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Painting the West

Prineville's Fay Taylor wins national accolades for her paintings

by: SHELBY CASE/CENTRAL OREGONIAN - Faye Taylor shows one of her award-winning paintings at the Bunkhouse Studio.

With a swirl of the paintbrush, Prineville artist Faye Taylor makes the lives of central Oregon cowboys and their surroundings come alive.
   Now the long-time central Oregon resident has been nationally recognized for her work. She won sixth place from Art Horse Magazine's Ex Arte Equinus national competition.
   "Gaining national recognition is not easy in the fine art arena, especially the Western genre," Taylor said. "I'm so grateful to live where real cowboys still rope, ride, and shoot."
   Her oil painting, "A Kindly Hand", earned the award. This piece will be published in the February 2008 issue of Art Horse Magazine and in a coffee table book early this year.
   "I was very excited because it's hard to get recognized in a national show. So I don't get my hopes very high," Taylor said.
   She was also recognized for a watercolor entitled "Storm Rider," which received a special recognition award at Mirror Pond's annual National Watercolor and Pastel Show in November. International judge Teresa Saia judged the show and Darlene Rodgers announced the awards. In all, 35 paintings by 31 artists from across the country had been juried into the show.
   Taylor has been a professional artist since about 1980 and has had her own business, Bunkhouse Studio, three years.
   She found out about how she did at the Mirror Pond competition in early November.
   "And the other one was about two weeks later," Taylor said.
   "The Mirror Pond (one) - I was just really surprised," the artist said. "Western art has such a small niche in the decor market and years back, oh probably 15 years ago, I tried to get in and my piece was rejected. I thought it was a good piece. I was surprised to even get accepted into the show just because of the genre that it is - the Western genre."
   "The other one was a Western. It was a horse theme," she said of her work for Art Horse Magazine. "And it was a bigger show, covering more of the nation, so I was really surprised."
   "It was all digital entries so everything was either disc or e-mail because it was for a magazine," she said. "More and more organizations are taking professional, digital entries. That piece that I got into that show had been sold a few years back, but I still have print images so I was still able to enter the competition."
   "I did know some of the artists who were likely to enter from an organization I belong to called Women Artists of the West," she said.
   How significant are these awards?
   "I think that the Mirror Pond one is much less recognized. It's really hard to say because the art field is so saturated with competitions," Taylor added. "The Art Horse Magazine is going to be way more significant because it is a nationally published magazine. It's a restricted genre to the horse theme, but there's a lot of horse people in this country."
   "I enjoy watercolor more because it's more challenging, a little bit harder to control. So when you get something really nice, you really feel you have accomplished something," Taylor said. "I've done more watercolor, so I feel more comfortable with it."