
After months of searching the country and our hearts for the perfect location, we found opportunity just up the road in Napa. This quiet little town in the heart of California's wine country was on the verge of something wonderful; positive growth. Two new luxury hotels were under construction as well as two major high-end retail projects. Our gallery would be the perfect fit with the romance of the Napa Valley and a wonderful destination for our clients from around the world.
So here we are in downtown Napa celebrating fourteen years of providing the world with the Finest Romantic Realism and our first full year in Napa. In the past seven years we have expanded our business twice, gotten married, relocated our business and moved to the wine country. Happy Fourth of July America and Happy Fourth of July to us!
I love you Quent! Thank you for the adventure of a lifetime!
Wednesday, July 1, 2009
When Quent and I were looking to relocate the gallery, Lodgeworks L.P., which owns several major hotel chains, had just broken ground on their flagship hotel, right down the street from
the vacant commercial space that we were looking to rent. The rest as they say, is history.
Here we are and now here they are too!
We are pleased to announce that plans are underway to have art from the gallery displayed in the hotel. Stay tuned for more information. In the mean time, what are ou waiting for? Check out their web site, after you finish enjoying ours of course, and book yourself a wine country get away. We have made some wonderful friends at the AVIA Hotel and look forward to introducing you to them.
Sunday, June 28, 2009
We don't often see temperatures like that so air-conditioning is not needed most of the year. This weekend was definitely an exception.
I think what we should have done was found some wonderfully cold bubble like the ones in Thomas Arvid's painting "Something Worth Celebrating." Just looking at this wonderful work of art makes me feel cooler already. :) Offered as a limited-edition canvas print, signed and numbered by the artist, this affordable luxury will serve as a constant reminder to celebrate the good times and enjoy life!
We have so much to celebrate. Our lives, our families, our beautiful gallery and you, our adoring fans. ;)
We'll be announcing a new artist very soon, so keep checking our New Art page or sign up to receive our monthly gallery newsletter via secure e-mail.
Our gallery continues to grow and bring you the best in Romantic Realism. Drop us a line and let us know who your favorite artists are; we'd love to hear from you. Write to us: art (at) cordair.com
Thursday, June 18, 2009
Ok, it has been a while since I posted a tasty temptation. Those who know me well are quite familiar with my love of comfort food. Here's one of my favorite recipes for when you want something really decadent. Paired with a nice beef fillet and a beautiful side salad, this dish never disappoints. Great for company or complete self indulgence and definitely not on the Weight Watcher's menu. ;)
Roasted Asparagus and Red Pepper Lasagna
Serves 6 to 8
- 1-1/2 lbs. fresh asparagus
- 1 large red pepper
- 1 Tablespoon olive oil or neutral oil such as canola of safflower
- Salt and pepper
- 6 Tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into pieces
- 1/3 cup flour
- 2 cups chicken stock
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 8oz of goat cheese
- Salt, to taste
- 3 or 4 large fresh lasagna noodles or parboiled regular lasagna noodles (no boil lasagna noodles work too, but I soak them in water for 15 minutes first)
- 1 packed cup grated mozzarella cheese (about 4 oz.)
- 1 cup fresh grated Parmesan cheese
- Heat oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Trim woody ends from asparagus and discard. Cut asparagus spears into 2” lengths. Toss with olive oil and sprinkle lightly with salt and pepper. Lightly brush red pepper with olive oil.
- Spread asparagus pieces on a baking sheet in one layer. Lay red pepper on rack next to baking sheet. Roast in the oven for 12 minutes, until vegetables are just beginning to soften. Remove from the oven and let them cool slightly. Peel and seed red pepper, then cut into 2" lengths.
- While asparagus and peppers are roasting, prepare sauce. In a large saucepan, heat butter on medium heat until fully melted and beginning to bubble slightly. Add flour and whisk briskly until incorporated into butter.
- Cook butter and flour mixture for about 2 minutes. Add the chicken stock, whisking constantly. As the mixture begins to thicken slightly (about 2 minutes), add the goat cheese and the heavy cream. Continue to stir sauce until smooth.
- Season with salt to taste. Remove sauce from the heat.
- In a dish approximately 9” X 12” X 3”, spread 1/3 of the roasted asparagus spears evenly on the bottom. Drizzle 1/3 of the sauce over asparagus, top with 1/4 of the parmesean cheese and 1/4 of red pepper strips. Top with a layer of fresh lasagna noodles, cut to fit the pan.
