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Manteca artist nabs top awards at two shows
Trompe l’oeil painting titled “You Tell Me Your Dream, I’ll Tell You Mine” by Manteca artist and DVI industrial supervisor Dan Voller won first place at the recent Tracy Art League Expressions Show. - photo by Contribtued
At the recent Delicato Fine Art Show, Dan Voller’s “Coastal View” won first place and a blue ribbon. The landscape shown is that of the coast just south of Half Moon Bay.

Someone bought the painting at the show, along with another original work that he entered in the prestigious annual competition.

The Manteca artist’s winning streak did not stop there. Barely a week later, at the equally prestigious Tracy Art League’s annual Expressions Show, the industrial supervisor at the Deuel Vocational Institute again captured the covered first prize and blue ribbon for his painting titled, “You Tell me Your Dream, I’ll Tell You Mine.”

His winning entry was also quickly snapped up at the show, along with another painting he entered in the competition. All together, Voller started the year by selling a total of four paintings at both shows.

But it was a comment made about his winning painting at the Tracy show which, to him, gave him the most satisfaction.

“The best compliment I received about this painting was when I was told one of the volunteers helping to set up the show asked another volunteer if I was going to take the tape off of it. The tape was actually part of the painting,” Voller said.

“You Tell Me Your Dream, I’ll Tell You Mine” depicts a crumpled and yellowed old sheet music with a large hole torn out of the center, with the paper taped onto a dark background. The picture is a perfect example of a trompe l’oeil painting, “a method of painting that is meant to trick the eye into believing the objects are real,” Voller explained.

While he is off to a running start this year as far as his hobby is concerned, Voller said he does not have any plans of leaving his job at DVI in Tracy any time soon.

“I plan on ‘retiring’ from my current job in 10 years and painting full time then. I’m looking at it more as a career change rather than retirement,” he said.

“I’m looking at art more as a second career than a hobby,” he added. “It makes for some late nights when I’m trying to finish a painting by a specific date for an art show entry.”

The busy husband and father also still makes time to stay active with the Manteca Artists Guild, and enjoys “getting out with other members of the guild to paint on location,” he said.

“We’re trying to make it a more regular activity but are sort of at the mercy of the weather this time of year. It’s a great way to learn and gain support from other artists,” he said of the guild’s group activity.

While some of his paintings are done al fresco, Voller on occasion works from photographs taken during his travels and use these pictures in much the same way as an artist would do a preliminary sketch in the field. His winning painting, “Coastal View,” a the Delicato Fine Art Show is an example of that.

“It was painted from a photo I took on an anniversary trip taken with my wife Patty,” Voller said.

While he remains dedicated to his present career at DVI, his most recent accomplishments have kicked his artistic hobby into high gear.

“Winning a first place in juried competition is a big boost to an artist’s confidence in his work and a real motivator. So when I found out that I had received another first place in Tracy, I was just thrilled. It just makes you want to get out and paint more,” Voller said.

To view more of his paintings, visit his web site at