Taratories Blog

New Merch Shop!

I am so excited to announce that I have partnered with Society 6 and opened up a new merch shop! This partnership allows me to offer prints, canvases, and an amazing range of fun and beautiful products that features my whimsical paintings. I will be adding other products to my shop in the near future, and check out the other products available now and see what grabs your eye! https://society6.com/taradeetscreek

"Her Boxed Beaded Gown"

Recently, I was part of a local art show where this painting entitled "Her Boxed Beaded Gown" was displayed.  I met a local couple where the husband was a visual artist and the wife was a poet.  They had the idea of combining art and poetry together in a show!  They gathered a group of artists together and gave each artist the book of poetry called "Solitary Spin" written by Barbara Sabol to read.  We were to choose a poem from the book to use as inspiration for our art.  I found this poem called "Circa 1943" in the book and used it to paint from.  I used metallic paints on this one which gives the entire painting a beautiful shimmer!  This painting is now up for sale on my website and can be purchased HERE.

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Circa 1943

by Barbara Sabol

Day Dreaming on the side of Prospect Hill

my mother is caught by some Eddie with his lens

before the swirl of champagne, before the dishwater swill

(years before she waltzed with my father in her beaded silk)

 

my mother was caught by a beau, quick with his lens;

some Eddie, by the flirt of her eyes in the sepia still,

years before she waltzed with my father in beaded silk

she posed in her swim skirt, chin in her fists, a slight head tilt--

 

flirting with some Eddie, one eye squinting behind his lens

while she posed in halter top and swim skirt, her head at a tilt

(before the dusty attic moths have had their fill 

of her boxed beaded gown, its yellow silk.)

 

Before the attic moths had their fill of silk and lace

she sold cufflinks to my father at Swanks, downtown.

He whirled her around the hall in her beaded gown

and danced her down that hill, leaving just a trace

 

of her teenaged sepia image, blurred to white at its edge

like the swirl of champagne and an unbroken waltz;

caught in the gaze of the luckless him, whose camera left

the ghost of a girl dreaming in the long grass of Prospect Hill.

 

 

 

Custom Birds Nests

Back by popular demand for the 4th year is my custom birds nests!  In case you missed these last year, here is a little info on what these are about.  I make 9X9 inch mixed media paintings on canvas of nests with eggs representing children in them.  There are many customizations that I do to make these little gems as personal as possible.  These make great Mother's Day gifts or any day gifts and look great on a collage wall! These will be for sale for a limited time through May 6th.

1. Number of eggs- Depending on how many children are represented, I can paint as many eggs as you like!

2. Size of eggs- You can have larger eggs painted representing children, or smaller eggs painted to represent grand children.  Or you could combine and do both!  You can also use the smaller eggs to symbolized miscarried babies if you wish, I ask that you email me first to request unique customization like this before ordering.

3. Color of eggs- Depending on whether they are boys or girls I will paint either blue or pink.

4. Speckles- This year I am offering the choice of either brown speckles, or gold speckles if you are looking to add a little bling.

You can order these nests on my website www.taradeetscreek.com or by clicking HERE.

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Artisan Show

Recently we had a Whole Foods 365 Market open up here in Akron very close to where we live and it is great not only for the healthy selection of foods for a good price, but also for the fact that it has a local coffee shop located inside of it.  The coffee shop is called "Artisan Coffee" and they serve the most delicious drinks!  Last month was the first month that they started hanging work on their wall and this month I had the wonderful opportunity of hanging my work in there.

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It is such a cozy corner and my animal collection seems to fit perfectly on the wall.  I am hoping that my work brings some cheer to this neutral space and something fun to look at for the people sitting with their coffee.  My work will be up for sale through the end of April and can be viewed there at 1745 W. Market Street, Akron, Ohio 44313. 

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"Melancholy Mandrill"

Recently I painted a new animal painting to add to my collection that has been in the works.  I have always loved the look of Mandrill monkeys so I decided to use one for my next subject.  First I sketched out the basic placement lines of where I wanted the monkey and crowned african eagle to go.

I began the monkey by doing a layer of colored pencils on his face and body.  Then I followed the pencil with a layer of paint.  I continue the process of layering and building up the layers of pencil and paint until I achieve the results I want.

