Harvest Festival Time


It’s that time of the year again. This year we are having chicken pesto sliders with a side of chips, and some favorite dips with assorted yummies (to be determined). Our beautiful cow is new, and so is Casa Dell Arte. We will have an open studio on Friday, and on Saturday we will have two classes. One class will be for anyone 8 to 108, and the adult class is for 21 and over.


We are excited to see some of our old friends, and make some new ones too.

Eugene Schmidt


The Missions of California are steeped in such rich history. Something about  each of them is just touch the core of my being. I did not grow up Catholic, and did not become Catholic until I was 21. My father was not supportive in my decision to become Catholic. I am not even sure if he knew why he did not want that for me. While researching my family I found that our family was involved in the Hugeonaught movement. Is it that my dad had some subconscious awareness of this fact? I don’t know…I do know, he told us to research a variety of religions before making a choice. I listened to that advice, and I loved learning about various religions, and spiritual movements.

The painting above is a painting of San Juan Capistrano. It is the only Mission in Orange County, and founded in 1776. There are 21 Missions in California, and they are where each of the cities started. Some of the most beautiful places to visit in California.

This painting has a very painterly feel, he added paint with a heavy hand. Which lends to the texture that is felt at the Missions. The flowers almost leap of the painting. The pedals on the Bougainvillea float around on the wind like loose pieces of paper.

The cloister, or inner gardens of the Missions served many different functions. Many of the garden veggies and herbs were grown in this area. The arches also served as a way for people to get out of the sun. The temperature is usually ten degrees cooler than the sunny area.

Eugene Schmidt was an artist from Santa Barbara, and pasted away in 2007. He was often out painting plein air, and has some other pretty remarkable paintings.

Four Sisters Winery


Located in the Paso Robles area of the Central Coast of California, the Four

Sisters Ranch has been growing grapes and producing world class, award winning,

wine for over 28 years.  Over 8 varieties of grapes are planted on over 430 acres.

The terrain is variable, from Limestone rich sandy-loom soil on hills adjacent to
the dry Estrella River bank to oak trees on hills overlooking a little and big “Grand Canyon”.
They more recently acquired their new winery and Tasting Room/Event Venue facility
where they also produce Limited Edition wines, and have room for large weddings
and celebrations. The New York Times has called their location the “best view of any
vineyard in the Central Coast” up on top of a hill with vistas of vineyards 360 degrees.
Tasting and Touring Magazine listed the Four Sisters Ranch in their 2016 Platinum Issue
as one of the 6 “Most Scenic” wineries in the Paso Robles area.  They take great pride in
being a friendly fun scenic Tasting Room with fine wines.

Four Sisters Ranch is owned and operated by a husband and wife team of two retired medical doctors: Dr. Michael Drucker and Dr. Serena Friedman. It is named after their four daughters; Sacheen, Elan, Toccara, and Sierra, who each contribute. Michael and Serena fell in love with Paso Robles in 1989, when they bought their first vineyard, and have now expanded to 433 planted acres! The first 16 years of Four Sisters Ranch involved intense, hands-on learning, experimenting, and getting down and dirty with the grapes, which were sold privately to world renowned wineries in the Napa Valley, Sonoma, Texas, Paso Robles, and beyond. Finally, in 2005, the first vintages of Cabernet Sauvignon and Syrah were released under the Four Sisters Ranch label – and the rest is history! They now have have an impressive portfolio of award-winning Paso Robles wines and are thrilled to share their pride and passion with wine enthusiasts in the U.S. and internationally! In 2015, Four Sisters Ranch Vineyards & Winery expanded to a gorgeous new tasting room, winery, lab, barrel room, and event center in the northern

Paso Robles AVA


 They are passionate about the fine wines they produce from the unique microclimates and mineral rich soils of Paso Robles.The Central Coast terroir has a long growing season with warm days and cool nights that produces uniquely ripened fruit, translating into a balanced wine of world class exception. Enjoy their Rhone and Bordeaux varieties.  Many of the wines are characterized as fruit forward, long lingering, and sure to tantalize the palate. They recently added Sparkling wines, Albarino,red blends, Petite Sirah,Orange Muscat, and  desert Port Style wine to our Merlot, Malbec, 91 point Zinfandel and our Flagship wines:  Cabernet Sauvignon and Syrah.

They use special canopy management to allow just the right amount of sunlight and ocean-infused afternoon breeze to mingle with the fruit and allow it to to mature it to its full flavor potential. For the elegant 89 points Syrah you will taste a balanced, dry and subtle fruit palate of blackberry, boysenberry and plum. This delicious food friendly wine goes well with hearty foods like pasta, wild game, duck, and flavorful soft cheeses.

The award winning “River Cab,” grown on the banks of the dry Estrella River, has a bright raspberry and dry cranberry nose, with hints of dark cherry and currant. This wine is long on the palate with balanced tannins, and pairs well with lamb, steak, veal, pasta, rice, and spirited conversation.

Their youngest wine is a Grenache/Tempranillo blend, light and easy to drink.

