This isn’t Chris Dufur’s first win. In fifth grade he entered a computer science class poster contest and came in first.
“I had a drawing of the Scooby Doo dog and he was sitting at the computer,” Dufur said. “Everybody loved that.”
This year, with his mother’s coaxing, Dufur, 33, entered the Garlic Festival’s Art Poster contest for the first time, and won. Owner of Alliance Backflow Services for the past 10 years, Dufur admits he didn’t take art seriously until four years ago.
“It’s always been something I wanted to do and it was always a passion of mine,” Dufur said, adding that he works in a variety of genres, including charcoal, pencils, pen and ink, clay and digital art.
“It’s almost necessary to have to explore other forms of [art], because it progresses you as an artist,” Dufur said.
With his entry, Dufur hoped to create “that feel of Gilroy and that feeling of familiarity.”
“I just kind of thought, what’s the best way to present the garlic?” Dufur said.
Showcasing the foreground with an overflowing tub of garlic, and the Gilroy hills providing the backdrop, Dufur’s winning entry is a perfect representation of Gilroy.
“I wanted the garlic to really stand out and kind of showcase the piece,” said Durfur. “All I had to do was draw the garlic shape, and then I had to put a little bit of purple and shadow colors. It’s really about the color. Color is very important in the aspect of a painting.”
Dufur is very serious when it comes to color, so much so that he actually mixes his own paint.
“I do make my own colors, so I usually buy the dry pigment and all the binders,” Dufur said, adding that the entire process takes approximately half an hour for each color depending on the amount.
“I just enjoy making my own materials because I feel that I learn more about my craft when I do that,” Dufur said. “I feel I understand the color better.”
With the exception of one graphic design class, Dufur is a self-taught artist. He does consider local artist Scott Lance, winner of the 2009 poster contest, his mentor and “an amazing artist.”
“He was just someone I always looked up to and inspired to because he had that passion for art, the kind of passion that I do,” Dufur said.
His twin brother, Josh Dufur, is also a talented artist.
The two worked together on a large mural at the Running Shop and Hops in Morgan Hill. Recently, the brothers collaborated on a poster submission for the Gilroy Rodeo.
“We kind of work together a lot in that aspect because we have a lot of good ideas through each other,” Dufur said.
Dufur is looking forward to the festival and the opportunity to share his art with the community. He is scheduled to appear 11am-2pm Friday, July 27, and noon-2pm both Saturday and Sunday, July 28 and 29.
“I’m excited for people to actually see my work because it’s going to help me progress and get my name out there, and make me strive to be a better artist,” Dufur said.
Fans of his work can follow him on Instagram at chrisdufur_art, and on facebook.com/chris.dufur.35.