Dawn Newland paints what she knows. On Friday evening at Rushmore Plaza Civic Center, that meant an acrylic-on-canvas work depicting her sister atop a horse during a trip they took last summer from Deadwood to Medora, N.D.
Newland, of Colony, Wyo., was one of about 10 artists competing in the Black Hills Stock Show & Rodeo's annual Western Art Quick Draw contest Friday in the Fine Arts Theater. Sponsored by Bank West, the contest allows artists one hour to paint a Western-inspired piece for a $500 grand prize and the chance to auction off their work.
"I don't try to paint beautiful," Newland explained after the competition. "I try to help people see beautiful."
Tami Bauer of Edgemont has always been drawn to art, especially watercolors and the Western style, she said. A home health aid worker and rancher, she is also a self-taught artist. Her piece, "Good as Gold," was a watercolor of a horse's head. The key to finishing in one hour is preparation and planning, she said.
The key is "making sure you plan the picture, making sure everything looks done at the same depth," Bauer said. Though she's shown her art at the Black Hills show before, this is her first time competing in the Quick Draw. She said she plans on coming back next year.
As she put it, "I've just always loved art."