What do you like about your hometown? Local artists will showcase art from their favorite places, events, people and things in Red Bluff and County Tehama for the Main Event Gallery’s December exhibit, âHometown Artâ. Historical photographs will be sought for the exhibition.
The opening reception will be 5:30 to 8 p.m. on Friday, December 3 at the Gallery, 710 Main St., Red Bluff. The exhibition will run until December 30. The event is sponsored by the Tehama County Arts Council.
Renowned Tehama County photographer Bob McConnell has combined his photography with his other artistic talents to create a series of digital prints of some of Red Bluff’s beloved Victorian homes. Its stunning and precise art captures iconic homes in delicate detail.
âI spend up to 80-100 hours on each drawing,â McConnell said.
McConnell’s artwork is recognizable in the downtown Red Bluff maps he creates for the annual ArtWalk and Beef & Brew brochures.
It is evident that McConnell has a natural talent for art and also had previous training and experience. When he was young his mother took him to the park where a lady taught art and he went there every Saturday to paint. He paints in oils, acrylics, watercolors and makes drawings.
âMy high school in Claremont had 7,000 students, so we had a wonderful art department,â McConnell said. âWe did linoleum block printing as well as etching. I was lucky to be able to go there. Art is always something that I have been involved in.
After high school, McConnell joined the Navy and was stationed in Naples, Italy.
âWe had presentations for members of Congress when they came,â said McConnell. âThey put me in charge of the art, which made it more interesting. With every commission I was in, I brought art in one way or another to communicate to people what we were doing. “
While in Oak Harbor, Washington, McConnell attended community college and took engraving classes and won awards for them.
In 2004, McConnell’s artistic interest turned to photography, using all the basic rules of the art he knew to compose his images. With the development of digital imaging and computer processing, it opened up a whole new world of artistic possibilities.
Now he takes photographs of buildings in great detail and uses them as references to create his prints, using a graphics tablet and a Wacom pen that are linked to the computer screen to make the drawings.
âI draw a basic outline of the buildings first, then I do the larger details on separate layers in Photoshop,â McConnell said. “It keeps me from worrying about making a mistake on the drawing, because every layer can be changed.”
McConnell said he sometimes used an on-screen grid to keep the drawing in perspective.
âI think it’s important to document what we have, our surroundings, buildings and landscapes through photography and art. Downtown Main Street, Red Bluff is beautiful and we need to document and keep track of it. I photograph the buildings every two years. Victorian houses are such an asset to this city. We have to show the world what we have here.
The opening hours of the main event gallery are 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Thursday to Saturday. For more information, visit www.tehamaarts.org or write to [email protected]