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Two local artists' work featured in art auction

Pieces selected from hundreds of submissions; artwork will be sold in KVIE Art Auction
By: Sena Christian, The Press Tribune
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Ingrid Guttman once painted a portrait of a pelican that became one of her favorite creations. “It turned out accidentally beautiful,” she says. But Guttman sold the painting, which pained her a bit, and now she may be about to sell another of her all-time favorite pieces of original artwork. The watercolor painting “Iris” won a juror award in the watercolor category for the 2010 KVIE Art Auction, which means “Iris” will soon have a new home. The auction is a live three-day broadcast auction that offers anyone in KVIE’s 28-county viewing area the chance to acquire original art by Northern California artists by calling in to place a bid. Established in 1959, the public television station serves more than 1.4 million households. The collection consists of both works by renowned artists and pieces accepted through a jury process. KVIE spokeswoman Sheryl Brown says the station received several hundred submissions. Art experts for 11 categories selected the top 288 pieces, which were then reviewed by this year’s awards juror and sculptor Al Farrow. Guttman is one of two local artists with pieces featured in the show. Both pieces will be unveiled and awarded Sept. 20 during the auction preview party presented by the Amador Vintners’ Association. But “Iris” isn’t just the typical watercolor painting. “It’s my own (style),” Guttman says. “It evolved over the years.” As she let her imagination and creativity go, Guttman devised a unique style in which she completes a watercolor painting, and then cuts it apart. She rearranges the fragments into different shapes on a mat board, and uses a pen to draw intricate line work to tie the design together. Guttman sits in the art room of her Granite Bay house on a recent morning, surrounded by paintings of flowers, sailboats, bell peppers and roosters hanging on the wall. On the opposite wall there’s a large, vibrantly colored painting of a sun, flowers and a duck — drawn by her grandchildren from Austin, who visit once a year and get to do whatever they want. She’s been painting on and off for 20 years. “You sit there and you just get lost in it,” Guttman says. “It’s so rewarding. It’s peaceful. It’s creative. It lets your mind escape everything. You get lost in an artsy world.” Born and raised in Germany, Guttman and her family moved to the United States in 1952. She lived in southern California for many years before moving to San Luis Obispo County, where she and her husband resided for 20 years. About a year and a half ago, the couple moved to Granite Bay. Through the last two decades, Guttman has sold her artwork around the world and she earned awards for the Central Coast Wine Classic in 1997 and 1998. She took a break from painting for a while to care for her parents, but recently participated in a watercolor workshop. “I take a class whenever I can from anybody because you can always learn something,” Guttman says. She spends up to five months to complete a painting. If she hangs the piece on the wall, this means the item is still being critiqued. Currently, three paintings of martini glasses hang on the wall — a gift for her son to decorate his kitchen. Guttman says the greatest compliment is when her children want one of her paintings. Another local artist, Roseville resident Emily Elders, won a juror’s award for a contemporary category for her sculpture on linoleum relief called “Boots.” “Boots” is part of a series that documents shoes she’s owned throughout her life. The theme of the piece was influenced by the style of the American West. “I’m kind of a clothes maven and I have a lot of really interesting shoes,” Elders says. She took six weeks, working for several hours at a time, to complete the artwork. Elders, a relief-print maker, has been doing art for about 15 years, but hesitates to call herself an artist. “It takes courage to call yourself an artist,” Elders says. “Expectations get automatically raised. (Sometimes) I call myself a print maker, but people look at me, like ‘What does that mean?’” The mother of three has devoted herself to print making because she’s “not a very good drawer” and she’s entirely self-taught in draftsmanship. She says a finished print is like a set of quintuplets — all the pieces relate but have subtle differences. Now that Elders had the pleasure of making “Boots,” she’s ready for the artwork to go to its new owner during the auction. “I hope whoever buys it, enjoys it for a really long time,” she says. Sena Christian can be reached at senac@goldcountrymedia.com. ---------- What: KVIE Art Auction Preview Party When: 5:30 – 8:30 p.m. Monday, Sept. 20 Where: KVIE Studios, 2030 W. El Camino Ave. in Sacramento Cost: $40 Info: Tickets are available at www.kvie.org/artauction or by calling (916) 641-3651. For more information, visit www.kvie.org. ---------- The auction for “Iris,” by Ingrid Guttman, begins at 8 p.m. Friday, Sept. 24. The opening bid is $396 and the watercolor painting is valued at $1,200. The auction for “Boots,” by Emily Elders, begins at 11:30 p.m. Friday, Sept. 24. The opening bid is $133 and the artwork is valued at $400.