Thursday, August 28, 2014

Best Wishes to You, Tina... A look at Jac Turner, Artist

I received an email from a local gentleman recently who had purchased a Jac Turner print of Diamond Springs from a local thrift store and was interested in finding out a bit more information on him.  So I decided to write a post and share what I know.  I met Jac in 1991 at his gallery on Main Street, Placerville, when I worked nearby, just a few doors down.

I stopped in often after that, and made sure to purchase a calendar from him each year. I have the 1991, 1992 and 1993 calendars. A 1992 calendar with thirteen beautiful full color prints is now on sale on ebay for $150.00! I believe he only made three calendars, and I have them all, each signed with a florish by Jac himself as I waited: "Best Wishes to You, Tina".

As I glanced in his window which faced main street, one day in the fall of 1992, I saw a fresh watercolor painting he had just completed and pinned up on the wall, not yet matted or framed. It was of Main Street, and prominently displayed the City Hall buildings and the Superior Court. I worked at City Hall at the time, and had worked for twelve years at the Courthouse, so I was immediately drawn to the lovely colorful painting. I walked in and purchased it, leaving it there to be framed. He asked if he could include it in his 1993 calendar, and I gladly consented.

Showers on Main Street - 1992

Above is the calendar print of my original watercolor.

Jac moved to El Dorado County from the Santa Clara Valley in 1986, with his wife Valerie, who passed away in 1988. Valerie had encouraged Jac to paint and he proceeded to create with a colorful passion. He also illustrated a couple of large tomes by local historian George Peabody, "The Squaw Hollow Sensation" and "The Historical Perspective", with his quick and comical sketches.

Emmanuel Church of Coloma - October 1990

The print of the Emmanuel Church in Coloma, above, which is included in the 1991 calendar, is one which I bought as a framed and signed print from the Art Gallery in Georgetown several years ago. Gold Country Girls Lori and Tina (myself) were married there in a double wedding in 1980, so it holds special memories!

Bell Tower Plaza- 1989

Sportsman's Hall 1850 - July 1988

John William (Jac) Turner, a native Californian, was born in Fresno in 1916, and died in El Dorado County ten years ago on August 16, 2004. He worked on his high school newspaper and yearbooks, becoming a published artist early in his life. Jac served in the Navy in World War II, learning to carve while stationed in the Pacific Theater.  Later in the Santa Clara Valley he worked as a commercial artist and owned a cabinet shop. An original founder (1992) of the Gold Country Artists Gallery, located on Main Street in Placerville, he continued to paint until just a few years before his death.

The Fausel Ranch - 1989

Gutenberger Corners 1856 - June 1990

Georgetown Hotel 1859 -  painted 1990

Smith Flat House - October 1990

Downtown Diamond Springs - August 1988

D'Agostini's Pond - November 1992

Mosquito Bridge - September 1992

The Willow School - October 1992

American River Inn - September 1991

The above and the following eleven prints are from the 1992 calendar, along with Jac's colorful descriptions of each. This is the calendar for sale on ebay.

Old Town Auburn - September 1991

The Bayley House - September 1991

Boeger's Winery - July 1991

Downieville - September 1991

Downtown Placerville - April 1991

The Fausel House - September 1991

Fiddletown - 1990

Lower Main Street, Jackson - September 1990

Nevada City - September 1991

Pleasant Valley Hotel (Spencer House) - August 1991

Shingle Springs Mill - September 1991
(Actually, he was wrong about it not being a mill - they milled shingles by horsepower - but I won't hold it against him!)

Stonebraker's Place- Also known as Bryant's Retreat - October 1988

Our final print, with Jac's Best Wishes, to show Gold Country Sis Heidi that he made it to Sonora in September 1991 to paint the beautiful Episcopal church.

It is hard to believe it has been a decade since we lost this wonderful, colorful, prolific and friendly artist.  You are missed, Jac. Thank you for leaving such a delightful Gold Country Watercolor Legacy behind!



Heidi Ann said...

Oh, Tina - what a fabulous post this is!
I think it is SO cool that you knew him personally. And how incredibly special that you own that original painting!
He was a fantastic artist, and I loved reading this and seeing all of the historical buildings and scenes that he painted so beautifully, right here in our own gorgeous Mother Lode Gold Country!
I'm so sorry that it took me a week to read and appreciate this delightful and interesting post with so many examples of his artwork to enjoy.
My only excuse is that we were gone when you posted it, and after we got home I was not feeling very well for a couple of days.
It's wonderful.

Tina Dawn said...

Thank you so much for finally reading this and loving it. I was so bummed that no one seemed to care about it, and I knew you would like it! At least now it is out there in "the cloud" in case someone wants to know about Jac. Love T