It’s not often that a new artist earns a Blue Ribbon, but Will Bateman took his place among the stars for the “Galaxy” exhibit.
Genetics might explain his rapid success.
“I come from a family of painters,” said Bateman, who took up the brush a year and-ahalf ago. “My mother was a painter also.”
Bateman did some painting in college, and through his design work doing high-end construction, he does a lot of drawings, but that didn’t satisfy his artistic urge.
“I’ve always wanted to paint with oil,” he said. The award for first place was $400.
He found a mentor in Anne Laddon, who started Studios in the Park in Paso Robles. Bateman’s work had also been accepted for the Studio’s juried exhibit “Color of Water” last year.
The juried “Galaxy’’ exhibit in its 13th year is sponsored by the Paso Robles Library Foundation.
Another of Bateman’s mentors is John Comer, a member of the Santa Barbara Oak Group Plein Air Painters.
Bateman has been painting alongside Comer doing a series of paintings of the Channel Islands, although he hasn’t been on the islands themselves. “I’ve been painting mostly from boats,’’ he said. He also has been accompanying Comer to Santa Barbara’s Hollister Ranch to paint there.
In addition to his first place award in the “Galaxy’’ exhibit, Bateman entered a painting from his Hollister Ranch series.
His winning oil painting, “Morning After the Rain,’’ is a view along the road to Dover Canyon, off Vineyard Drive in Templeton. “It’s one of my favorite places,’’ Bateman said, and he caught it after North County’s first rain this fall.
“Everything was misty, and the sun was just starting to come through.’’ He used a warm shade of pumpkin to capture the autumn hues of the fields.
Bateman does some painting plein air, then takes photos and usually finishes in his Atascadero studio.
Raised in Pacific Palisades in Southern California, Bateman moved here in 1973, attracted by the beauty, after visiting his parents’ Templeton ranch.
The “Galaxy” juror is Carrie Brewster, director of the Hearst Art Gallery of St. Mary’s College in Moraga and an artist who exhibits her paintings, prints, drawings and sculptures in solo and group shows worldwide.
Brewster selected Jennifer Spotten for the $300 second-place award for her watercolor titled “Rust and Wood.’’
Spotten broke away from her usual subject matter when she did her winning painting. The Templeton resident, who breeds and shows fancy chickens, usually does portraits of the fowl, especially as consignments. While visiting a ranch recently, she was taken with some corrugated metal fence and barbed wire, and what she could only describe as “rusty circular things.” As she started to paint an abstract of those items, “It got more realistic as I got more fascinated,” Spotten said.
Laure Carlisle took third, $200, for her watercolor, “Follow the Light.’’
Although there were no monetary awards for technical merit, Brewster selected a pastel, “Pices,’’ by Carolyn Braun, Jim Tyler’s pastel “Thorns’’ and Pat Cairns’ watermedia “Altar’’ for those honors.
Reach freelance writer Lee Sutter at firstname.lastname@example.org .