Juliette and James-Paul Brown at the opening of Wine Becomes Art at the San Luis Obispo Museum of Art.

Wine becomes art

James-Paul Brown bottles on display at the Wine Becomes Art exhibition at the Dallidet Adobe.

James-Paul Brown is a colorist, a man who continues a tradition of exploring the play of light and color through his vivid paintings of images. He spontaneously combines the broad brushstrokes and vibrant colors of Van Gogh with the pastel colors reminiscent of Monet to create joyous and playful works that transform each painting into a variety of visions and emotions.

His career as an artist blossomed in 1980 after his first show in Venice, California, which was a sell-out. Simultaneously, he developed a successful career in radio advertising. His vivid Neo-Impressionist style led to commissions in Canada and the United States to paint portraits of ballet dancers and opera singers, Hollywood celebrities, jazz musicians, famous athletes, and world leaders. His works can be found in the collections of Clint Eastwood, Hank Aaron, and Elton John, just to name a few admirers.

James-Paul has been commissioned to paint the Inaugural portraits of Presidents Ronald Reagan, George Bush, and William Clinton. He has worked with CBS Sports and NBC to paint athletes and famous sporting events such as the Wimbledon Games. He was the official painter for the 1982 World Games in Canada, the 1983 Pan American Games in Venezuela, the 1984 Olympics in Los Angeles, the 2006 Olympic Games in Torino, and the 2006 Cannes Film Festival.

2000 Central Coast Wine Classic Catalog by James-Paul Brown

2000 Central Coast Wine Classic Catalog by James-Paul Brown

The studio where James-Paul spends most of his time painting is located in Santa Barbara. As a bon vivant and wine aficionado, he developed a deep friendship with Archie McLaren, founder of the Central Coast Wine Classic and many other Central Coast winemakers. He created wine labels for the large bottles auctioned at fundraising events and for local wineries such as Sunstone Winery. He also designed the labels for his own wine, Artiste, which is served at the Bouchon Restaurant in Santa Barbara and was a favorite at the Café des Artistes in New York.

He has donated portraits of the late Archie McLaren and the late chef Julia Child to the Wine History Project. The portrait of Archie appears on the cover of the first book published by the Wine History Project in 2019, Archie McLaren – The Journey from Memphis Blues to the Central Coast Wine Revolution. James-Paul has also donated 18 historic bottles of wine, each with one of his unique labels, to the Wine History Project collection of Central Coast wines.