- Repeat the layers: asparagus, peppers, sauce parmesean and noodles, asparagus, peppers, sauce. Make sure the final layer is sauce. Top with shredded mozzarella and parmesan cheeses.
- Bake at 425 degrees for about 30 minutes or until the cheese is bubbling and golden.
- To serve: let the lasagna cool for about 20 minutes. Use a very sharp knife to slice through the asparagus. Accompany with a salad and crusty bread.
If you’ve been considering a visit to see us in Napa, we’re pleased to entice you with a special partnership we’ve developed with the new AVIA Hotel – opening July 1 – just 1 block from the gallery. AVIA is downtown Napa’s newest retreat and is pleased to offer guests of the gallery 20 percent off their best available rates and a host of other benefits. This boutique hotel combines understated elegance with the enthusiasm of a local host – eager to share savvy local connections and the best of Napa Valley.
Ornate, wrought-iron doors open to reveal an enchanting living room complete with knotty, blackened oak and tufted sofas with a modern flair. The overall aesthetic borrows from the winemaking tradition – it's natural and not uptight, but perfect for a sophisticated palette. Guests can sample regional fare and local vintages inside the AVIA Kitchen + Wine Bar or host a gathering amid striking and sophisticated event space. The hotel features an outdoor Terrace - an urban oasis with hardwood decking, porch swings and fire pit.
At AVIA Napa, you’re exactly where you want to be after visiting the gallery and a full day of tasting, in the very walk-able heart of downtown Napa, steps from world-class wine tasting venues, celebrated California cuisine and the new Oxbow Public market with artisanal food and shopping. To learn more, visit www.aviahotels.com or to book our special rates, www.aviahotels.com/packages/quentcordairfineartgallery.
Saturday, June 13, 2009
I love my life! Each day I celebrate who I am, who I'm with and what I do. I have a wonderful husband, two great kids and I get to spend my days (and some evenings) in the world's most beautiful art gallery. Sure, many days bring with them a variety of challenges, but I have learned that I am capable of most anything I set my mind to and that most obstacles are indeed surmountable. Now, if only I had the means to resurrect the economy. ;)
This week, like so many, was extra special. I'm almost positive that the man who delivered our latest gallery arrival, did not enjoy a warmer welcome anywhere else on his route that day. After months of anticipation, "Unbound" by Karl Jensen is finally here. Cocooned in her custom built crate, tailored just for her like a designer gown, she arrived in perfect condition. I could hardly contain my excitement. It was like being 5 years old and the proud recipient of a real live pony.
I've known about her for a while. I'm honored that Karl Jensen created her after I suggested to him some time ago that a larger version of "Dream Flight" or something similar would be a wonderful addition to the gallery. She is incredible; even more beautiful than I imagined she would be. Thank you Mr. Jensen for the tears of joy and the smile that continues to decorate my face.
So, while writing this post, I have enjoyed another delightfully fun day at QCFA. Last week, a local vintner and his wife inquired if they could include the gallery as one of several stops in a treasure hunt that they were planning. Rather than a back yard BBQ or a sit down dinner, the happy couple decided to celebrate their 10 year anniversary by sending their family and friends on a downtown adventure. There were to be four groups, of around 20 people each, that would visit the gallery between 2 and 4pm.
As each group arrived they were to browse the gallery and find a piece of art that reminds them of love, makes them smile and perhaps even laugh out loud. They had several other stops on their list and could only stay a short while, but while each group was here, the gallery buzzed with excitement as the participants discovered and enjoyed their favorite paintings and sculpture.
Prior to the event, Mr. and Mrs. Mahaffey (a.k.a. the happy couple) delivered 80 spectacular roses to the gallery. Well over two feet long, each rose was perfect. Half of them were a lovely shade of pink the others were reminded me of the orange that you see in a very memorable sunset. Once each group was finished enjoying the art, my instructions were to present each person with a rose. Their next task was to find a complete stranger outside the gallery and gift them their rose. Kathryn (our new gallery intern) and I, very much enjoyed watching these random acts of kindness and the resulting smiles from the unsuspecting passers by. In between groups, I strolled outside for a little sunshine and noticed that one shy participant had left their rose with "Carefree" who stands outside the gallery doors each day to greet our gallery guests. :)
What fun! Some of their other stops included a local wine tasting room, where the proprietor would pour two tastings of wines made in 1999. (the year that they married) A local candy shop where each participants received a hand-made truffle bearing the Mahaffey's initials and a local thrift store where they were to spend no more than $10 on a "romantic gift." I managed to see some of $10 gift bags. Each of them contained some very clever and amusing items.