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The photo below is not quite done yet, but getting there...

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Almost there...

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And finally there.  The cherry on the top was the details such as the little hairs on his eyes and nose and the reflections on his eyes.  The details are always my favorite and the parts that keep me chugging along when I am having a hard time pushing through.  Knowing I get to add these little details really put a fire underneath me to get to the finish line. Painting the texture of fur has been SO FUN for me! 

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I always love a polka dot, and recently I am into pale pink combined with black, so this is what I chose for the background.

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The background was done with a technique called negative painting.  An example of how it is done can be found HERE .  I also painted some imaginary fruit to add to the monkeys environment.

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The intensity...

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The final elements...

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The finished painting...

 "Melancholy Mandrill" 28X38 inches

"Melancholy Mandrill" 28X38 inches

This painting and others can be found at Artisan Coffee Shop at the Whole Foods Market in Akron for the whole month of April (1745 W Market St, Akron, OH 44313).

"The Polar Plunge"

I have always loved polar bears.  I could watch them swim in the water all day!  I decided that this would be the perfect animal to paint next!  First, I sketched out my composition. I wanted the polar bear to be as close to life size as possible.  During my research, I found that polar bears are about 4 feet standing on all four legs.  I was able to make him close to life size being around 3 feet tall.  He felt HUGE when I drew him up on the canvas and I loved the grand presence of him.  For some reason, I always want everything I paint to be as life size as possible, whether it be people, etc. and, in this case, animals.  It is so much easier to capture all of the detail in my subjects when they are larger, and then I almost feel like they are in the room with me and a part of my space.  

I began my mixed media painting with my first layer of colored pencils which is a great way to map out all the lights, darks, and variations of color before I lay down the paint.  My mixed media technique is unique in that I layer pencils, then paint, then pencils, etc. onto my canvas.  It really creates a beautiful depth and atmosphere to my paintings that I wouldn't be able to achieve in the same way with using paint or pencils alone.  Drawing has always been my first love and years ago I found this mixed media technique that has suited me perfectly. It was magic the first time I ever tried it and I have been obsessed ever since!

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I was a little nervous about painting a white animal because sometimes it can be tricking creating the variations of tones in white, but it really helped starting off with a tan base so that it wasn't so intimidating and helped create immediate contrast between the white I was laying down on my canvas.  One of my favorite things about doing art is studying a subject through painting it.  I never would have realized that there were so many different colors in a polar bear's fur, or that lines form where clumps of hair separate (i.e. hand and head).

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The next animal was a bearded seal.  I had no idea there was such a thing as a bearded seal until I started to research animals to paint.  But once I found this kind of seal I was set on painting him!  I love all the long whiskers they have and they were just so cute! He is missing half of his face here but this is the work in process...

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I developed the seal more and submerged him in some painted water...

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I wanted this painting to have a nautical feel to it so blue and white stripes seemed like the perfect pattern to incorporate.  It took me some time to figure out the best place to incorporate the stripes. In my sketchbook I made a few pages of thumbnail sketches playing around with placement and colors etc. until I arrived at this... 

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Florals and stripes are a classic pairing and the flowers were a great way to add some color into this painting since my animals were very neutral.  I used the flowers as a repeating pattern in the background and used my paint without much water to create a soft texture to the flowers.  This is a dry brush technique that I don't think I have used on my canvas paintings before and I really like the way it turned out.  It gave the flowers a kind of velvety look.  Painting the fur has been a wonderful way to show me that I can create a variety of textures with my medium and makes me want to explore other textures.

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The final step was to paint a blue background around the flowers and really help make the bear pop.  It sure did!  After I laid on the blue, the white of the polar bear was a striking contrast and I couldn't be happier with the result.  I added a gold edging to the circle and gold dots for some embellishments in the background which is the cherry on the top for me!

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The finished painting is 30X36 inches and is available for purchase.  Email me at taratories@gmail.com for any inquiries at all about this painting. It will be on display locally to the Akron area next month. More details to come on that so stay tuned!  If you don't want to miss a beat, send me your email so that I can get you on my email list. I don't usually send more than one email a month but it is a great way to stay in the loop about local shows, art sales, etc.

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