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Style Magazine

Bernard Treanton

Mar 05, 2012 02:12AM ● By Style

Photo by Dante Fontana

"Doors. People really like doors.”

It’s one of the many intriguing and intellectual observations that award-winning pastel painter, Bernard Treanton, shares about trends in art and the art community. The many years he’s spent entrenched in the Sacramento area art circuit, not only as an artist but as a guardian of the community, has given him a keen sense of both the preferences of those that consume art and the often cutthroat competition between those that produce it. “Painters and artists copy each other. They take an idea, a trend, and they do it. That’s okay, that’s what art is.”

Setting aside a youthful interest in painting and drawing, Treanton made use of his artistic talents as a mechanical engineer. Long before the days of computer programs that could create three dimensional actualizations of engineering designs, Treanton’s refined skills and the ability to masterfully draw such designs made him a highly sought after expert in the field. With companies clamoring for his particular combination of multilingual abilities and engineering expertise, Treanton emigrated to the U.S. from France, via Montreal. While residing in Texas for a number of years, his passion for pastel and oil painting was renewed by the amazing desert landscape. In time, the opportunity to move to sunny California presented itself. Now, settling into retirement in the beautiful surroundings of the Sierra Foothills, Treanton is pursuing a degree in fine arts at Folsom Lake College and mastering his passion for the prettier side of life.


“There are rules that I have started to perfect in my studies. I take time…try to combine things to create balance and please the eye.   “It’s a kind of recipe that you learn,” Treanton says.  He explains that he paints most often from pictures, snapping dozens of shots of the same scene until he finds just the right combination of light, movement and subject.

Although he has done collections in the past  - including his Medusa compilation, based on the jellyfish exhibit at the Monterey Bay Aquarium, as well as a collection of doors from the south of France – the spring of inspiration flows varied and plentiful. When asked what catches his eye most often, Treanton says, “Here in California, it’s mainly the outdoors and the beautiful scenery.”

His commitment to the arts has inspired him to spend much of the past 10 years volunteering with foundations and organizations, including the Pastel Society of the West Coast and the Sacramento Art League, in addition to a stint as a member of the Folsom Arts and Cultural Commission. Although most of his works reside in private collections around the country, currently you can find two dozen of his paintings on display at the Department of Insurance in Sacramento. Treanton plans to continue to participate in local open shows and exhibits, as well as work to foster artists – both the budding grassroots novice and longtime award-winning exhibitors – in the local community and the art world at large.

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