Congratulations Mr. and Mrs. Mahaffey. Thank you for including us in your anniversary celebration!
So much to smile about! What a fun day!
Friday, June 5, 2009
QCFA has partnered with the Napa Valley Festival Del Sole which is being held July 17-25, 2009. The Festival features concerts by some of the world’s most celebrated musical artists, five-star cuisine, art exhibits, and wines from Napa’s top vintners, blended in a unique celebration of the art of life. Concert tickets and VIP packages are on sale now. Tickets for Festival del Sole concerts range from $35-$125. Mention Quent Cordair Fine Art and receive 15% off your tickets.
This year’s festival kicks off with an opening night concert July 18 at the Napa Valley Opera House featuring three remarkable young artists – violinist Sarah Chang with pianist Andrew von Oeyen, and 14-year old pianist Conrad Tao. The concert is followed by a twilight dinner on the terrace overlooking Napa Valley at Palmaz Vineyards, a new Festival Partner Winery.
Chang performs again on July 19 with the Philharmonic Orchestra of the Americas under the baton of its conductor and director, Alondra de la Parra. Founded in 2004 to promote the work of talented young soloists and composers, the New York-based Philharmonic Orchestra of the Americas has since performed around the world to critical acclaim. The evening’s program includes Mendelssohn’s Violin Concerto and Tchaikovsky’s Fifth Symphony. Historic Far Niente Winery opens its doors for a dinner following the concert, featuring a special private performance.
On July 20, Darioush winery welcomes guests for an “Evening of Persian Hospitality,” a night of Persian cuisine and music that is fast becoming a favorite Festival del Sole tradition. Anoushirvan Rohani, one of Iran’s finest composers and pianists, performs.
Festival del Sole teams up with Robert Redford for a concert benefiting the Redford Center on July 21. The benefit concert takes place at Castello di Amorosa, vintner Dario Sattui’s dramatic medieval-style Tuscan castle and winery. Patrons and artists will be treated to a post-concert dinner at Agustin and Valeria Huneeus’ home on the grounds of Quintessa winery.
On July 22, Alondra de la Parra and the Philharmonic Orchestra of the Americas perform at Castello di Amorosa with violinist Nikolaj Znaider, followed by dinner in the caves at Rudd Vineyards & Winery.
Renowned soprano Renée Fleming makes her Festival del Sole debut on July 23, in a recital at Castello di Amorosa. Festival del Sole’s star power continues throughout the evening, with pianists Leif Ove Andsnes and Antonio Pappano, cellist Nina Kotova, and violinist Nikolaj Znaider performing. Following the performance, a dinner honoring Ms. Fleming takes place at The Napa Valley Reserve. Proceeds from this evening benefit Napa Valley performing arts organizations.
On July 24, Festival del Sole guests will be treated to an intimate jazz performance at the Robert Mondavi Winery, along with dinner in their historic vineyards.
On July 25 Antonio Pappano, in a rare North American appearance, conducts the Philharmonic Orchestra of the Americas, pianist Leif Ove Andsnes and cellist Nina Kotova in Mozart’s Magic Flute Overture, Haydn’s Cello Concerto No. 1, Beethoven’s Piano Concerto No. 3 and Mozart’s 31st Symphony. The concert takes place at Lincoln Theater, followed by the Festival’s closing night dinner on Signorello Vineyards’ dramatic terrace overlooking Napa Valley.
Join us for the fun. Quent and I will be attending several of the events. We hope to see you there!
Friday, May 15, 2009
Many of our customers around the world enjoy sharing their pride of ownership. This photo comes to us from the proud owners of three of Karl Jensen's lovely maquettes. "Joy," "Flower Basket" and "Carefree" were all adopted by a wonderful couple in southern California. Each of the girls stands in a lovely niche that looks as if it was created just for them. Beautifully displayed, these Jensen sculptures are treasured by their new owners. Thank you friends, for letting us into your home and sharing your art with us. We appreciate your business and your trust.
Other proud owners have also sent me images of their newly acquired art. With their permission, I will post some of those images here for you to enjoy.
Be good to yourself! Spend some time on our gallery website today. Enjoy the art and if you find something that would be perfect for that unfilled niche, available corner, vacant coffee table or empty space on the wall, reward yourself and enjoy some pride of ownership too. :) If you are one of many feeling the economic crunch, don't fret, our interest-free layaway plan can have you enjoying that perfect addition to your home or office sooner than you think.
