Noting that all entries should evoke the West, the Paso Robles Art Association rounded up a couple dozen for its juried “Ranch Dressing” exhibit, open to association members only. Three prize-winning paintings quickly sold.
Terez Tyni, who won Best of Show for “The Ranch,’’ is a self-taught artist who has been taking workshops with some of the area's best artists the last few years. She painted her prizewinner in John Barnard’s workshop. “I shouldn’t say this, but I think it was a lucky accident,” Tyni said of her colorful expressionist painting.
While in Ken Christensen's workshop during the reception, Tyni heard she won “something” and sent a friend to report back. Shortly after, a buyer took the painting home.
Tyni started with watercolors about 20 years ago, then put art aside while raising her children and helping husband Ron with their Upper Crust Bakery in San Luis Obispo. Five years ago, she took up oils and plein air under the tutelage of Anne Laddon and for a spell joined the Wednesday Irregulars, an outdoor painting group. One of her paintings is on the cover of a Paso Robles Chamber of Commerce brochure.
Third-place winner John Mack said “I felt good about being in the show, since it was a juried show.” His happiness was compounded when his art sold quickly. “Someone bought the painting the next day,” Mack said. “That's a real feather in my cap. That’s always nice to be recognized like that.”
His “Hi, Templeton” depicts the grain elevator, which caught his eye as he drove through the small town. “I thought, ‘by golly, that’s a wonderful shape and form.’ ” Mack parked on a small hill and got out his paints for the impressionistic rendering. “I'm not a realist,” he said. “I don't work from photographs.”
The retired teacher and his wife Virginia, also an artist, relocated to Atascadero from the Bay Area 11 years ago. “We're not plein air painters, but we do react to the scenes we see in front of us,” said Mack.
One of two honorable mentions went to Nancy Vest for “Never Let a Horse Drive,” a photograph of a mule peering into the demolished cab of a small pickup. She captured the shot at a horse rescue ranch in Arizona and tweaked the digital shot using Adobe Photoshop. “I like manipulated photos,” Vest said. “It softens things so it looks more like art work rather than the stark reality of it.”
Vest has been an avid photographer for the15 years or so since digital cameras came on the market. “My older brother had a darkroom and the whole bit,” she said, but she wasn’t interested. “That's too much work,” Plus, with digital, she doesn’t have to deal with the caustic chemicals.Penelope Monmonier, whose acrylic of a cowboy titled “Time Out” took second place, couldn’t be reached for comment. Renee Besta earned an honorable mention for her photo “Bodie Ghost Town.”
Juror Marie Ramey said she looked for how the media was handled, composition, dramatic presentation and contemporary work with a fresh point of view.