The 2011 Zinfandel, rated 91 points by Wine Enthusiast Magazine, was aged in Hungarian Oak barrels to balance the cool 2011 vintage. The Petite Sirah is a bold new Limited Edition Wine nick-named “3 Sips Titanic” because it cannot be judged until “after the third sip, when the tannins sink into the back of the palate and tongue.

Their  Port style desert wine is 95% Cabernet and 5% Negrette, with a unique flavor but easy drinking.

The Crew & The Wine
Their new winemaker, Craig Reed, is working tirelessly to continue to expand the portfolio with new releases of carefully handcrafted, limited-release wines. They are focusing on estate-grown red blends and small-batch varietal wines, including varietals like

Grenache, Syrah, Cabernet Sauvignon, Petit Verdot, Zinfandel, Malbec, and Tempranillo. The Estate Director & Brand Manager, Shauna Burke, oversees our three wine brands: Four Sisters Ranch, Serena’s Vineyard, and Red Hat Vineyards.She is also a Certified Sommelier and chef who lends her expertise in food and wine pairing and global wine education.

Cow Parade SLO Moojolais

We met the artists, and loved them! We hung out at the VIP party in San Luis Obispo, it was like we were long lost friends. Sandy used to live in Indianapolis, Indiana. We were both astonished when we both revealed that we were public high school attendees. The next day, the ladies all came over to the winey, and we had fun for the second day. They tasted wine, and I gave them the BIG tour of the all the buildings on the campus. We laughed and talked for so long. When it was time to say good bye, it was like seeing some of your favorite relatives leave.

Here is our beautiful cow at the winey…



Here are the bio’s of the ladies…

Julie Dickey: Im not sure where my love for art started, or how it evolved, but the quote by Dorothea Tanning,  “Art has always been the raft onto which we climb to save our sanity.” resonates with me. Since a young age, art was the easiest way for me to express happiness, fear, anger, sadness, or merely for the sake of sharing creativity.  As I became older I discovered it was a comforting way for me to have a voice and work through life situations, without having to lie down and let someone get in my head. Instead I put what was in my head out for the world to see, or at least a form of it. No particular medium – paint, tile, beads, sewing, clay – if I could shape it, control the outcome and see it through from start to finish, it made me feel better. Enter big jobs, marriage, children…and without realizing how much it contributed to my “ voice”, I found less and less time for it.  Fast forward to an ugly divorce, the death of my mom and bonus mom, both from cancer, and raising 6 kids (we are a blended family), I realized I need to find my “voice” again and more than that a way to be heard.

Enter Sandy, my partner in crime and art.  She is a phenomenal mosaic/beading artist, who has found that art has gotten her through some rough spots as well. We were a match made in Heaven as the saying goes – we have become each others muses, Yin to Yang….and she loves my crazy family – husband and all 6 kids. We have expanded our horizon to include some assemblage art (stay tuned for pics in the near future) made up of trinkets and instruments we have found in flea markets, shops and garages in various parts of the country.

We aren’t sure where this journey will lead us but thanks for coming along.

 Sandy Stevens: I am quite certain that I was a famous mosaic artist in a past life. Famous because that just sounds cool and a mosaic artist because of my intense interest and passion for the craft. For as long as I can remember I have been drawn to the art of taking beautiful plates of glass, shattering and breaking them to create amazing works of art. Whether it’s a community memorial mural, a colorful bench at Disneyland or a whimsical piece of garden art (my favorite)…I felt a sense of connection.

While I always enjoyed mosaics, I never practiced the art until about 8 years ago while recovering from breast cancer reconstruction which was physically and mentally challenging. I needed an escape during this crazy journey so why not reach for my passion? I took some classes to learn the basics and the rest in history.

When the minute your walk through your front door, drop everything (after acknowledging, petting and loving critters…2 dogs and a cat…all rescues) and head right to the art studio to start creating, then you have found your passion!

Up until recently, I have produced pieces for personal enjoyment and to share with friends.

 Then God sent me an angel, Julie, who shared my love of life and the creative arts. Our friendship has spiraled off the charts and I knew I had to jump on her band wagon full of fun and positive energy. It was through this vision that “the passionate heARTS” has evolved. Our vision is vast and open. Please stay tuned to see what lies beyond the horizon. We guarantee it will be full of enormous frolicking growth and whimsical inspiration and fun that will leave you beckoning for more!

Dante and Beatrice

This is a hand painted rendition of Dante and Beatrice on Vellum, which is believed to be from the 1700’s. Note the colors, and I have included some detailed photos.

Dante (in red) approaches Beatrice and her maidens. Dante, is a poet, and is often portrayed with a book. Notice the detail of his finger inside the book to hold his place. The maidens protect Beatrice, as she is not allowed on the common streets alone without a chaperone. Her virginity must be proceed, and to protect her honor is to protect the family from scandal.

The detail in the folds of the garments is just incredible, and the details of the buildings. The lions flanking the staircase in the background…just beautiful! The diaphanous veil that she is about to pull over her face to show that she is a modest lady. Ahh, so much to love about this small painting.