Saturday, April 25, 2009
The cold and blustery days of winter are gone. The rains have ceased and spring is evident everywhere in the Napa Valley. As a result, the vineyards have awakened from their lengthy slumber. Just a few short weeks ago, the vines were void of anything green. Today, an abundance of small leaves have replaced the tiny buds that were the first signs of life on the dormant stalks earlier this month. Spring has also presented us with the first roses of the season. Napa's climate must be perfect for growing one of my favorite flowering shrubs. I can't recall having seen them flourish anywhere else the way they do here. They bloom over and over again from spring through early fall.
To celebrate the arrival of the season's first roses, I am sharing with you one of my favorite floral paintings in the gallery. "Glass Cat" is a lovely pastel by Tom Sierak, beautifully framed and protected by museum glass. With the frame it measures 31" x 38" and would be a delightful addition to almost any room in your home or office. I would love to find the perfect home for this beautiful painting and will offer a special Spring Savings by deducting the cost of the frame ($425) from the price. To take advantage of this special offer, you will need to place a deposit on the painting by May 1, 2009. Mother's Day is right around the corner. Give her flowers that will last a lifetime.
The warmer weather has brought life to our downtown as well. The tourists have begun to return to Napa after a rather slow and uneventful winter. We do enjoy some visitors in the off season, but nothing compared to what the warmer weather brings. Boots, scarves and umbrellas have been replaced with sandals, shorts and sun dresses. And hands that once cradled steaming cups of coffee, now embrace cups and cones of ice cream and other warm weather treats. Two cupcake stores have opened in downtown Napa recently. Both of which I have taste tested for you (I'm so thoughtful) and both receive very high marks from my sweet tooth. Among my favorites are Ooh La La from Sift and Fleur De Sel from Kara's Cupcakes.
A host of events and festivals are scheduled in the valley this year. Among them is the Festival del Sole which will be held July 17-25. 2009. The festival features concerts by some of the world’s most celebrated musical artists, five-star cuisine, art exhibits, and wines from Napa’s top vintners, blended in a unique celebration of the art of life. Our clients are eligible for a 15% discount on concert tickets and VIP packages. Be sure to mention "Quent Cordair Fine Art" when you call for tickets.
The new Avia Hotel, located one short block from the gallery, will open very soon and will be a great place to stay if you are going to come to Napa for any of the events. They will also be offering special rates for the festival and the gallery.
So what are you waiting for? The gallery is full of uplifting and inspirational art and we are perfectly situated in one of the most beautiful destinations in the world. Come experience Napa! The first glass of wine is on us. :)
Saturday, January 24, 2009
Karl Jensen has a wonderful new sculpture series available. "Wrap," "Sleeping Nude" and "Reminiscing" are lovely as individual pieces and stunning as a set. I currently have them displayed together in the front of the gallery with our guest book. Unlike most traditional cast bronze sculpture, these beautiful ladies have a special patina that makes them look as though they were carved from stone. To celebrate their arrival, we are offering a special $350 discount on the set. If you order before February 14, 2009, we will also include free shipping.
If you are thinking about coming to Napa for a visit, let us know. In addition to informing you about special events and making lodging recommendations, we are happy to help you out with suggestions for sightseeing and of course, wine tasting. A very popular way to enjoy the Napa wine tasting experience is by private limousine. Last night I met the owners of Cristal Blue Carriage, a limousine company that specializes in providing personalized tours to boutique wineries around the valley. Sit back, enjoy the wine, take in the scenery and leave the driving to them. The owners, Bill and Chris spent about an hour in the gallery enjoying the art and sharing
their knowledge of the valley with me. They are committed to ensuring that their customers receive a unique and wonderful experience and are proud to have an abundance of repeat business.
The Napa Valley Mustard Festival kicks off January 31 and lasts through March 28. There will an abundance of activity throughout the valley including "The Weekend of Fine Art" on February 7 and 8. So put those snow shovels down and come celebrate with us. We look forward to seeing you soon!
Wednesday, January 14, 2009
What do you get when you have hundreds of wonderful and uplifting works of art, all under one roof, in one of the most beautiful places in the world? (Is this what they call "leading the witness?) Our gallery continues to impress and even astound the many who happen upon us. Recently, a young man in his early twenties was overheard to say, "I did not know that beautiful art like this was still being created." Indeed it is young man. Tell your friends!
The sun has come out in Napa and the last few days have been glorious. This is supposed to be rainy season and yet we have not seen any precipitation for over a week. Mind you, I'm not complaining. Quent and I even managed to get in a round of golf with a friend yesterday (thank you Sarah for the gift certificate) and to my delight I had a great round. I even edged out Quent by a couple of strokes.
