When Tiffany Manchip moved from Marin County to Plumas County 15 years ago she began a new phase of her life.
“I went from being a fulltime artist to now being a fulltime EMT and a part-time artist,” she said during an interview last week.
Manchip is a muralist who took up the art of chalk painting to become comfortable talking while painting, since her customers would want to chat as she worked in their home or business. Since chalk art is done in public, it was the perfect training ground.
This wasn’t Manchip’s first chalk art competition; she had competed in the Marin chalk art event for many years. It wasn’t held this year so she opted for the Chalk Art & Music Festival, held July 12 through 14 at the Atlantis Casino Resort Spa in Reno.
Her 12-foot by 9-foot chalk image of a great horned owl won the People’s Choice Award.
Manchip drew a sketch of the owl on a standard sheet of paper and then had it reproduced to full size to be used as a template on the parking lot surface. She said artists use varying techniques, but this is the one that works best for her.
Artists could work from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. on Friday and Saturday, and then on Sunday from 8 a.m. to 11 a.m. She worked on her chalk drawing off and on for most of the allotted time, but admitted, “I am a chatty Kathy so I spend a lot of time talking to people.”
She is especially fond of talking to the children who gather to watch her work.
And she was lucky this time; sometimes children can become a little too exuberant and run on to the work since it’s on the ground. Then it requires a little touchup and she keeps a damp sponge on hand to erase the chalk.
Her favorite subjects to paint are animals. She recently took some time off from her day job to complete a 6 by 5 foot painting of trout in a pond. It will be transferred onto tiles to be used on a floor.
She also does dog portraits for pet owners.
But for the recent competition, she selected the great horned owl. It turned out to be a winner — she won the People’s Choice Award.
“I was incredibly humbled and honored to receive such recognition,” Manchip said. It was a fun event with fabulous art, great music and vendors. I am looking forward to participating again next year and encourage all artists, novice to advanced to come try chalk pastel art.”
When she isn’t working on her art, Manchip, a Care Flight Ground employee, can be found on an ambulance or in the emergency department at Plumas District Hospital.