We dismantled our popular Christmas window last week (see Dec. 17 post) and I replaced it with a romantic Valentine's Day themed display. I think that I am really starting to get the hang of this window dressing thing. Fifty feet of window space is a lot of space to fill. Fortunately we have a lot to choose from. I still have a few touches to add this week but all in all I am quite pleased with myself. :)
Despite the lovely weather, winter is proving to be relatively slow in Napa; Ok, really slow! It has been very challenging trying to calculate what our walk-in traffic will be like from one week to the next. I think that next winter will be much different since the new hotel will be opening this summer and with any luck the economy will have improved by that time. I guess that means that two weeks in Puerta Vallarta next January is out of the question. In all seriousness though, we are thrilled to be in Napa and there is rarely a day that goes by that we don't enjoy someone new discovering our sunlit world. In addition to our posted ours, we gladly make the gallery available by private appointment. Imagine this, you've just enjoyed one of the most amazing dinners that you've ever had at one of Napa's finest resaurants and now you have 3600 square feet of uplifting and inspirational art all to yourself. Now that's living!
And speaking of food, today's culinary offering from Linda's busy kitchen comes courtesy of Ina Garten, the Barefoot Contessa. The next time you want to enjoy a shrimp cocktail, don't steam or boil your little shellfish buddies. Roast them in the oven for 8-10 minutes with a little olive oil, salt and pepper. Delicious! The shrimp don't lose any of their flavor to the water. Instead, they retain all of the yummy flavor and the texture is so much better. Let me know if you enjoy them this way too.
Sunday, January 4, 2009
It's no secret that the last quarter of 2008 presented us with a plethora of new challenges. I am excited that 2009 is finally here and look forward to the good times ahead.
These last several weeks Quent and I have been entertaining our children Josh (23) and Sarah (21) as well as Josh's girlfriend Michelle (19). We enjoyed a lovely holiday together and the kids have even pitched in at the gallery from time to time. Our adventures have included a trip to the city, to the coast and all around the valley.
It's always interesting to learn what their favorite pieces in the gallery are and to keep mental notes for possible gift giving occasions. Josh and Sarah rarely have much in common, but I am pleased that they are both big fans of Bryan Larsen. Josh recently announced that one of his new favorites is "There's Opportunity Here" and Sarah really likes "Deliberation." Both of them have enjoyed "How Far We've Come" since the first time they laid eyes on it. Both of them recently graduated from universities in Florida and will be entering the work force or going on to grad school. Hopefully each will be successful and some day be the proud owners of their favorite Bryan Larsen painting.
It's been pretty chilly in Napa these past couple of weeks. I've been enjoying the opportunity to cook a variety comfort food for my hungry family. After all, watching football on television, driving through the vineyards and playing Wii can build up quite an appetite. Tonight we feast on one of my all-time favorites, braised lamb shanks. There's nothing quite like the aroma of braised meat suffusing your home to get you salivating in joyous anticipation of the coming meal.
It's part ecstasy, part torture, as a great braised lamb shank recipe takes 3-4 hours to prepare.
My favorie recipe features a bottle of my favorite Bechard Zinfandel; half for the lamb and half for the chef.
If you have the need for some cold-wether comfort food, try this recipe and let me know what you think.
Linda's Braised Lamb Shanks
2 lamb shanks -- closely trimmed of fat
2 tbsp olive oil
2 medium onions -- cut into eighths
3 medium carrots -- peeled and cut into 1" chunks
1 celery stalk -- cut into 1/4" pieces
2 cloves garlic -- sliced
2 tbsp tomato paste
1 tbsp dried Herbes de Provence
2 c Zinfandel or other good red wine
1 - 2 c beef stock
salt and pepper to taste
Heat oven to 325F.
Open the wine and pour yourself a glass
Generously season lamb shanks with salt and pepper. Heat olive oil in a dutch oven over medium high heat. Add lamb shanks and brown on all sides. Remove to a plate.
Reduce heat to medium and add onions, carrots, and celery to pot. Cook, stirring occasionally, until ingredients begin to brown. Add tomato paste, herbs, and garlic. add salt and pepper to taste. Cook an addition 1 1/2 minutes, stirring frequently. Add wine, deglaze pan, and reduce by half. Return shanks to the pot and add enough beef stock to come halfway up the sides of the shanks.
Cover and place in the center of the oven, and cook for 2.5 to 3 hours, turning shanks over about halfway through the cooking time.
Serve with your favorite starch such as mashed potatoes, cous cous, polenta or rice.